If you’re a high school senior, or you’ve one in your household, ’tis the season of The Wait to get The Acceptance Letter or The Acceptance Email, and preferably from the colleges and universities that you/your child most wants to go to. And if you’re a junior, or your child is one, life’s a busy blur of worrying over which schools to apply for; AP prep; having just the right portfolio of extra-curriculars/community service/etc.; taking standardized tests, the SAT and the ACT. One high school senior, Allie Kauffman, has not only recorded her dislike for such tests on a video: She has put the video only and included the link in her college application essays.
According to the February 22 Chronicle of Higher Education, Kauffman received a ‘not-so-great-score’ on the PSAT. Her family—her father, Sam Kauffman, is a film professor at Boston University—was able to spend about $800 on a test-preparation course after which Allie Kauffman’s score improved by 300 points—an experience which led her to question the ‘inequity of the whole situation,’ and rightly.
On the video, Kauffman asks, “What if you don’t have the money? Too bad…..You’re competing against kids who do. It’s like playing basketball against kids on ladders.”
Comments the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Mr. Kauffmann says he and his daughter hope the film will convince students and parents that admissions entrance exams are “unfair, biased, and illogical.” To that end, the Kauffmanns have started an online petition urging colleges to stop using the ACT and SAT. They seek 10,000 signatures (as of [February 2] Wednesday evening, there were 206; there are now 244), and plan to submit the final document to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. (The association has about as much power to alter its members’ testing policies as it does to melt all that snow in the Midwest, but never mind.)
Mr. Kauffmann says some of his daughter’s friends have declined to sign the petition for fear that they might harm their chances of getting into college. But Allie’s not exactly bashful: According to her father, she included links to the video in each of the college applications she submitted.
As Kauffman writes on the site of the online petition she has started:
If you’ve visited our website and watched our film at http://www.ACToutagainstSAT.com then you know the tests are biased against females, students whose second language is English, against minorities, students who can’t afford quality test prep classes or tutors, and all those students who aren’t good on standardized tests–even though they do great in school. And you know that the SAT Essay section is a complete joke.
The Kauffmans are hardly the first to question the use of standardized tests in college applications. I for one much admire her willingness to inform the very colleges she is applying to about her views on the subject and hope her candor won’t be held against her. I once knew someone who tutored high school seniors on the math section of the SAT and told me that she had figured out how to help a student get an 800: Are standardized tests actually measuring students’ knowledge, or just their ability to score well on the tests?
Go here if you’d like to sign the Kauffmans’ online petition to ‘ACT out against the SAT’ and urge colleges to stop using the ACT and the SAT.
Photo by -Marlith-