We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If their mission was truly about education, then they would start with the SAT test and structure an educational program that would bring students with an educational deficit up to par, before having them embark on a program major. If this were truly their mission, they would be underwriting it with their endowment, because "equity" factors prominently in their avowed mission. What better direct use of "Equity"?
Alas, there's apparently a layer of hot bullsh*t between the rubber and the road.
The correlation of the SAT and IQ did not "just happen". I suggest reading The Big Test: the history of the American Meritocracy, by Lemann. It describes in great detail the efforts by ETS and their psychometricians to build on the military's testing experience and identify the "best and brightest". A fascinating read.
It is a shame that the SAT (and ACT) are bing abandoned for "equity" as they have demonstrable predictive power as to who will succeed in college. Unfortunately, they also highlight the dismal achievements of our public schools...
This is true, but there are a few dirty little secrets. When it became clear that boys were outperforming girls in Math in the 1960s & 70s - only slightly, but that matters at the extremes - they started rejiggering the questions so that the ones the girls did less well on were eliminated. They gradually figured out which types those were, so that the test would be "fair." (Spoiler: spatial rather than arithmetic or word problems.) Because obviously if the girls do worse, that's not fair. Even though they had an almost exactly offsetting advantage in verbal. Which was not rejiggered. A lot is made of the
When they went to the three-part test, including writing samples, this was supposed to make it harder for the Asian students who were trying to get in to American schools and knocking the stuffing out of us. But they got expensive coaching and otherwise learned how to game the system, so it didn't matter.
I recall that the tests were recentered in the early 90s, which makes it even harder to guage what is up.
Assistant Village Idiot
It's all but impossible to devise any written test that won't separate people out by IQ. Even if it's a subject matter test on the best way to clean floors or load a dishwasher, the test scores will reflect the IQ of the people taking the test.
Yes. Eventually most tests are IQ tests. Sometimes it takes a while to show. The clear exceptions are based on very concrete other abilities, such as perfect pitch or how high you can jump.
Assistant Village Idiot
Well, I found the following an interesting take on the SAT. It's based on a sorting test, but it does in a way reflect whether the student has the expected knowledge base that the schools expect to start as pre-requisites.
In 1914, a professor in Kansas invented the multiple-choice test. Yes, it’s less than a hundred years old.
There was an emergency on. World War I was ramping up, hundreds of thousands of new immigrants needed to be processed and educated, and factories were hungry for workers. The government had just made two years of high school mandatory, and we needed a temporary, high-efficiency way to sort students and quickly assign them to appropriate slots.
In the words of Professor Kelly, “This is a test of lower order thinking for the lower orders.”
A few years later, as President of the University of Idaho, Kelly disowned the idea, pointing out that it was an appropriate method to test only a tiny portion of what is actually taught and should be abandoned. The industrialists and the mass
educators revolted and he was fired.
The SAT, the single most important filtering device used to measure the effect of school on each individual, is based (almost without change) on Kelly’s lower-order thinking test. Still.
The reason is simple. Not because it works. No, we do it because it’s the easy and efficient way to keep the mass production of students moving forward.
The SAT shows enormous correlation with the full-scale multitests like the WAIS and the Stanford-Binet. It is a shorthand, but it's a darn good one. The military use of multiple-choice tests correlates well with what the recruit will actually succeed at.
It is possible to argue that there is a type of open-ended thinking that none of these tests measure all that well (though there are subtests that do so). Yet when we design tests to measure that harder-to-define intelligence, we find that they still correlate with the regular tests. The SAT is a better predictor of college success than GPA - as it was decades ago when college was different.
g-factor intelligence is only one thing, and a lot of other stuff goes into success, varying by activity and definition of success. But it does generalise across many fields of endeavor. Indeed, there is a necessary minimum for any task, even digging ditches.
Assistant Village Idiot