Search results for: "SAT"

The Los Angeles Times reported on the latest FBI arrest of one of the domestic terrorists who participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol:

A UCLA student who posted white supremacist views online and founded an ultra-right campus organization has been charged with federal crimes for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.

The student, Christian Secor, was captured on video sitting in the chair that Vice President Mike Pence had hastily vacated after a pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol, according to the FBI. 

FBI agents, assisted by a SWAT team, arrested Secor, 22, at his Costa Mesa home Tuesday morning after searching the residence, said Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman. 

Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have charged Secor with assaulting or resisting a police officer, violent entry and remaining on restricted grounds, civil disorder and obstructing an official proceeding. 

During an appearance in federal court in Orange County on Tuesday, a U.S. magistrate ordered that Secor be held without bail.

Secor was captured on both video and still images in a red Make America Great Again hat occupying the chair where Pence had sat while presiding over the Senate’s certification of electoral college votes, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Benjamin Elliott.

A man was captured on video camera inside the Senate chambers sitting at the Presiding Officer's chair

At least 11 tipsters identified Secor as the man in the video and still images either standing on the Senate floor or on the dais sitting in Pence’s chair… 

After video of the scene surfaced on the New Yorker’s website, investigators obtained security camera video of Secor in the hallways, Rotunda area and Senate floor, the affidavit said.

Moments earlier, Secor was with a mob forcing his way past at least three police officers and through a set of double doors into the Capitol, Elliott said in the sworn statement. 

“As a result of Secor and others pushing on the double doors … the doors opened and dozens of additional rioters flooded into the building,” Elliott wrote. “The Capitol Police officers were shoved by the crowd, at times trapped between the doors and the crowd, and eventually pushed out of the way of the oncoming mob.”

Agents also found that Secor had broadcast live from the Capitol using DLive, a videostreaming service built on blockchain technology. 

In the livestream, Secor uses the moniker Scuffed Elliot Rodger, an apparent reference to the man who killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in 2014 and became a hero to “incels” — a fringe group of sexually frustrated men who blame women for their misery and often advocate for violence against them.

The SAT is in trouble. Its business model is threatened by the more than 1,000 colleges and universities that no longer require it for admission. Many more higher education institutions dropped the SAT due to the pandemic. The SAT is big business. It collects more than $1 billion each year in revenue. Its CEO, David Coleman, was architect of the Common Core standards, with a background at McKinsey. His salary is about $1 million a year. He achieved notoriety when he promoted the Common Core and came out against personal essays; he told an audience of educators in New York State that when you grow up, no one “gives a sh—“ about how you feel. They want facts. His Common Core curriculum insisted on the study of more non-fiction, which drove down the teaching of literature.

Some relevant history: The SAT was created in the 1920s as a replacement for the traditional College Boards, exams that were written and graded by high school teachers and college professors. The leaders of the College Board decided to adopt the SAT on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day, when it was clear that the nation was entering the War. The author of the standardized, machine-scored SAT was a Princeton psychologist named Carl C. Brigham. He wrote a notoriously racist book called A Study of American Intelligence, in which he used the I.Q. tests of World War 1 to compare the various races. Brigham was a pioneer in the development of I.Q. testing; like most psychologists at the time, he believed that I.Q. was innate, fixed, and inherited, rather than a product of environment and .educational opportunity

Coleman’s latest move to protect profitability involved scrapping subject tests and the essay question.

Critics saw the changes not as an attempt to streamline the test-taking process for students, as the College Board portrayed the decision, but as a way of placing greater importance on Advanced Placement tests, which the board also produces, as a way for the organization to remain relevant and financially viable.

“The SAT and the subject exams are dying products on their last breaths, and I’m sure the costs of administering them are substantial,” said Jon Boeckenstedt, the vice provost for enrollment management at Oregon State University...

In recent years, the SAT has come under increasing fire from critics who say that standardized testing exacerbates inequities across class and racial lines. Some studies have shown that high school grades are an equal or better predictor of college success.

More than 1,000 four-year colleges did not require applicants to submit standardized test scores before the pandemic, and the number rose — at least temporarily — as the coronavirus forced testing centers to close and made it difficult for many students to safely take the test.

Perhaps the biggest hit came in May, when, following a lawsuit from a group of Black and Hispanic students who said the tests discriminated against them, the influential University of California system decided to phase out SAT and ACT requirements for its 10 schools, which include some of the nation’s most popular campuses.

The College Board acknowledged that the coronavirus had played a role in the changes announced on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the pandemic had “accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce the demands on students.”

But David Coleman, the chief executive of the College Board, a nonprofit organization that in the past has reported more than $1 billion a year in revenue, said that financial concerns were not behind the decisions, and that despite the growing number of schools making the SAT optional, demand for the test was still “stronger than some would expect.”

He said the organization’s goal was not to get more students to take A.P. courses and tests, but to eliminate redundant exams and reduce the burden on high school students. “Anything that can reduce unnecessary anxiety and get out of the way is of huge value to us,” he said.

