Monday, November 23, 2015

How the College Board Corrupts the Youth

Now I'm really angry. The College Board, in its infinite wisdom, has just "delayed" scores for students who took the SAT test "in the Asia region." Yeah, that includes Thailand, Taiwan, and Singapore, where our students went to escape the known scam of Hong Kong.

To hell with students and their parents. To hell with universities around the United States awaiting results.

Somebody was cheating! This had NOTHING to do with the fact that we morons at the College Board re...leased a two-year old exam offered previously, and publicly available, in the United States!
And of course, no money back when the College Board does not give the product you purchased.

Years of preparation by wonderful young people, tens of thousands of dollars spend on education, studying until late at night, and it all comes down to this: admissions into American colleges is overseen by two corrupt and incompetent organizations, the College Board and the ACT, who don't give a damn about ruining the lives of young people and making the United States look foolish (again) in the eyes of the world.

Our kids are supposed to apply at the end of this week. What are the odds that the colleges they want to study at, will let them in? What a heartless, incompetent, lying, corrupt organization the College Board is.

Sorry that my only two posts ever having to do with the Underworld came right in a row -- God willing, I'll be my normal cheerful self by the next post.  Unless the College Board finds a way of screwing up our kids lives any more than they already have. 

Postscript: We just got a phone call from the mother of an excellent student who wants to come here next semester to take my classes. He went to Hong Kong and took the test this month, recognized it -- he'd studied that very test -- and realized he could easily get all the answers right without thinking. So he deliberately marked some wrong, for fear they wouldn't believe it.

And that's without "cheating" at all.

So that's how the College Board is teaching Asians to be dishonest.  Athens famously "sinner against philosophy" for accusing Socrates of "corrupting the youth" of her city.  They should have had the College Board drink hemlock instead. 


bbrown said...

It's all a game and a sham. I figured this out in the 1970's as a high school student. There are many preperation books out there which are full of sample tests. The questions are just about identical to the ones you find on the exam. Once I figured this out my score went from very mediocre to almost perfect. Maybe 15 minutes a day with these books of sample tests and you can figure out all the tricks that these standardized tests use, and it really is just a set of trick questions for the most part. Ditto the vocab lists - there is a very narrow set of words that you can cover if you have the motivation.

Even without all the above problems, of course, there is also the concern that these tests only test a very narrow aspect of knowledge and intelligence.

David B Marshall said...

I agree the skills tested are limited, but when done right, I don't think the SAT is worthless. Most SAT prep books have some 7000 vocabulary words, and they're not interchangeable. And many SAT vocab is not included in all those books. Typically, non-native speakers have to study for about two years to get decent scores -- if they work hard, and if they're reasonably smart. I admit US high school kids can make much more rapid progress, with a little effort.

The grammar contains typical "tricks," but you'll only know them if you're a native speaker who reads decently to begin with -- then the prep helps. The reading typically takes a lot of vocabulary and genuine skill in reading -- it's a long, hard slog for people who don't read well. You really do have to learn the English language pretty well get a high score on SAT reading, unless the lazy scoundrels give the very same test beforehand, as in this case.

bbrown said...

Yes, I agree with all you said David. I was being overly cynical I think. In fact, I must say that when I put nose to grindstone and studied the prep books, I learned a ton.
I was thinking more of the math section re. the "tricks". There really are a lot of what I would call trick questions. If you learn the one little (totally not obvious or intuitive, at least to me) trick, you can get the question right. And there is a limited number of these that you can learn from the books.

I call it a game because, if you have enough gumption to figure it out, you can ace the test with some prudent prep. In which case it really is in no way any real measure of intelligence. It might be more a measure of who has motivation, and perhaps who has listened to good advice: both could be seen as relevant to future success, of course.

I am sorry for the horrible situation you are facing with the exam board. I promise to remember this in my prayers.

David B Marshall said...

Thanks, William. Kind of you. I've thought a bit about pursuing this issues with an article, or contacting the US media in some way.

bbrown said...

Fortunately we have other excellent alternatives to the traditional university system in the USA, which has, in many cases become ossified, anti-Christian extensions of the gov't.
IMO, many of these institutions provide a much better value. For example, Hillsdale College recieves bo gov't funds,and is therby free to actually teach whatever they want (ie: no PC revisionism nonsense). There are many great alternatives over here: King's College in NYC, St. John's in Annapolis, Patrick Henry in VA, Grove City in PA, Aquinas College, etc. I have a list somewhere that I've been adding to over the years as I discover new schools that are great.

God bless,