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Will the New SAT Have Negative Consequences for Disadvantaged Students?

Will the New SAT Have Negative Consequences for Disadvantaged Students?

Many in the education field are worried that the newly redesigned SAT, slated to roll out this March, will have negative consequences for the country’s disadvantaged students, including immigrants and the poor.

The SAT is expected to include longer reading passages and more math problems with words, said the New York Times, and for this reason many are worried that students who struggle with and have not received proper support in reading will suffer.

"It has also led to a general sense that the new test is uncharted territory, leaving many students wondering whether they should take the SAT or its rival, the ACT. College admissions officers say they are waiting to see how the scores turn out before deciding how to weight the new test,” says the New York Times.

In other words, even college admission offices are confused as to how the new SAT should be weighted.

Indeed, many education experts are urging cautiousness when perceiving the eventual SAT results.

"Jed Applerouth, who runs a national tutoring service, estimated that the new math test was 50 percent reading comprehension, adding, in a blog post, that 'students will need to learn how to wade through all the language to isolate the math,’” said the Times. 

So why the change?

"College Board officials said the new test was devised to satisfy the demands of college admissions officers and high school guidance counselors for an exam that more clearly showed a connection to what students were learning in school.”

Considering that Common Core math is being taught in a majority of schools and favors problem-solving in word problems over mere formulas, this makes sense.

It also makes sense that longer reading passages will fill the redesign; Common Core places an emphases on nonfiction texts and primary sources that can oftentimes be more dense.

Some schools, the Times reports, aren’t willing to take the chance. Some are instead switching over to the ACT to avoid being a test subject for such an important exam. Others are sticking with what they know and taking the chance- only time will tell how students perform.

For more information about the upcoming SAT redesign, see here

Read the full story here. 

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/10/2016

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