Community Parent & Student News You Can Use
March 11, 2014
*Added since last edition
WiHi College Counseling News
Ann Arbor Public School Happenings
Click on the Read More Link for full details.
Community Parent & Student News You Can Use
March 11, 2014
*Added since last edition
WiHi College Counseling News
Ann Arbor Public School Happenings
John Boshoven's Events:
March 22-24 "Where Have the Men Gone?" College Counseling Symposium at Clark University, Worcester, MA
March 28 Michigan Association for College Admissions Counseling
March 29-April 2 Palmetto Tour of South Carolina Colleges and Universities
March 30 College & Career Fair, 2-4PM at Pioneer HS
April 14 Michigan College Access Conference: Lansing Center
April 25 Washtenaw Counseling Association Breakfast
May 7 Washtenaw LCAN Board Meeting
May 9-12 New York University Abu Dhabi
May 15 Sophomore College Counseling Night @ WiHi 7:00
WiHi Counseling News:
Juniors*1. Registration for Shadow Day hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at U of M is now open and closes on March 14th at 11:59. This is a very beneficial event for girls interested in engineering and gives them a look into a typical student's class schedule, U of M's campus, and college life. We are accepting Juniors and Seniors into the program this year and admission is first-come first-served.www.swe.edgin.umich.edu/#!shadowday/c1vu4 Freshmen and Sophomores:
*Calling All Future Engineers!
My name is Ariana and I am one of the co-chairs for the Society of Women Engineers Girls Research Engineering And Technology (GREAT) day, hosted at the University of Michigan. GREAT day will be held on April 12th, from 9 AM to 4 PM. We would like to invite all 7th to 10th grade girls (and their parents) to join us for a day of engineering exploration and fun! We are emailing you because we are asking you to forward this to all teachers, counselors, parents, and other interested parties! More information and registration information can be found at the following link:
Please note that the event costs $5 per participant to help cover the cost of food. If you or anyone else have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and we hope to see you all there!
1. Visiting colleges or want to? Amtrak features 50% coupons for student and parents/guardians at: http://www.campusvisit.com/amtrak.htm
2. Greyhound offers 15% discount for students with their “Student Advantage Card.” Also gives up to 50% discount on stuff. http://www.studentadvantage.com/nextstep
*Lawrence Institute of Technology Exploration Day: 3/21, 8AM-1PM RSVP atexplorationday.ltu.edu
Aquinas College Fine Arts Day 3/21 8AM Aquinas.edu/fad
Oakland University Visit Day, 3/22/14 9AM+ Oakland.edu/visit
*Grand Valley State University Laker Days 3/28, 4/11 RSVP at www.gvsu.edu/visit click on “events”
*Aquinas AQ Day 3/28/13 aquinas.edu/you
Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) Days (Atlanta, GA) 4/12 scad.edu/scadday
*Purdue University’s Juniors Exploring Engineering, 4/14/14 8AM www.purdue.edu/wiep
*UM Flint Spring Preview 4/19/14, 10AM-2PM RSVP to go.umflint.edu/preview
Behind the SAT: The Good and Bad of the 2016 RedesignSome say the new SAT will lower standards, while others consider it just a piece of the admissions puzzle.Some education professionals say the new SAT will better measure student achievement, while others say it could lower standards.
By Allie Bidwell March 10, 2014
It will be a game of wait-and-see when it comes to how effective the revamped SAT is in terms of predicting student success in college.
While some have praised the test redesign for better aligning with what's actually taught in schools, others say there are risks of lowering standards. Still others say the changes really don't matter too much because the test never has been a sole indicator of student success.
College Board President David Coleman announced last week that beginning in the spring of 2016, the college admissions test will return to its previous 1600-point scale, will have its essay portion be optional and will drop some of the obscure vocabulary it has traditionally used. The math section also will narrow its focus, students will not be penalized for incorrect answers and reading comprehension questions will weave in information from other subjects, such as history and science.
[READ: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement]
Upon announcing the changes, Coleman said they were the result of an attempt to level the playing field for students and better align the test with what students actually learn. He said both the SAT and the ACT have become "far too disconnected" from American schools.
