The SAT Just Got A Lot Less Impossible
Despite the incessantly clamorous criticism delivered from all sides over the degree to which the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) should (or shouldn’t) determine a student’s value to a university, it hasn’t gone anywhere. On the contrary, it remains to this day the most critical section of nearly every student’s application. It has been the nightmare that haunts high school seniors across the nation and that is unlikely to change any time soon. But believe it or not, the future is bright for tomorrow’s students, as the SAT has been fundamentally redesigned in such a way that is said to be a direct response to the controversy. Albeit, it’s still a standardized test, which means it’s still dreadful. But with the new changes, students are expected to be much more equipped to perform to the best of their abilities. Now those high scores will be all the more attainable, especially with the help of a private tutor. Manhattan, rest assured, has the best of the best in that respect.
Much of the dispute stemmed from the No Student Left Behind Act, signed into effect by the George W. Bush administration in 2001, which required public school students across the nation to take the same exam. Schools where students underperformed faced repercussions, which ultimately proved to be counterproductive. Many teachers lost their jobs and students were rarely afforded an alternative once their schools were exposed as having inadequate teachers.
The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), enacted by the Obama administration in December of last year, will allow each state to develop its own exams, provided that they are approved by the federal government. Based on values, social background, and a number of other factors, education can vary tremendously depending on location, which is why the idea of mandating a universal curriculum across a country of over 300 million people turned out to be a categorical failure. This new act aims to reverse that, by allowing the exams to be designed to reflect what the students are learning in that area. So in other words, the government will still keep its eye on schools, but now they have much more say in how to assess their students.
The changes were received with a rare bipartisan support, which in turn led to other aspects of the nation’s education to act accordingly. A matter of months following the enactment of the ESSA, the college board introduced a new version of the SAT that is aimed more at accountability than aptitude. In prior versions, students had to scrounge to learn massive amounts of vocabulary they’d never before seen or used and learn to recognize them in the context of complex critical reading passages, all while keeping up with their in school performance and while applying for college.
The new version is designed to reflect what the students are learning in school. So they still will have to study until their heads hurt, but at least the material they study will draw from what they are learning in school. That’s what accountability is. The concept of measuring a student’s natural intelligence by having him or her learn new words is a flawed system and that has grown exceedingly clear over these past years. But with the new exam, that should no longer be a problem, as the exams now will require students to analyze passages that are drawn from the curriculums they’re learning in class.
To put this all into context, your child’s potential now has a much further reach. Now, when you tell your child to study hard in school and he or she will succeed, you can say so with sincerity. And to solidify that potential, there’s no more promising way to ensure your child’s success than with a private tutor. Manhattan will take good care of you. Set up a meeting with Big Apple Tutoring today by contacting us at 212-479-0830.