College Board ditching optional essay on the SAT college entrance exam, among other changes
The College Board, best known for the SAT college entrance exam and Advanced Placement exams for high school kids, will stop providing several assessments to “reduce demands on students,” according to the company. In an announcement Tuesday, the New York-based College Board said that it will discontinue the optional essay that comes with the SAT […]
Despite COVID-19, 2.2 million kids in the Class of 2020 took the SAT exam — but average scores fell
Average scores on the SAT college entrance exam dropped for the graduating Class of 2020, across the country and in Florida, the New York-based College Board announced Wednesday. The good news: “Members of the class of 2020 were able to take the SAT before COVID caused shutdowns across the world—on the weekend and increasingly in […]
The reprieve is over: FL students will have to take state exams in 2020-21, even in a pandemic
Earlier this year, Florida public school students got a reprieve from taking standardized exams, as the COVID-19 crisis was emerging. But that reprieve is over. The Florida Department of Education confirmed Friday in a memo that standardized tests will be a part of the school calendar in 2020-21. The statewide exams for reading, math and […]
What kids (and parents) should know: FL is revamping English and math standards and reducing state exams
Florida education officials rolled out new academic standards Friday for what kids should know in English Language Arts and math, ranging from old-fashioned cursive writing to back-to-basics memorization of math facts. The new standards are called B.E.S.T., or “Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking,” and would eliminate Common Core academic standards that had riled families and […]
Bright Futures scholarships’ new popularity puts financial pressure on state legislators
More Florida students are taking advantage of the Bright Futures scholarships, which pay full university or college tuition for top-performing students. That’s a good thing for kids and families, but it means more money — millions more. And the scholarships’ rising popularity will put pressure on state lawmakers as they prepare to build a state […]
How well did Florida students do on the Class of 2019 ACT exam?
Florida’s graduating class of 2019 shows a mixture of results on the ACT college entrance exam — both good and bad. The good is: Florida’s score of 20.1 across all test sections – English, reading, math and science – is up from 19.9 in 2018. The bad is: The scores likely went up because fewer […]
Big changes afoot on the ACT exam used for college admissions
With thousands of students across the nation taking the ACT college entrance exam on Saturday, it’s good to know about significant changes down the road that could help kids boost their scores. For the first time in 60 years, and starting with the 2020 September test date, students who have already taken the exam will […]
Something is awry in the education world
Something is awry in the education world – I call it a disconnect. Your child has followed the grade school and high school curricula, taken state exams designed to prepare kids for college, and earned a diploma. Then comes the disconnect: Your child is not prepared for college work. The data prove it when you […]
From celebration to criticism: How college rankings really work and can schools game the system?
From clapping and cheering to publishing praises from politicians, Florida got a lot of publicity this week about some big boosts in the popular college rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. But beyond the good news, particularly about Florida State’s big hike in the rankings, little was said about how the rankings are […]
What students around the nation are thinking about school safety and mental health
With mental health issues in the forefront in Florida after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a new nationwide survey is gauging what high school students across the country think about school safety, mental health services and the overall school environment. Overall, 71 percent of 10th through 12th graders said they strongly agreed […]
Young girls and women are making inroads in science but not enough — and who’s to blame?
Earlier this summer, the head of the National Institutes of Health made headlines by saying it’s time to end the tradition in science of “all-male speaking panels, sometimes wryly referred to as ‘manels.’” “Too often, women and members of other groups underrepresented in science are conspicuously missing in the marquee speaking slots at scientific meetings […]
Virtual Alexa is moving into the college admissions world
For kids navigating the college admissions process, don’t worry about parents, test prep coordinators and guidance counselors: a robot has your back. The virtual computerized personal assistant with a female voice used by Amazon devices – the Alexa you hear on TV commercials – is moving into the college admissions world, courtesy of testing giant […]