While the College Board maintains the changes stemmed from research as well as feedback from teachers, institutions of higher education and parents, Shaan Patel, director of SAT programs for Veritas Prep, says the changes also may reflect a desire to convince more students to take the SAT instead of the ACT.
"My opinion is this test will be easier than the current SAT and the College Board is betting on more students taking the SAT because of that," Patel says.
In September 2012, it was announced that for the first time in history more students took the ACT than the SAT (and that trend continued in 2013). A few months later in February, Coleman first announced major changes would be coming to the test.
Patel says there are many things about the new SAT that reflect the ACT: There will be no obscure vocabulary, the essay will be optional, no points are removed for incorrect answers and there will be more of an emphasis on textual evidence across disciplines. ACT President Jon Erickson saidon hearing of the changes to the SAT, "They could've been talking about the ACT now."
"It's a good move that it's becoming easier in way, but it's also a very bad move in that I think it's sort of a race to the bottom now," Patel says, adding that "when and if" the ACT makes its next change, it might lower its standards to remain competitive against the SAT.
"You just don't want it to become where these two test-makers are [fighting] for students and the way they do that is by making their tests easier and easier," he says. "I think it loses a lot of the predictive value for colleges."
Andy Smarick, a senior policy fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, wrote in a blog post that the use of obscure words in the SAT is invaluable, and they should not be cut from the test.
[MORE: SAT Changes May Not Level Playing Field for Low-Income Students]
"I agree with the College Board that graduates should possess functional language, and I appreciate that the SAT's use of 'arcane' language can unfairly advantage those ... who can pay for expensive test-prep courses," Smarick wrote. "I would just hate to see these words devolve into simple tools for enabling a student to pass a professor's class or succeed in her places of work. That's too narrow, too utilitarian for me."
Coleman responded to the post, saying the "beauty" of the test redesign is the "in depth command of words required in their multiple meanings, requiring a sensitivity to context."
"If kids learn words richly in this way through wide reading rather than flashcards, they are deeply prepared to widen their appreciation of the nuances of language," Coleman wrote.
Jim Rawlins, a past president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling and director of admissions at the University of Oregon, says standardized tests always have been just one piece of the puzzle in judging an applicant's college readiness and will remain so, regardless of the changes to the SAT.
At the University of Oregon, Rawlins says the admissions office looks at a student's test scores together with his or her GPA. The university also looks at current students' test scores over time and compares them to their performance at the university. Those two methods help improve the admissions office's ability to predict a student's success, he says, although it may be more helpful for some students than others.
"Just because test scores aren't equally helpful in predicting how students will do, just as it doesn't mean they're useless, it also doesn't mean they're all-telling," he says. "That's the balance we always have to maintain."
As to whether the SAT changes are good or bad, and whether they will help better assess achievement and predict how successful a student will be in college, Rawlins says it's too soon to tell.
"We don't think we can characterize them as improvements or disasters or anything like that until we have a chance to see what the results are," Rawlins says. "Even if we start getting those new test scores in 2016 for our students who will start that fall, it's not as if we will suddenly know, 'Aha! This helped us more.' We won't know until we see how those students we admit with those new scores … do and see if it really did in retrospect add something to the predictiveness of this."
[RELATED: Is the College Board Right to Change the SAT?]
Still, Rawlins says the SAT's narrowing focus on both mathematics and English language arts is a "double-edged sword." While the SAT never has explicitly focused on other things important in college admissions – such as social studies, science and foreign language – Rawlins says the combination of the new test and the Common Core standards could be troublesome.
"I do worry that if you combine what the College Board is saying with the fact that the Common Core discussions seem to be more and more focused on English and math, English and math, that maybe the cumulative effect of all this discussion of narrowing focus might bring us in students who aren't as much encouraged to be prepared broadly and to be thinking broadly about how everything hooks together," Rawlins says.
But both English and math teacher advocates say the new requirements of the SAT seem promising.
