With this year being the first year that the new format of the Scholastic Assessment Test, better known as the SAT, was given to the juniors and has raised controversial questions of whether the school districts should do more to prepare students for the SAT and by doing so should the school curriculum be based on the SAT. This issue has been on the spotlight recently because some school districts feel that the one test would essentially determine the future of one of their high school students as well as the overall school ranking. Because of this, they feel the need to prep their students as best they can by changing the school’s curriculum to be revolved around the SAT.
The SAT has three sections, which are Reading, Writing, and a Math section, according to the College Board website. It does not test students in areas of Science, History, and the Arts. By focusing on what the SAT is testing on will allow students to become “experts” in the fields of English and Mathematics while missing out on other fields of study.
Instead of having to lose creative fields, school districts have decided to instead adopt the common core, a set of clear college and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. By aligning the curriculum with the common core, schools are able to preserve their creative areas besides Math and English while still being able to prepare for the new SAT.
With the new SAT being based upon the common core, this transition for schools to follow the common core would be helpful to aid students as the classes that they’ve been taking their whole lives was essentially to help prepare for the big test date in April.
The DHS curriculum is currently based “more around the Common Core than the ACT,” English teacher, Mary Swanson said.
Swanson has also expressed the fact that the schools shouldn’t necessarily need more funding in order to prepare for the SAT because as long as they are following the Common Core standards, the students should be more than ready in doing well with the SAT.
“I think that since our school is already in line with the Common Core, our curriculum is technically also around the SAT as it follows the standards of the Common Core,” Swanson said.
By having the school curriculum around the SAT, it allows students to master the two subjects to the point where they can become experts in those fields and to do extremely well on the SAT but lack in other fields like the arts. At the same time if the curriculum is around the Common Core it limits students to their full capacity but allows students to learn a plethora of knowledge that helps expose them to new fields of academics that they might have not known before. Either choice has its benefits and drawbacks, but only time will tell to see whether the DHS curriculum will change after this years experiment with the new SAT.
For more information about the debate between adopting a SAT curriculum click here.
By: Abraham Yum