Wednesday, January 20, 2016

PSATs Still Not Out

Almost six weeks of delay at this  point! The WaPo reports:

The College Board’s new online system to deliver test scores has, to be charitable, not gone as well as planned, with delays and other complications with PSAT/NMSQT results angering counselors and students and raising questions about how well it will work when the new SAT is soon unveiled.
The PSAT/NMSQT is the Preliminary SAT, the test that mostly sophomores and juniors take as a practice for the SAT and that provides scores used to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship program. In October, more than 4 million students took the PSAT. Scores were expected by the end of the year, but the College Board released them only a week ago, about a month late. Sandra Riley, vice president for communications at the College Board, said  the delay was caused by a new online system created to accommodate scoring reports for the newly designed SAT debuting in March.

Yep, 4 million kids took the test.  No results yet for almost all of them. The (See here) reports:

The PSAT is primarily a practice run for the SAT exam to determine where to study more but it also functions as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test NMSQT. Only those with an NMSQT score in the 99th percentile have the chance to receive scholarship money. Still even those students that receive recognition, Letters of Commendation or are named semi-finalists have an extra prestige in their race for college admissions into the school of their choice. Instead of admitting they are wrong the College Board is blaming guidance counselors and students for not being able to access PSAT scores. The College Board is insisting that all the scores are available to access but schools and students are not using the "new protocols for accessing" the scores correctly. Some schools, however, are insisting the scores are not there. Many are agreeing the scores are there but the instructions the College Board gave are "confusing." There have been other problems with the College Board's system; there have been two outages. The College Board's website crashed last week and this on Tuesday, Jan. 12 into Wednesday, Jan. 13 according to the Washington Post's report. There are also very long waits if counselors, students, or parents want to contact the College Board by phone.

Yes College Board, blame your customers, those folks who pay you for you poorly done job! These folks must all have come from some Government job! It appears that the same crew that may have done the ACA web site may be involved here, just a guess. This is a clear sign of the gross incompetence of the Educational administrative community. These folks are being paid very big dollars to control the lives of our future societal contributors.

Solution? Abandon any and all use of the College Board NOW. I have said this for 55 plus years. As a writer for the NY Times notes:

“Turning the Tide” follows other reexaminations of the admissions process. A growing number of colleges have made the SAT or ACT optional. And late last year, more than 80 colleges, including all eight in the Ivy League, announced the formation of the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, which is developing a website and application process intended in part to diversify student bodies.

Abandon them now. Imagine the grief these poor young folks are going through. Perhaps a class action suit will work?  Gross negligence and irreparable harm, try those words on for size College Board! Have you no shame, College Board, have you no shame!