schools and standardised testing

Margaret Ball margaret at
Tue Dec 21 18:24:44 EST 2004

Allison wrote

>The precision of the tests
>cannot possibly be much better than grouping students in 3 categories
>(ie. above-average, average, below-average), but your marks in high
>school will do this anyways and will be a far better indication since
>they don't rely on a single day's performance.  

Umm. I don't think highly of the SATs and their like, but there's such 
an extreme variation in the quality of public schools in the USA that I 
don't think high school grades  by themselves are good predictors either.

I may be biased by the fact that the SATs worked well for me and for one 
of my daughters. I managed to drop out of an extremely crummy high 
school in 10th grade and get into a university based on very high SAT 
scores, and Sarah's SAT scores help to counterbalance a low overall GPA 
due to the fact that she totally screwed up in 9th grade.

Actually I don't suppose anything by itself is a good predictor. What 
one would like to have would be intelligent college admissions boards 
made up of people who would take the time to consider an applicant's 
entire record in context and....ok, ok, stop laughing hysterically. I 
said that's what I'd *like* to have.

Margaret Ball

It's finished! The bead embroidery book is here. Lots of pretty pictures at

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