Maine eyes the big test

Will all high school students in the state of Maine pass through a Kaplan test-prep course on their way to graduation? The Boston Globe reports that the land of the lobster may soon swap its Maine Educational Assessment test for the SAT. If adopted, the state would pay for every 11th grade student to take the test once. According to the state's education commissioner, the move would encourage students to take advantage of postsecondary opportunities. The need to align high school graduation standards with college entrance requirements is real, so by those lights Maine is moving in the right direction. But there are a number of problems. For one thing, students would not be required to achieve any particular score on the SAT in order graduate, thereby rendering the exam toothless. Further, the SAT is basically content-free; a better solution would be to develop content-rich end-of-course or exit exams, like those in Virginia and New York, and tie them to college admissions. But with Michigan contemplating the use of the ACT in place of its current high-school exit test, it looks like we officially have a trend.

"Maine officials may adopt SAT," by Anand Vaishnav, Boston Globe, August 31, 2005

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