Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
Lyft
July 23, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 35     (35 of 36 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
 
PAGE 35     (35 of 36 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
July 23, 2004
 

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2020. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.




NEWS, JULY 23, 2004 PAGE 11B Siegel realize it or all grown up in How many of enage years were up in thinking for, worry- , and dreading the SAT used the Scholastic Test, but now its the ubiquitous g Service theAp- really an I.Q. iust known by SAT. change, has only be- for our kids. SAThas Part of puberty. hits in 10th the PSAT--the P practice- -and dread when he mail. big test your score? times are you take it? ,Princeton ~tanley Kaplan? your parents .~nd on tutors and As much as the 11 bear. !ny of us remem- "It's the test and the so familiar to 're )art of the not said Nicholas In a recent inter- Jewish Family & he author of The History Meritoc- has written overview of birth, and of the SAT ~s the world it has make. It's a big, g book characters is a fascinating acation seventy years, the rot, affirma- tire action, and the rise of what Lemann calls the meritocracy. Lemann depicts the transformation of higher education from a privilege of a few prep schoo! boys to a basic necessity for the rest of the population. The change is partly due to the loss of a manufacturing base and the rise of the information economy where graduation from high school is no lon- ger adequate, and the desire and drive to go to the "best" college is part of the middle class ethos. Lemann also introduces us to a group of men who played key rolegin changing the notion of who should go to college They include James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard; Henry Chauncey, president of the Educational Testing Service, and Clark Kerr, chancellor of the Univer- sity of California. One of the main tools of this change was the SAT, the intent of which was originally to identify and pluck out intelligent young people who didn't go to the elite prep schools and put them on an Ivy League track. But through the entrepreneur- ship of the ETS and a shared notion of how to measure intelligence, what the SAT has turned into is a yard- stick to determine who gets admitted to which college. "A whole cult has been built around it," says Lemann. "One test helps to sort 16- and 17-year old kids and determine who makes it into college or not and what kind of college--an~ who ultimately succeeds in this society." Once the SAT was estab- lished as a pivotal factor in college admissions, it became clear that students from disadvantaged back- grounds (and in particular many African-Americans) were doing poorly on the test. Rather than take on the variety of social forces that may have contributed to the low scores--poor schools, deteriorating neighborhoods, a difficult home environment--the answer became affirmative action, easing the entrance requirements for people of color in colleges where SAT scores are a determining factor for admissions. One of the strengths of the book is to make the connection between the SAT with the fight over affirmative ac- tion. Lemann worked on The Big Test for seven years. He hadn't planned to make the SAT his focus. "I wanted to write a book about suc- cess and opportunity in the United States I stumbled across the Educational Testing Service as a way to dd it," he said. "It was hid- ing in plain sight like the purloined letter." The fact 16- and 17-year aids' life chances are deter- mined by one test bothers Lemann. "If you make a key moment in life be the moment when you are still incompletely formed, when you are living under your parents' roof, you're in trouble already," he said. What would he suggest to replace the SAT as a way to judge where students stand as they graduate high school and as at least some piece of determining college admission? Since he has made such a strong case against the test as a deter- minant of students' futures, it is rather surprising that Lemann does not advocate eliminating all tests the waY many do in the burgeoning movement against high stakes exams. Instead he suggests that schools establish a national curriculum and as students graduate, they take a national achievement test. Achievement tests as- sess what students should have learned, not what the SAT characterizes as "in- nate ability." In his mind, achievement tests assess the schools as much as they do their students. "It puts the burden on the schools," he said. If the students in a par- ticular school are not doing well, it's clear "the school is not teaching them right and they have to make a change," he said. So before you and your children get caught up in the SAT mania, read The Big Test. It's a fascinating book and will cause you to question some preconceived notions about how higher education and preparation for