To the Editor:
The article “Counselors Blast College Board’s Plan to Assign Students a ‘Disadvantage’ Score” discusses the College Board’s plan to expand the “adversity score” program on the SAT exam (May 20, 2019). This would factor the “level of disadvantage” points into the score.
Simply giving points to students based on their family income, environment, and educational differences, however, pigeon-holes them based on generalities rather than their skills and abilities. In order to ensure colleges and universities have sufficient information about a student, there must be systemic change at the secondary school level.
Envision a MAP (My Action Plan, which is something I implemented into Milwaukee Village School when I worked there) as a portfolio where students document their success from year to year through demonstrated assessments. What would be the requirements for graduation? Now, it is time to use your imagination.
The MAP is a portfolio of learning throughout the school years. What if a student, at any age, would present that portfolio to a university for acceptance? That university would then analyze it and would either accept the student or identify skills needed for future acceptance. The student would then return to high school or a community college to enhance those skills, and the university would be able to reassess the student for possible acceptance later. This way, students could hang on to their dreams and continue to move toward their life goals.
Students may choose a different course to follow but, either way, their decision would be based on information relative to their future, not just the SAT or other standardized tests. Children might not complete their education at the same time—some will do so sooner, some later. However, they will all successfully complete school, and that will give them hope for their future.
Eldon “Cap” Lee
A version of this article appeared in the June 12, 2019 edition of Education Week as A New College Assessment