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Valley Perspective

Use of SATs

February 25, 2001

The University of California wants to eliminate the SAT method of testing to determine if a high school student should be accepted by the university. The people who run the university think that a better way to determine if a high school student qualifies for UC is to discuss it with the student. These people in charge believe that the potential of a person is more important than actual performance.

This all sounds good to me. What the university should do is conduct one-on-one interviews with each student candidate. In these interviews, [ask] key questions, such as "What do you want to do?" If the student says, "Be a brain surgeon," it is clear that is the student's potential. Another student might want to be a safety engineer; think of all the safety that student could bring us. The limits of asking a student what potential fits him or her is limitless.

I like this approach: no more student dropouts, no more unhappy doctors and no more patients.

FRANCIS JANSEN

Northridge

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The illustrious R. C. Atkinson is overlooking two important points when moving to sack the SAT test.

First, you can improve a test, introduce a new test or abide by non-test criteria, but you cannot achieve perfection. Second, no one ever achieved Olympic performance at the high jump by practicing with a low barrier.

ANTHONY J. DI MILO

Northridge

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