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By Robert J. Sternberg

SATs, ACTs, GPAs. we all know that those rankings can’t inform a faculty every thing that’s very important approximately an applicant. yet what else may still admissions officials search for, and the way can they realize it after they see it? In university Admissions for the twenty first Century a number one researcher on intelligence and creativity bargains a daring and functional method of collage admissions trying out. Standardized checks are measures of reminiscence and analytical abilities. however the ever-changing international society past a faculty campus wishes greater than simply these traits, argues Robert Sternberg. Tomorrow’s leaders and voters additionally desire creativity, practicality, and knowledge. How can the possibility of these advanced characteristics be measured? One solution is “Kaleidoscope,” a brand new initiative in undergraduate admissions, first used at Tufts collage. Its open-ended questions for candidates, and the capability used to attain the solutions, provides candidates and admissions officials the opportunity to move past standardized assessments. Does it paintings? As Sternberg describes intimately, Kaleidoscope measures expected first-year educational luck, over and above SATs and highschool GPAs, and estimated first-year extracurricular actions, management, and energetic citizenship in addition. and each 12 months that Kaleidoscope measures have been used, the getting into class’s typical SATs and highschool GPAs went up too. What labored at Tufts can paintings somewhere else. New varieties of tests, like Kaleidoscope, can unlock many schools and scholars from the narrowness of standardized exams and encourage new ways to educating for brand spanking new types of gifted, stimulated electorate of the area.

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Afraid of their own perceived future culpability, they may decide that the potential costs of taking such a risk are greater than the potential benefits. Pressure from Published Ratings It would be hard to overestimate the effects that published ratings have on the behavior not only of colleges, but also of elementary and secondary schools. Many, and probably most, elementary and secondary schools are shamelessly teaching to the standardized tests their students will have to take. They have to—the No Child Left Behind Act has given them little choice.

First, the cart somehow came to be placed before the horse: commercial interests came into play before the science of assessment had much opportunity to develop. Second, a small number of commercial enterprises largely monopolize the testing business, and many of the researchers in the field (including myself) have either worked for, or have been supported financially or otherwise by, these organizations. Such organizations, like any others, will continue doing what is profitable for them. Third, we have been and continue to be entranced by the notion of accountability, while largely ignoring just how narrow our cognitive and educational measures of accountability are.

When I get to Arizona, instead of giving a talk on college admissions or leadership or something about which I really have some knowledge, I do a rain dance. The question is whether, later in the day, it will rain. Given that I am in Arizona, that is scarcely likely. So the town that has invited me asks for double its money back. I explain that there has been a grave misunderstanding: this is Arizona; they can scarcely expect the rain dance to work in just one day. In an arid environment like this one, it may take weeks or even months for the rain finally to come.

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