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CAEP accreditation draft standards and SAT

Before you read, consider this sentence an official wonk alert.

I’ve been writing about the CAEP accreditation draft standards for ed schools. One thing CAEP sets out is that average test scores (SAT for example) for admitted students fall into the top third of all scores. Admirable!

But let me ask (wonkishly), top third of which group precisely? Not everyone who takes the SAT goes to college. Not everyone who takes the SAT and then does go to college graduates. Unsurprisingly, SAT scores for students who succeed at making it through college are higher than for the universe of all test takers. Here’s a little table I made.

SAT takersThe “top 1/3rd number” is about 20, 25 points higher for graduating college seniors than for the “all test takers” category. That’s a meaningful difference, albeit not a huge one. The lower number corresponds to about the top 40 percent of graduating seniors rather than the top 33 percent.

Since the relevant market comparison for teachers is college graduates, CAEP ought to seriously consider tightening up just a little more and using college graduates as the comparison group.

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