This is an interesting strand.  However, I wonder what it is that we are
measuring when we use standardized tests and why are we measuring "it"?
If we are attempting to predict the likelihood of success in college, I
have seen several NADE presentations which show a higher correlation
between subsequenst college performance as defined by GPA and
non-academic activities in High School than to academic performance in
high school.  Participation in "extra-curricular" activities such as
drama, music, debate, etc, and close connections to teachers are two
areas that come to mind.  Some of you who have done this type of
research might have more specifics.

I guess my question is what is the role of standardized testing?  Can
outcomes-based assessments do a better job?  I don't know of any
comparative studies but they may be out there.  Is there any correlation
between being able to do something and getting a high GPA in courses
related to that field?  While we might like to believe that, I'm not
sure that experience in the "business world" will bear that out.

In courses, my English composition students will not attempt to take the
first level Freshman English class unless they can get an "A" or a "B"
in the preceeding developmental English class.  If they get a "C", they
delay taking the next class until they are more confident in their
abilities.  Academic self-confidence seems to have a significant effect
on student risk-taking as well.

I think students would also like to think that high academic GPA's will
ensure their success in the business world.  After twenty years in the
business world prior to starting teaching, I have seen little evidence
that it does, however.

Ron Illingworth

                         Ronald D. Illingworth
                          Associate Professor

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