---------- > From: Michael Paul Goldenberg <email@example.com> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > Subject: Re: Time for Moderation > Date: Saturday, July 29, 2000 05:35 > > It strikes me that there are (at least) two kinds of people in this country: > those who believe in the power of numerical data to tell clear-cut,
It strikes me that there are (at least) two kinds of people in this country: those who believe in the power of numerical data to tell clear-cut, objective stories about such slippery phenomena as human potential or behavior, and those who don't ;^)
In my experience, it is pointless to argue from a rational perspective with those who KNOW that "subjective" tests like portfolios really produce data that SPEAKS.
Obviously, Charlie's suggestion that a student's whole record be looked at assumes that it will be looked at by a [shudder!] Intel box, a fallible but unthinking creature whose experience and judgment (quantify THOSE!) come into play. Guidelines can be written, rubrics developed, but in the end, there will be one of those horrid, silicon beasts and its (ahem) 'statistics package' making decisions. Any counselor or admissions officer who tells you s/he doesn't use his/her 'box' when advising or admitting is out of date.
What troubles me and I suspect Wayne is that no matter how loud and long testing companies warn EVERYONE to use test scores at all, some American idiots just won't. And some of those idiots seem to inhabit discussions on professional lists of educators who, if they'd bothered to take and heed courses in measurement, should certainly know better. The result is a country admits students into higher learning based on an old boy network rather than proven ability.
I'm not suggesting that anyone on this list would support such activity today, but I'm not sure that some similarly heinous decision wouldn't be supported by some here in their misguided beliefs about the power of test scores to tell an accurate picture about people. Is the holistic or humanistic view guaranteed to do better? Of course not. But I'd take my chances with any system that looks at SAT scores as well as those marvelous FUZZY data over one that deludes itself into believing it's purely objective. It's harder to take responsibility for decisions when one can say, "The test scores did it."