the larger world should work. Jessica Siegel is a free- lance writer specializing in education issues. She taught English for ten years at SewardPark High School, a large neighborhood high school in New York City. She currently writes for the Harvard Education School Magazine. This article origi- nally appeared in " www.JewishFamily.com. JewishFamily.com is pub- lished by the non-profit Jew- ish Family & Life/, which also publishes the journal Sh'ma and JFL Books, in addition to www.JVibe.com, www.MzVibe.com, www. GenerationJ.com, www.JBooks.com, and www.SocialAction.com. JewishFamily.com strives to help families apply Juda- ism and Jewish values to their everyday lives and to be a source of user-friendly, family-oriented informa- tion and entertainment. The organization hopes to provide a Jewish link to families who may not feel comfortable in traditional Jewish orgarlizations. COMPLETE EYE EXAMS BY CERTIFIED OPTOMETRIST 407-644.2211 145 S. Orlando Ave Maitland Corner Hwy. 17.92& Horatio ltonor Most Insurances Use Your Flex Plan tlere ATTENTION! Park Eyewear Patimts ~o~r ruor~ m .ow~ The Guber Optical and Eyeglass Boutique I I Includes Eye Exam Includes a 3 month supply of contacts & eyegla~ exam, Includes dai~ wear soft lenses Extra charge foe bifocals, upgraded lenses or to~. MOSt lenses in stock. Exp. 9/30/04 I Any Prescription lensesI I wl eye exam I I or purchase of frames I I p,e t c~pp. I II Exp. 9/30/04 j Need call us The Center for Counseling, Growth and Development 407.644.7593 O Jewish Fam ilg Sen, ices o f C 'e ate r Orlando The George Wolly Center 2100 Lee Road, Winter Park, 32789 407.644.7593 t ww.lewtshfamtlysen, tcesorlando.org RK~Tee-shirts ~1. I want L Zionist" are avail- the by Hadassah. hirts proudly Young Zionists Israel South Australia, and New ' raised Hadassah new Center cur- .by Hamagshi- student ish Agency's Global Student Summit last year, the campaign's purpose is to encourage pride and show support for Israel on college campuses, as well as promote discussion through the shirts' slogan. "Our campaign's message is simple and clear. In Israel's colors of blue and white our tee-shirts are meant to cel- ebrate Zionism with a positive message of peace," said Ben Sloviter, activism chair for the National Student Board of Hamagshimim. "I have called on activists from around the world to reclaim Zionism on their campuses." Tee-shirts are $5 and can be purchased by contacting Tall Berman, administra- tive assistant to Hamagshi- mira, at 212-303-4585 or berman@hamagshimim.org. Hamagshimim is the university expression of Young Judaea, which was founded in 1909 as the first Zionist youth movement in the US, and since 1968 has been exclusively spon- sored by Hadassah. Young Judaea seeks to impart a strong Jewish and Zionist identity to American Jew- ish youth of all affiliations through its network of social, cultural, and edu- cational programs, camps and conventions. Hadas- sah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Jewish, largest women's and largest Zion- ist organization in the US, and supports the Hadassah Medical Organization and education and youth insti- tutions in Israel. Hadassah's domestic programs include health education, volun- teerism, social action and advocacy, Jewish education and research, and forging partnerships with Israel. For more information, visit: www.hamagshimim.org or www.youngjudaea.org on the Internet. Center library open to all students Memo- visit the library to acquaint Holocaust, Modern Paral- Assistance is available and Educationthemselves with the materi- lels (Hate gr'oups, Nazis in from Mitchell Bloomer, ntral Florida, als available The collections America, Holocaust Deniers), Orange County Public Jewish Con> can be searched via computer Christianity and the Halo- Schools Resource Teacher Us in Maitland, throughthe Center's detailed caust, Resistance and Rescue, and other staff members. :Y of over5,000 database of its resources. Theological Interpretations, Materials can be checked 500audiovisual Material can be found under War criminals, Childrens out at no cost. refer- manysubjectsincludingAnti- Literature and more. The hours of operation are SemitismandPrejudice, Artof The Holocaust Memo- Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4 lrvivottheHolocaust(art, drama, mu- rial Center Library regularly p.m Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m sic, photography and poetry), addstothecollectionfromthe and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. teachers are Children in the Holocaust, constant flowofnewmaterial For more information, call encouraged to Genocide, Literature of the published. 407-628-0555. Providing Quality Preventive, Esthetic and Restorative Management for the Oral Health of our Patient Family Dental Associates of Maitland, P.A. i BernardA. Kahn, D.D.S. GEN ERAL D E?TISTR .Y m 926 N. Maitland Avenue--Maitland, FL 32751 (407) DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER I I I I I