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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 1997
The current flap over the use--or nonuse--of SAT scores for University of California admissions seems odd when one considers that many studies have shown a low correlation between SAT scores and academic success in college. Perhaps SATs should have been dumped a long time ago. ROLLINS BROOK Tarzana
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SPORTS
April 4, 2014 | By Ben Bolch
This was precisely why J.J. Redick wanted to come back when he did. So what if the Clippers shooting guard unfurled a clunker against the Dallas Mavericks in a game that will be forgotten by next week? Better than doing it in a playoff game, when an off performance could lead to an early off-season for a team with championship aspirations. That was the lesson Redick learned three years ago, when he sat out the final 17 games of the regular season for the Orlando Magic because of an abdominal injury and then came back for the first round of the playoffs.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2001
Re "UC Faculty Chief Backs Dropping SAT," Feb. 18, and "SAT Tests," Letters to the Valley Edition, March 25. "Finally, someone of authority is willing to criticize our reliance on SAT scores as the main determinate in college admission." I question [this] decision. He offers no alternative; what will he use in its place? What will be the test for the future standard for admitting students to higher education (UCs)? The SATs assure standardization of learning, if you want to make sure a high school student from West L.A will be as capable of handling higher education as a student from another area of California.
OPINION
March 29, 2014
OK, a quick quiz for readers: Was the Op-Ed article entitled "Just My Luck" in The Times on March 23 (a) Good writing (b) A compelling argument (c) An indictment of test-taking (d) All of the above? Delightedly - or maybe dutifully - a number of Times letter writers answered (a) (b) (c) and (d) in response to Haskell Flender's piece on the SAT. The high school junior described taking his test days after the College Board announced upcoming revisions to the "flawed" exam that, among other things, "tests antiquated vocabulary" and is a "poor predictor" of college success.
OPINION
December 7, 2003
Re "Against the Odds Is How They Have Prevailed," Oct. 24: Congratulations to Sara Coulous and Damon Witts, and to all of their colleagues, upon their admission to UC Berkeley. The SAT has always been (well before affirmative action was initiated) only one of the considerations used in considering admissions. This is stated within the application packet to the University of California. Listen up: The SAT is one test, given on one day. Students from backgrounds that have denied them a superior education or access to purchased test preparation can be equally successful in a university setting, as well as after graduation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2013 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
Before students hunker down to take their SATs this spring, many will have an array of tools to help them with the exam. Flash cards, study guides and - cursive handwriting? For many, cursive handwriting is a thing of the past, an archaic method taught in the days before keyboards and touch screens. But some argue that writing longhand could help in placement exams. National core standards don't require cursive to be taught to students, but some states, including California, Alabama and Georgia, have included cursive handwriting in their state requirements in early elementary grades, something supporters say should be more widespread.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 2011 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The news that some of this year's SATs included an essay question about the merits of reality television recently led to an Internet-encouraged exchange of intellectual huffing and puffing the likes of which we haven't seen since William F. Buckley took on Gore Vidal. The question was either prejudiced ? Smart kids can't be expected to know anything about reality TV! ? dangerous ? Are we encouraging the youth of America to watch junk? ? or simply pandering, proof that the SATs are dumbing down along with the rest of the culture.
WORLD
February 20, 2013 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - When the precocious 18-year-old applied for early admission to Beijing's International Relations University last year, she knew it was a long shot even with her outstanding scores on the gaokao , the all-important college admissions test, which put her in the top 6% of graduating seniors in her province. She wasn't crushed when she was rejected by the school, but she was later, when she found out that male applicants with lower scores had been accepted. "It's not fair," said the young woman, who asked to be quoted only by her nickname, Kale (pronounced Kala)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 1999
Sigrid Bathen (Opinion, Oct. 17) omits the major plausible explanation for the importance of Advanced Placement courses. Because of high school grade inflation, the grade point average does not validly represent ability, as it previously did; hence colleges use AP courses and SATs as more valid measures of academic ability. The central problem is not the shortage of AP classes but poor graduation rates, low grades and SATs and failure to meet the qualifying course requirements for college admission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 1991
Study after study has proven that the arts are not only important in themselves but that they improve students' abilities in other subject areas. According to a 1988 study, students taking four years of music, dance, drama or visual arts scored 34 points higher on verbal SATs and 18 points higher on the math SATs than those taking less than one year of arts instruction. Still many people, including policy-makers, continue to act as if arts education is a frill. It is not a coincidence that the decline in arts education programs in California mirrors the high school dropout rate and the plummeting SAT scores.
