Readers React: The SAT is designed to rank students. It should not be used to judge teachers

A student studies for the SAT in Pembroke Pines, Fla., in 2014.
(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

To the editor: There’s a more fundamental reason why the SAT, or the Scholastic Aptitude Test, should not substitute for California’s academic proficiency exam.

The ultimate purpose of the SAT is to rank test takers. If its designers loaded up the test with items that were well taught in class by teachers, scores would likely be clumped together, making comparisons impossible.

In sharp contrast, the state’s academic proficiency exams are designed to determine how well teachers have taught their subject and how well students have learned. As a result, no need exists to engineer score spread.

Walt Gardner, Los Angeles


The writer taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District and was a lecturer at the UCLA Graduate School of Education.

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