Linda Gojak, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and a veteran teacher of 40 years, says the changes have been long-needed and that the new SAT will give a "more realistic view" of what students have achieved in mathematics.
"Rather than a lot of topics that cover a wide variety of things, it appears that what they've done is really look at the topics that prepare kids not only for college … but also beyond college in mathematics that's really important, no matter what they're going to do," Gojak says. "That moves right along with what we've seen why our kids don't do well on international comparisons. We try to cover so much, and then we wind up repeating it and our kids just don't really deeply learn it."
Kent Williamson, the executive director of the National Council of Teachers of English, says the coming changes to the reading and writing portions of the exam are a good move. The current SAT's use of "arcane vocabulary" seemed to be a "bit of artificiality that was maybe put in place to segregate people with certain knowledge from others," he says, and didn't appear to be "a very good predictor of real student success."
Williamson says it is difficult for colleges to accurately determine a student's writing abilities from one timed writing test, for example. While the NCTE has in the past been critical of the timed essay requirement, Williamson says the changes to the now-optional essay – requiring students to analyze text, rather than asking an open-ended question – can indeed measure an important skill. But having just one sample is still too narrow of a scope, he says.
"If that becomes your only vehicle for measuring writing competence, it's a pretty narrow slice," Williamson says. "When you think about the range of writing students will be doing in college, it's one important piece, but it's just one piece. So in that regard, it is limited."
Williamson says it may be more realistic now, at a time when more digital tools are available to collect student information, for the College Board to collect several writing samples or a portfolio of work from students.
[SEE ALSO: High Standardized Test Scores Don't Translate to Better Cognition, Study Finds]
"It just reveals so much more about their range and capacity for writing, and frankly the crispness of their thinking," he says. "If your business is predicting success in college, it's so much richer in offering insights about where students really are and what their potential is."
While some groups, such as the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, want to abolish the SAT entirely or make it optional for college admissions, both Rawlins and Patel say it helps round out the picture for colleges, particularly because GPAs are not comparable across schools. Additionally, for schools that receive a high volume of applications, standardized tests give admissions offices, especially those at elite colleges, a way to sort through applicants in a more comparable way.
"They absolutely need a standardized exam to compare students by," Patel says. "It's sort of a necessary evil. It's something that will never go away."
Allie Bidwell is an education and science reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at email@example.com.
2013-14 Testing Dates and Deadlines
ACT The ACT Assessment Test assesses a high school student’s general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. The ACT is generally taken by 11th Graders in the spring/summer of their Junior year of high school and by seniors retaking them to improve their scores. The ACT is also included as part of the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) and will be administered in school in March, 2014. http://www.actstudent.org
2013-14 Test Dates
Test Date Registration Deadline (Late Fee Required)
April 12, 2014 March 7, 2014 March 8–21, 2014
June 14, 2014 May 9, 2014 May 10–23, 2014
SAT The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college. The SAT is usually taken by 11th Graders in the spring of their Junior year in high school and retaken by seniors to improve their scores. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice and the essay.
Test Dates Registration Deadlines Regular Late (a fee applies)
May 3, 2014 April 4, 2014 April 18, 2014
June 7, 2014 May 9, 2014 May 23, 2014
AAPS Schools of Choice Application Dates Announced For students who live outside the AAPS boundaries but in Washtenaw County, a Schools of Choice window will be open for students in grades Kindergarten through 10th grade beginning March 3 – April 1, 2014. Information and applications will be available on the AAPS website beginning onMarch 3.
Kindergarten Round Ups Starting Families of incoming Kindergartners are invited to attend a Kindergarten Round Up at any of our elementary schools. The complete list of schools and dates are available at this link.http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/parents/kindergarten_roundup
*The Dawn Farm Education series will present two exciting programs in March 2014. You’re invited!
