Of the 1.66 million high school students in the class of 2013 who took the SAT, only 43 percent were academically prepared for college-level work, according to this year’s SAT Report on College & Career Readiness. For the fifth year in a row, fewer than half of SAT-takers received scores that qualified them as “college-ready.”So fewer than half of the students who think they’re ready for college (since those who know they aren’t presumably don’t even bother to take the test), actually are.
There’s no doubt though that the students have better mastery than the tests indicate of the skills US schools are primarily devoted to teaching. For example, their self-esteem is probably top-notch, having always won some sort of prize in any competition they entered; and they know that avoiding hurting anybody’s feelings is far more important than stating facts.
Against these impressive accomplishments of our educational system, how important can it be that there has been a bit of slippage in the students’ understanding of math, science, English, and other such secondary considerations?
I would imagine that it is only a matter of time before there are calls to restructure the SATs to more properly reflect the real goals of our schools. That will be much better, because then nobody will be hurt by getting a low score on the test.