The College Board deserves an F

For the third time in two weeks, the College Board has re-stated the unbelievably high number of mistakes it made in grading SAT test scores. During this time, the Board has issued false or incorrect information, confused anyone and everyone trying to make sense of what happened, and did huge damage to their credibility in the process.

As the parent of a high school senior, I can tell you the SAT scores are critically important. In fact, it’s not an exageration to say that our kid’s futures are, in part, influenced by the scores when a single point higher or lower could be the difference between an applicant’s being accepted or rejected.

So, when you read that some 4,400 test results were either reported as too high or too low, it makes you cringe. It also makes you start to wonder whether this is just the tip of the iceberg with the College Board mistakes. Are these just the latest mistakes? Or, are they the only ones to have seen the light of day? Has this been going on for years? Have incorrect scores hindered some kids and helped others? It boggles the mind.

But, what really boggles the mind is the College Board’s matter-of-fact handling of the crisis and its haughty decision not to make any refunds or adjust the costs downward for the next round of tests. This inability to acknowledge fault is a sad, but pervasive, fact of life in today’s society and can be found everywhere, including 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

So, speaking on behalf of all the parents and kids who depend on the College Board for accuracy, I’d like to pass along the Board’s final grades for the marking period:

Quality: F; Accuracy: F; Honesty: F; Humility: F-

6 thoughts on “The College Board deserves an F

  1. I concur with this point. Colleges need to place much more emphasis on their students obtaining internships and pre-career experiences before graduating. Too many of of these youngsters are not adequately prepared to compete. No doubt, even a minimal amount of real world experience would make a big difference.

  2. I’d rather advocate for something truly “enlightened” like cooperative education a la Northeastern University. Admissions criteria are all well and fine, but the four-year model is flawed and produces too few graduates able to hit the ground running in the business world. “Co-op” is where’s it at. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  3. I think you’re focusing on the wrong issue here. The SAT test is a completely flawed gauge, in the first place and should not be weighted with such importance. That’s why the most innovative schools (like the one I attended) have decided to do away with it entirely. (before you bash Drew, my esteemed partner from SouthWestern, understand that the president who did this was just a provost at Princeton). No credibility there…

  4. Syd, people have been talking about doing away with SATs since I took them. Ain’t gonna happen. Time for my nap.

  5. Although I’m not particularly gung-ho about standardized tests, I do realize why it’s in existence and why it refuses to go away. Until school curriculum becomes more standardized, SATs are here to stay. As of currently, comparing students’ high school achievements is like comparing apples to oranges. A high school in a small town most likely can’t compare to say… Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan – one of the best, if not the best, public high school in the U.S. So how do admission boards resolve this discrepancy? SATs, among other factors. People have also complained about the need for LSATs, GREs, GMATs, etc. But that’s the same argument as the SATs. Admission boards have to have something that is common to all to make “balanced” selections and rejections.

  6. The SAT doesn’t measure anything but an abiilty to take a standardized test. Colleges already base their decisions on
    various criteria, so why not abolish this relic?