Some experts, though, said eliminating the subject matter tests could have the opposite effect, increasing pressure on students to take A.P. courses and exams, especially in their junior year, so credits can be submitted in time for college admissions decisions.

Saul Geiser, a senior associate at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, said the move would “worsen the perverse emphasis on test prep and test-taking skills at the expense of regular classroom learning…”

At the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, officials dropped the SAT essay requirement in 2016 because they saw it as an undue burden on students, including an added fee, said Mike Drish, the university’s director of first-year admissions.

Mr. Drish said the university evaluated students’ writing preparedness based on their grades in English classes, as well as teacher recommendations and essays submitted as part of the admissions process.

For more on the uncertain future of the SAT, read this story in Inside Higher Ed.

Scott Jas him, a veteran reporter about higher education, writes:

Many observers — some of them long-standing critics and others sometime fans — say the College Board will be smaller and less influential in the future. And they expect most colleges that went test optional this year to stay that way, further eroding the board’s influence...

Although there were an increasing number of schools adopting test-optional admission policies, in this area, as in so many others, the pandemic has accelerated what will come to be permanent changes in the functioning of our society,” said Steve Syverson, a retired senior admissions official at the University of Washington at Bothell and Lawrence University.

“Lots of colleges didn’t really even need to require the SAT, as they were already admitting everyone who was admissible, but they didn’t want to eliminate it as a requirement because they felt it would devalue them,” Syverson continued. “In a sense, the pandemic — and the pervasive adoption of temporary test-optional or test-blind policies — gave them permission to eliminate the requirement. And I believe a large number of institutions will not return to requiring it. So I think there’s no going back.”

Syverson was the co-author of a 2018 report that found colleges that are test optional generally get more applications and more diversity among those applicants and among students...

Pat McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, which does not require tests for admissions, said, “Eliminating the SAT essay and subject tests is an admission of some problems in the SAT system, but hardly enough of an overhaul.”

She added, via email, “If the College Board really wants to save itself, it would eliminate the SAT entirely and, instead, become a leader in working with institutions to develop innovative strategies for assessing student strengths and competencies, not only in high school but across the life span, thus helping higher education do a better job of matching students and programs more effectively. More effective matching of student talents and interests would reduce attrition and wasted credits, save students money and increase completion, a win-win for everybody. But as it is right now, the SAT is simply a high barrier that funnels students without much concern for what happens to them once they get through the barrier.”

A high school counselor who asked not to be identified said, “My small-d democratic side says, goodbye tests, good riddance to chasing a test score, goodbye to a zillion-dollar test prep industry, goodbye to a built-in advantage to resourced kids and schools.” She is quick to add, though, that even if that happened, and the role of the College Board shrank, there would still be a need for changes in admissions to bring students from diverse backgrounds into higher education.

The other side for her is that “tests give the illusion of a meritocracy,” and that parents — at least of the wealthy — love tests. Eliminating the SAT would be very difficult in that environment, she said.

Link corrected!

In case you missed our Zoom conversation, this is the link to my discussion with Steve Suitts about his new book about the segregationist origins of “school choice.”

His book is “Overturning Brown: The Segregationist Legacy of the Modern School Choice Movement.”

Please join me on September 23 at 7 pm EST as I talk with Derek Black about his terrific new book, Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy. The discussion is sponsored by the Network for Public Education. Derek Black is a professor of law at the University of South Carolina who specializes in civil rights law. Hos excellent scholarship demonstrates that the Founding Fathers wanted a free and universal public school system for the new nation. Those now attacking it are vandals!

Donald Trump, stable genius, claims that Joe Biden is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, that is, when he’s not claiming that Biden is a tool of the “radical left.” Watch this conversation and make your own judgment. Ask yourself how Trump would fare without a script on a teleprompter. The film also serves to remind us of another Trump characteristic: He is utterly without empathy. He despises what he calls “losers.” It is impossible to forget the time he mocked a disabled journalist at one of his rallies. It’s easy to remember that he called John McCain a “loser” because he was a POW.

This is a most interesting unscripted discussion between Joe Biden and Ady Barkan.

Ady is a brilliant progressive activist who was a supporter of Sanders, Warren, and Medicare for all.

In 2016, he was stricken with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and is completely disabled. He is dying by the day.

He asks tough questions.

I recommend the conversation.

Friends and Neighbors,

Join us tomorrow, Saturday, August 22nd from 11:00 am until 12 noon, outside the Chevy Chase, DC Post Office on Connecticut Ave. and Northampton St., NW, just south of Chevy Chase Circle in Washington, DC to show support for:

The constitutional mission of the U.S. Postal Service, including priority for the secure delivery of ballots mailed from state election offices to voters and mailed by voters to their state election offices;

The men and women who sort and deliver the mail;

The immediate halt to the removal and disabling of vital postal infrastructure, including public mail boxes, mail sorting machinery and equipment needed for speedy mail delivery;

The immediate repair and replacement of the above equipment and restoration of overtime;

Immediate passage of the Delivering for America Act & protection for USPS whistleblowers;

The immediate resignation or firing of Postmaster Louis DeJoy.

