What SAT Scores Say About Teacher Effectiveness

The SAT has been in the news again, this time because of the claim that test-optional policies are a way for colleges to covertly impose affirmative action. It’s true that such policies have created a two-tier system that allows colleges to accept more black and Hispanic students than would otherwise qualify for admission. But the … Continue reading “What SAT Scores Say About Teacher Effectiveness”


Rescuing “Virtue and Talents” Amidst the War on Tests

On March 28, 2022, Stuart Schmill, Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced the school’s plan to restore the consideration of standardized tests to its undergraduate admissions process. A heavyweight bucks against the self-destructive path of attacking merit and standards. Will more follow suit? Or, is MIT’s … Continue reading “Rescuing “Virtue and Talents” Amidst the War on Tests”


The US Test Mess

Standardized educational tests do not perfectly measure student aptitude or achievement, and no one argues that they do. But they can differ from all other available measures in two respects: their standardization and their independence of education insider control. To be truly standardized, the same content must be administered in the same manner to all … Continue reading “The US Test Mess”


The Rot of the Prestigious Colleges

Parents will go to all sorts of lengths to give their children a leg up. In Guilty Admissions: The Bribes, Favors, and Phonies Behind the College Cheating Scandal, journalist Nicole LaPorte digs into how and why parents decided to work with the “college counselor” Rick Singer. LaPorte describes Singer’s strategies to place students in highly … Continue reading “The Rot of the Prestigious Colleges”


Did You Know? The Students Hurt Most by School Closings

Over 20 percent of college students come from lower-income families, according to Inside Higher Ed. These students face the worst effects of school closings due to the pandemic—whether they’re in high school or college now. Elementary school students may be even worse off. Yale economist Fabrizio Zilibotti co-authored a study that found: Pandemic-related school closures … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Students Hurt Most by School Closings”


Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’

The members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors are charged with a solemn duty: to oversee and guide the state’s public university system. Although some of their day-to-day responsibilities might seem mundane, many of the decisions they make shape the system’s standards, values, and the extent to which the university’s dual mission … Continue reading “Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’”


‘Core’ Academics Neglect Social, Emotional Learning—Music Education Can Change That

One of the most important aspects of our society is educating our children to properly function within it. While the education system is centered around the “core” academics, research in recent decades has suggested that Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has unrealized benefits for academic prowess and well-being. SEL is “the process through which children … Continue reading “‘Core’ Academics Neglect Social, Emotional Learning—Music Education Can Change That”


If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?

The COVID-19 pandemic probably won’t kill the SAT, but will no doubt leave it in a badly weakened condition. Both the SAT (and its close competitor, the ACT) have had to cancel administration of their tests for the last few months and, according to this Washington Post story, universities have decided that they will make … Continue reading “If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?”



GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One 

At a time when only 41 percent of college students graduate in four years—and only 56 percent in five years—colleges and universities across the country are phasing out the only truly objective measure of academic excellence and student success in the application process: standardized tests. Next month, for example, the University of North Carolina Board … Continue reading “GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One “