This week’s TIME School of Thought column checks in with the iconic SAT test. The SAT is loathed but useful and it soldiers on despite that as well as the cheating scandals and efforts to marginalize it.
There is little love for the SAT. How little, you ask? When a massive cheating scandal erupted this fall, fewer people rushed to defend the test than rose to defend Penn State officials for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children. But as unpopular as the iconic SAT may be – among students and many educational activists alike – it’s actually pretty good at what it’s designed to do, which is to serve as a common measure across the hodgepodge of academic standards, grading systems and norms being used by America’s sprawling 25,000 high schools.