Please wear a mask; we will observe social distancing.

Teresa Grana & Erich Martel

For other nearby events: https://tinyurl.com/y6n72jym

Nearby events include:

Post Offices in:

Old PO (Trump Hotel), DC 20004
Towson, MD 21204
Columbia, MD 21045
Frederick, MD 21701
Rockville, MD 201851 (Twinbrook PO)
Calvert Distribution Ctr, Riverdale Park, MD 20737
North Bethesda PO, MD 20817 (adjacent to Home Depot)
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Garrison Keillor’s “The Writers’ Almanac” reports that today the very first SAT was administered on a trial basis. It was created by Professor Carl C. Brigham of Princeton, one of the founding psychologists of the IQ test. Brigham wrote one of the most notoriously racist, anti-immigrant books of the 1920s. Brigham asserted that wide scale IQ testing demonstrated that whites from Northern Europe were superior to immigrants from southern and Eastern Europe and to American blacks. His book, “A Study of American Intelligence,” helped the movement to restrict immigration and reinforced virulent racism.

TWA noted the day:

It was on this day in 1926 that 8,040 college applicants, in 353 locations around the U.S., were administered an experimental college admissions test. The test was the brainchild of Carl Brigham, a professor of psychology at Princeton. Brigham had been an assistant during World War I for the U.S. Army’s IQ testing movement, the “Army Alpha,” which assessed the intelligence of new recruits. After the war, he tinkered with the test, mainly making it more difficult, but also looking for a measurement of pure intelligence, regardless of the test-taker’s educational background. Just 4 years later, however, Brigham came to believe that the test scores represented not “pure intelligence,” but rather “a composite including schooling, family background, familiarity with English and everything else, relevant and irrelevant.” The Scholastic Aptitude Test, now known as the SAT, was formally adopted in 1942. Today’s test takes three hours to complete.

The College Board decided to make the switch on December 7, 1941, because of the Japanese attack on the American base at Pearl Harbor. The college presidents were meeting at Princeton that day and realized the US would soon be at war. There would be no time for essay-based exams. In 1942, machine-scored, multiple-choice tests replaced the old College Boards, which had been created, written and scored by teams of teachers and professors.

Harvard University has dropped the SAT as a Condition of admission for the new class entering in fall 2021.

The Boston Globe reports:


In a pivotal decision that will likely ripple across higher education, Harvard University announced on Monday that it will not require next year’s undergraduate applicants to submit standardized test scores.

The decision comes amid fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and growing criticism that standardized test requirements unfairly penalize students of color.

A coalition of civil rights groups and education advocates intend to send a letter on Tuesday to elite colleges, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UMass Amherst, urging them to scrap the SAT and ACT altogether.

“[We] call upon you to stand up against practices that institutionalize racial inequity and take action to ensure your institution promotes the type of inclusive diversity that is critical for generating sustainable solutions and a better future for all,” says the letter, written by The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and signed by 10 other organizations and provided to the Globe.

Harvard’s decision is temporary. The university has defended its admissions policy and its strategy to build a diverse student body in court. Last fall, a federal district court judge in Boston ruled in favor of Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy, although opponents are looking to overturn that judgment on appeal.

Bad news for the College Board, which owns the SAT. Yale University is going test-optional for the class entering in fall 2021.

Today Yale became the fifth Ivy League school to adopt a test-optional policy for the class of undergraduates who will be applying for admission in the fall of 2021. It joins Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania who have also announced they would not require either the SAT or ACT for their Class of 2025 undergraduate applicants.

According to a statement on Yale’s website, students who can’t take exams or who decide not to report scores “will not be disadvantaged in the selection process.”

After infection risk from the coronavirus forced the College Board, the nonprofit that administers the SAT, to cancel multiple test dates this spring, schools started announcing test-optional admissions policies. One hundred eighty have done so since the pandemic hit, according to Bob Schaeffer of FairTest, a nonprofit that opposes the use of standardized tests in admissions. That brings the total number of test-optional schools to 1,244. (FairTest keeps a database of test-optional schools.)

It’s not clear whether these policies will survive the pandemic. But who knows?

Please join me in a zoom discussion with Julian Vasquez Heilig, dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.

We are talking On June 17 at 7:30 pm.

Julian Vasquez Heilig is a brilliant researcher and champion of equity. JVH had a stellar academic career at California State University, where he also served as chair of the education committee of the state NAACP. He was recently chosen as dean of the University of Kentucky College of Education, where he promises extraordinary leadership in a state beset by battles over charters and vouchers and teachers’ pensions. Dean Heilig has researched and written extensively about Teach for America and charter schools.

He blogs at “Cloaking Inequity,” where he displays his wit, erudition, and insight.

We will talk about his work, his research, his vision for the future.

Join us!