Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The University System is Stuck in Stupid

The University system is stuck in stupid with the latest fiasco being the “adversity score”.  They drive k-12 education to bow down to the big test demanding children to be obedient servants rather than creative thinkers.  As long as students can kiss ass and regurgitate what they are told, they are college bound.  Or if they can donate big bucks.

The new "adversity score" assigned by the College Board on the SAT exam is no more than shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Simply giving points to students based on family income, environment and educational differences, pigeon-holes the students based on generalities rather than the skills and abilities of the students themselves.  A test score is not an indicator of success in a College or University! 

In order to assure Colleges and Universities have sufficient information about a student, there must be systemic change at the secondary school level.  Envision a MAP (My Action Plan) as a portfolio where students constantly move forward documenting their success through demonstrated assessments.  In the process they are allowed to re-take assessments when they are unsuccessful and learn from their failures. Those assessments will allow students to be monitored as they move forward in the process enhanced by small pre and post-tests readily available to teachers to compare with their daily progress in the classroom. 

Those pre and post-tests, would replace the standardized test that is rendered useless in this process.  It is important to understand that assessment is only as good as the information gathered and its application to the education of the child.  Remember, the teacher sees the child a couple hundred days in a year while the artificial standardized test as well as the SAT sees the student for a couple hours.

Now we must determine the requirements for graduation.  This has always been a concern as the community needs of students vary.  Now it is time to use your imagination.  The previously mentioned MAP is a portfolio of learning throughout the school years.  What if a student, at any age, would present that portfolio to a University for acceptance?  That University would then analyze it, accept the student or, if not accepted, would identify skills needed for acceptance.  The student could then return to high school or go to a community college to enhance those skills.  The University would then be able to re-assess the student for possible acceptance.

This way students could hang on to their dreams and continue to move toward their goal in life. They may choose a different course to follow, but either way, their decision would be based on information relative to their future, not just an SAT or other artificial tests.  The decision is with the student along with parents and trusted friends and professionals. 

Children might not get to the end result at the same time as everyone else.  They aren’t robots.  But they will get to the end result, a successful education and hope for their future in their world.