Friday, September 11, 2009

Scholastic Aptitude Test

Now why do you suppose they call it that?

If you listen, even briefly, to any member of the Georgia Public School Apologists (GPSA, a local branch of the national Public School Apologists, headquartered in Lake Wobegon) you would conclude this test is generally worthless, but particularly deficient in its namesake purpose. They claim to have much to back up their assertions of SAT deficiency.

First, they observe that many students just don't test well. Now they are careful to avoid the fact that many of these students test well enough in the classroom to be awarded A's, and they offer no explanation as to why Georgia is blessed with such an abundance of students who don't test well.

Then they like to point out that all high school students in Georgia take the SAT which is not the case in other states. Fair enough, if they were to factor in Georgia's abysmal dropout rate recognizing that these dropouts don't take the SAT. But they're not going to mention the dropout rate because they are card-carrying members of GPSA, and the dropout rate makes the schools look even worse.

Finally, they point us towards colleges and universities that no longer use the SAT for admissions, with the implication that this endorses their view that the test is flawed to the point of being worthless. This ignores the possibility that colleges are responding to the horrible failure of public schools by admitting freshman classes that are a confederacy of dunces---because that's what the public schools give them. They don't need SAT scores to confirm these students have no place in college and if they persist in using the SAT they place their institution in danger of maintaining records suggesting they have intentionally lowered standards to fill out class rolls. Which is exactly what they are doing.

What they, the GPSA, don't realize is what this hollow propaganda reveals about them. Imagine this. Suppose Georgia ranked in the top five rather than the bottom five on SAT scores. Would these apologists be equally vocal in condemning the SAT then, or would these results somehow make it into the never ending chorus of "How Great We Art"? We all know the answer and it shows these people are moral and intellectual windsocks. What parents need to realize is that a vast majority of these people, these self serving apologists, are teaching in and running Georgia's public schools, and that it is to these people that they have entrusted their children's education.