Pathetic SAT Scores

Last week, the Tribune reported only 38.3 percent of Indiana’s Class of 2015 met college and career readiness benchmarks set by SAT. Further, they reported local educators say there are other factors besides SAT test scores that predict students’ post-secondary (that’s after high school) success. Nice try, but no prize.

There is only one word to describe Indiana student performance on the SAT and that is, “PATHETIC”. The responsibility for this horrible performance must rest at the feet of the teachers and administrators of our Indiana education system. Personally, I believe they have lost focus. The result is students are not ready for college or technical schools. Remedial classes, sometimes for no credit and always at some cost to the student, are required to get students ready for even introductory college level studies.

Why aren’t students prepared with math, language, and science skills? Maybe there has been too much time, money, and energy spent on things other than academics. Things like building new buildings and establishing “International Schools”. Things like huge, elaborate athletic complexes and untold hours practicing band and sports skills.

And, maybe, there are not enough hours in the classroom learning. I see students being dropped off of buses at 2:30 in the afternoon. Seems awfully early to me. I observe many school vacations during the year and months off in the summer. It appears that there are some students that spend way too many hours riding a bus rather than in class.

The result of the lack of success of students on SAT testing is that the can is kicked down the road. Universities and Trade Schools have to pick up the slack. Our high schools can say, “Oh, well. We tried”. This is unacceptable. This incredible near collapse of education is what has fueled the fires for Charter schools, other private schools, and home schooling. Those are not the answer. The answer is to take steps to cut away the chaff and bring focus back to the old “reading, writing, and arithmetic” of days gone by, then throw in science to top it off.

It is no wonder that many industries want to promote additional immigration of highly educated, highly skilled people. Our early education system is failing to produce enough graduates that go on to excel at the university level. Local educators can dance around all over the place, but the game of musical chairs stops with them still standing.

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About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As part of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest, I have a passion for a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I am also holder of three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science and the environment. I have little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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