The 1-2 punch

 Christian Talbot & Muhammad Ali, taken at Govinda Gallery in Washington, DC on September 20, 1995. What better picture for a blog post titled "The 1-2 punch" about DC-area private schools

Christian Talbot & Muhammad Ali, taken at Govinda Gallery in Washington, DC on September 20, 1995. What better picture for a blog post titled "The 1-2 punch" about DC-area private schools


On June 14, 2018, The Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article titled "An Ultra-Selective University Just Dropped the ACT/SAT. So What?" in which they reported:

On Thursday, the University of Chicago announced that it would no longer require the ACT/SAT for admission, becoming the most-selective institution ever to adopt a test-optional policy. With that, the South Side campus caused an admissions-obsessed planet to wobble. Several deans and college counselors predict that the move will soon prompt other high-profile colleges to abandon their testing requirements. At the very least, the national conversation about testing has changed, probably for good.

That was not good news for the College Board, maker of the SAT exam.

A mere five days later, the College Board received a second blow.

In a June 18, 2018 article titled, "Several well-known private schools in the D.C. area are scrapping Advanced Placement classes," the Washington Post reported that seven prominent DC-area independent schools took the unusual measure of releasing a joint statement announcing that they were dropping their AP programs:

The D.C.-area private schools said in their statement that over the years, many of their students had felt "compelled to take AP courses in the mistaken belief that failing to do so may hurt their college prospects."

But they said the proliferation of AP has made the transcript designation "less noteworthy" to college admissions officers. Before dropping AP, the schools surveyed nearly 150 colleges and universities about the potential impact. They said admission officers assured them the change would not hurt the chances of their students.

"Are they right?" said Christopher Gruber, dean of admission and financial aid at Davidson College, in an interview Monday. "Yeah, they are. It’s not going to hurt their kids."

There is a third, potentially knock-out punch coming: the Mastery Transcript Consortium is designing a software platform that will enable schools to present a far more nuanced portrait of learners than what grade-based transcripts and standardized test scores reflect.

Has your school pivoted away from standardized assessments in favor of student-centered forms of assessment?

If not, have you calculated the risk of not changing?

As Mike Tyson famously said, everybody has a plan... until they get punched in the mouth.

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