"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, October 23, 2008

College Board Introduces New Test to Sort Human Capital in 8th Grade

No one remembers that the SAT was designed to predict the success of college applicants. It is now simply an "objective instrument" used to justify the expansion of privilege and status for those who can afford it. Most have even forgotten that NCLB was billed as a tool to give extra help to struggling schools, while everyone can see that it now functions as a "scientifically-based" tool to shutter the public schools and segregate the poor in prison-style testing camps run by zealots with tons of tax-deductible corporate cash.

Now the College Board is rolling out a new product to do for the 8th grade what the SAT did for the senior year: turn the final year of middle school into a testing hell camp for the pushy parents who can afford the tutoring needed to prepare their Caitlins and Seths to ReadiStep their way up the backs of less financially-endowed classmates whose high school expectations will be mailed to them in a College Board envelope before they ever enroll in a high school. Thus we become able to separate even earlier the human capital from the human liabilities, which was the point of the old school eugenics movement as well.

From the NYTimes:
Amid growing challenges to its role as the pre-eminent force in college admissions, the College Board on Wednesday unveiled a new test that it said would help prepare eighth graders for rigorous high school courses and college.

The test, which will be available to schools next fall, is intended only for assessment and instructional purposes and has nothing to do with college admissions, College Board officials said.

“This is not at all a pre-pre-pre SAT,” Lee Jones, a College Board vice president, said at a news conference. “It’s a diagnostic tool to provide information about students’ strengths and weaknesses.”

The College Board, which owns the SAT and PSAT, made its announcement when an increasing percentage of high school students are taking the rival ACT and amid mounting concern over what critics call the misuses of the SAT and ACT and other standardized tests in college admissions.

Those critics dismissed the new test for eighth graders as just what Dr. Jones said it was not: “a pre-pre-pre SAT.” . . .

1 comment:

  1. So, the College Board is marketing a new assessment tool? Aren't 8th graders already being assessed (and stressed) with the PSSA? It is so frustrating that institutions continue to generate tools, products and ideas that are not really helpful to students.