OPINION
March 16, 2014
Did it seem ironic to anyone that in the same paper that carried a front-page article on making the SAT essay optional was an editorial noting that the new Common Core curriculum would require more writing by students, and that colleges have long complained about incoming students' poor writing skills? As an educator, these contradictory messages are confusing, to say the least. As the parent of a high school senior who took the SAT and scored highest in the writing section, it's frustrating that some schools don't even count this important skill.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
The College Board's decision to make the essay portion of its influential SAT exam optional is setting off a national debate among colleges and universities about whether to require applicants to take it. Beyond the potential effect on students, the March 5 announcement about the upcoming test change is stirring soul-searching about the importance of writing in higher education and how best to evaluate that ability. The new College Board policy also has raised concerns about setting up a possible barrier to college entrance, especially if the separate essay writing exam requires an additional fee. Many colleges will face a serious problem in considering whether to keep mandating the essay test after the change goes into effect in 2016, said Jerome Lucido, executive director of the USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice, a national think tank on college admissions issues.
OPINION
March 9, 2014
Re "Major revamp coming to SAT format," March 6 Tweaking the SAT or any other testing mechanism in use in schools today still will not provide colleges, communities or parents an accurate picture of a student's probability of success in college and in life. Testing mechanisms that reward memorization rather than problem-solving, collaborative abilities and creativity simply are testing the wrong things. Students today face a world economy that needs thinkers, not test-takers.
OPINION
March 6, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Less than a decade after it started requiring students to write an essay as part of the SAT, the College Board announced Wednesday that it is eliminating that portion of the test. At the same time, it will do away with certain obscure vocabulary words and the penalty for inaccurate guesses. These are good moves, but they don't answer the fundamental question of whether the standardized test should continue to be a part of the college application process, especially after a new study found that it is a poor predictor of whether students will succeed in college.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Join Times staff writer Larry Gordon for an L.A. Now Live online chat at 12:30 p.m. on  the major overhaul coming to the SAT college entrance exam.  Starting in 2016, students will no longer be required to write an essay and will not be penalized for wrong answers. However, they will no longer be allowed to use calculators as much as they want. About 1.7 million high school students take the test each year and The College Board's announcement Wednesday sent ripples through education communities across the nation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
Pablo Muñoz is no stranger to academic rigor. And don't expect him to shirk additional work. As many cheered sweeping changes to the SAT -- such as the optional essay -- the 15-year-old Loyola High School sophomore is likely not to skip that portion. "I would probably do the essay because I think it could give me a slight edge over test takers," he said. "I think it might be a gateway for students to shortchange themselves" if they don't write the essay. For Pablo, it all comes down to showing colleges he's a dedicated student.
NEWS
June 8, 1986
First-born and only children enjoy an intellectual advantage over other children and younger siblings because they are exposed to more adult-level thought and speech, says University of Michigan psychologist Robert B. Zajonc. He said a family's intellectual atmosphere tends to decline as the family expands, and newer members are especially shortchanged.
OPINION
April 3, 2013
Re "A different slant on cursive," April 1 The article notes that a study on cursive found that essays written in this form of handwriting received slightly higher scores. Suzanne Asherson of the group Handwriting Without Tears attributes this difference partly to cursive being easier to read and thus easier to score. USC education professor Morgan Polikoff says the kind of students who write in cursive on the SATs may just be smarter. It would seem that there is a third possibility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
Changes announced Wednesday to the SAT college entrance exam don't necessarily mean all test takers will avoid writing essays. The College Board announced that takers will no longer be required to write an essay beginning in 2016. But essay-writing tests will still be offered, and many colleges may demand that applicants take it and submit the score. The essay requirement drop will pose a dilemma for many colleges, especially for the University of California system, which is the single-largest customer of the SAT. UC administrators 10 years ago pushed and won a previous set of reforms in the SAT, including the addition of the essay, which is a 25-minute, handwritten exercise at the exam's start.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
As part of a major overhaul of the SAT college entrance exam, test-takers starting in 2016 will no longer be required to write an essay, the College Board announced Wednesday. However, an essay-writing test still will be offered, and many colleges may demand that applicants take it and submit the score. With that change, the main SAT will be condensed to two sections from the current three, and the top possible score will be 1,600, as it was for many decades. The current 2,400-point maximum was introduced with the start of the required essay seven years ago. The new optional essay test will be graded separately on a scale that is still under consideration, said officials of the College Board, which owns the widely used exam.
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