“Eating Disorders and Chemical Dependency” will be presented on Tuesday March 18, 2014
; 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm; by Carl Christensen, MD, PhD, FACOG, CRMO, ABAM; and Lori Perpich, LLP, MS Clinical Behavioral Psychology; Cognitive Behavior Therapist, EDEN Program Facilitator. This program will examine the evidence that eating disorders are biopsychosocial diseases. The program will define various eating disorders and their consequences, explore neurobiological and behavioral theories of addiction, describe physiological consequences of eating disorders, discuss screening tools, and provide information on treatment options and resources for people with eating disorders.
“Grief and Loss in Addiction and Recovery” will be presented on Tuesday March 25, 2014;7:30 pm to 9:00 pm; by Janice Firn, LMSW; Clinical Social Worker on the Adult Palliative Care Consult Team, University of Michigan Medical Center; and Barb Smith, author of Brent’s World. This program will describe theories of grief and grief recovery, losses that the chemically dependent individual and his/her family experience throughout the addiction and recovery processes, and how recovery program tools can help individuals cope with grief and loss. It will include a personal account of addiction-related grief, loss and recovery from a mother who lost her son to addiction-related causes.
All programs are presented in the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center auditorium at 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti. All programs are FREE and open to all. No registration is required. Each program provides 1.5 free CE hours for addiction professionals approved by MCBAP and NAADAC. A certificate to document attendance for CE or other purposes is provided on request.
Further details and directions can be accessed from Dawn Farm's Web site:http://www.dawnfarm.org/programs/education-series.
You can also contact us at the Farm: 734/485-8725, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" free, two-part workshop series will be presented from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm by the Dawn Farm Youth and Family Services Team, on Tuesday March 11, 2014 (part two.) The programs will be held in the “Exhibition Room” at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center at 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti. This program is targeted primarily to parents/caretakers of teens and young adults but is inclusive of other family members, teens, professionals, students, people who sponsor or support teens, and others interested. Please note that this program does not provide approved CE. Please contact 734/485-8725 or email@example.com or see http://www.teensusingdrugs.org for information.
Selective Service Information: For 17 and 18 year old men, federal law requires that you register with Selective Service within 30 days of your 18th birthday. When register, you stay eligible for federal student loans, federal job training and jobs. You may register at http://www.sss.gov or at the post office.
TUTORING Drop-in tutoring does not need to be registered for, you just drop-in.Free tutoring is offered Mon. - Thurs. from 3:30 - 5:30 at 826's location of E. Liberty, behind the Robot Store. Student 8 - 18 may drop in any time to get help with any subject. Students must show up to drop-in tutoring with homework or other assignments in hand. Drop-in tutoring encourages smiling, feeling good about oneself, grades going up, enthusiasm toward learning, and positivity. The intention of drop-in tutoring is to mentor, listen to, and help students with their homework needs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org phone:734.761.3463 http://www.826michigan.org
The Neutral Zone
The Neutral Zone is a diverse, youth-driven teen center dedicated to promoting personal growth through artistic expression, community leadership and the exchange of ideas. Why would 3500 teens visit Neutral Zone in a month? Programs, programs, programs (and sometimes pizza – you just can’t go wrong with pizza!)
NZ Program Areas include:
Music & Technology NZ holds weekend concerts and events for teens most Saturdaynights. Teens also create, record and promote their own musical projects using NZ’s equipment and expertise.
Education Neutral Zone works hard to level the playing field for all teens through free drop-in tutoring, one-on-one mentoring, and a college prep program featuring college visits, ACT/SAT preparation, coaching on applications, essay writing, and financial aid, and opportunities for scholarships. Literary & Visual Arts. Creative writers turn up the volume by writing original poetry and short stories, while photographers and videographers discover and explore their talents using state-of-the-art equipment in digital art classes.
Leadership The Teen Advisory Council runs the show at Neutral Zone, while several different discussion groups offer young people an open, positive space to explore sensitive issues and just plain have fun together. Drop-in teens come to NZ daily to shoot pool, play ping pong, use the internet, do homework, grab something to eat, or just hang out with friends in a safe, supervised space. For gfrom Terreneral questions Contact, Lori Roddy, email@example.com, 734-214-9995
Submissions: Please submit your articles, news, or announcements firstname.lastname@example.org. John B. Boshoven, Editor.