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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 23, 2010 / 9 Iyar, 5770

California Dumbs Down Tests

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When it comes to education trends, as California goes, so goes the nation. Which is all the more reason to be concerned about the latest effort in California to dumb down standards. The University of California's Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) has launched another salvo in its long-running war against the SAT, the test used by many colleges and universities to assess academic achievement among high school seniors. This is only the latest in a series of moves by BOARS against the SAT, but this one may be a stalking horse to eliminate standardized tests in general, especially if they conflict with the goal of promoting racial and ethnic diversity.

BOARS has already eliminated a requirement that University of California applicants take at least two subject-matter tests in addition to the SAT Reasoning Test. Now BOARS is taking aim at the SAT directly. What makes the action more suspicious is that BOARS' own report notes that the SAT-R was developed specifically in response to testing principles it promulgated and that the new test "adds significant gains in predictive power of first year grades at UC." Nonetheless, BOARS is now recommending that students forgo the SAT in favor of the less-popular ACT.

Both tests have been accepted for more than 30 years and do a good job of predicting first-year grades. So why is BOARS now signaling preference for one test over another? After reading the report, it's hard to come away without feeling that the real target is standardized testing in general.

As numerous studies and the raw data on test scores have shown, performance on standardized tests varies not just between individuals but also between different racial and ethnic groups. In general, black and Latino students perform less well as a group than do white and Asian students. Since BOARS is committed to boosting the number of black and Latino students admitted to the UC system, standardized tests that do not produce politically correct results are a problem. It's not too far-fetched to wonder whether BOARS' effort to discourage students from taking the SAT may be the first step in getting rid of standardized tests altogether.

Letter from JWR publisher


But getting rid of standardized tests is not the way to solve the problem of underperforming black and Latino students. Standardized tests, whether they be the SAT or state tests taken to assess elementary and secondary school performance required by the No Child Left Behind Act, merely document the skills gap that exists between whites and Asians on the one hand and blacks and Latinos on the other. The answer isn't fixing the tests to produce more even results between racial groups but improving the skills of those students who lag behind.

In 1996, voters in California did away with racial preferences in college admissions to state schools by enacting Proposition 209. Since then, many administrators in the UC system have tried to figure out a backdoor way to boost admissions of blacks and Latinos to the university's flagship schools, UC Berkley and UCLA. What they've failed to notice is that black and Latino enrollment system-wide is up over the levels when racial preferences were common. The students now enrolled under more race-neutral standards are doing just fine, graduating in higher percentages than they were when racial preferences admitted many students to campuses where they couldn't compete with their peers because their grades and test scores were substantially lower.

Eliminating standardized tests or dumbing down their contents doesn't help anyone. It simply sweeps evidence of academic disparities under the rug, where they can't be dealt with. If California really wants to improve education for all its students, it will work to keep high standards in place and encourage students to test what they have learned. California students prefer the SAT to other standardized tests, judging by the numbers who take this test now. BOARS' job should be to encourage students to make their own choices about which test they prefer, not to pick one test over another — but most of all not to discourage the use of standardized tests altogether in the hopes of promoting greater diversity.

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JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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