A gaggle of my colleagues gathered in California for a new conference on admissions related topics. This happens a few times each year – the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) has a national conference, and releases the most comprehensive study on the subject, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) has their national meeting, and you also have the CollegeBoard which has a national conference and their “colloquium” where a bunch of admissions deans get together to have another discussion about admissions. There’s about a dozen or so more each year, and I try to attend at least two or three each year.
You’d think after all of those meetings we’d have worked things out by now, but apparently that is not the case. The most recent addition managed to discover that (steady…wait for it) the SAT isn’t a really great tool! An article on the meeting in the Chronicle of Higher Education (which will only link from here for 5 days, since they are a subscriber service) reveals that the SAT isn’t great. It quotes an officer from the CollegeBoard saying that leadership and similar “noncognitive” attributes (those are the ones that aren’t your grades and scores) could be better tools but we need (again…wait for it) better tests.
I think I’ve finally found a way to work in education and get rich! A whole new industry can be built around prep for leadership and self determination testing. Not to actually teach leadership or self determination – just how to score really well on these tests. First I’ll need to develop a really coachable test (kind of like the writing test, but I wouldn’t want it to be that obvious). Then I’ll convince students they can’t possibly get in anywhere if they don’t take it, even if only a few schools look at it. Then I’ll create a prep program for the test. It might take a couple of years, but those of you in middle school can start saving up for my program now (rubs hands together while cackling maniacally). In the meantime, I’d beter finish planning my trip next month to Seattle for the NACAC conference. Wouldn’t want to miss out on the next chance to fix the process! Be seeing you.