Connecticut (Fairfield County) Parents: Be happy that there is an SAT

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Premise 1: Connecticut schools, particularly those in Fairfield County, are stronger than most schools in most states.

Premise 2: The SAT (and ACT) is a national test.

Premise 3: Those in the top 10% of schools in the state, such a Fairfield Warde / Ludlowe High School, Weston High School, Staples High School, New Canaan High School, Darien High School, Brien McMahon High School, Greenwich High School, and a whole host of other public schools in Southeastern, CT have battled in-state competition far stronger than most high schools throughout the country in order to land in the top 10%.  At private schools, those with A’s at Brunswick School, St. Luke’s School, Greens Farms Academy, among others, have earned A’s that equate to the same exact GPA as those who earned A’s at schools that are terrible.

Premise 4: You might think that colleges have a fail proof system to account for these scholastic differences. Not true! Most larger universities feed numbers into an academic index with almost no adjustment for strength of school.  Smaller liberal arts colleges have a better sense as to the strength of the school. But here I have to report that most everyone outside of Connecticut does not know how to differentiate the strength of a town’s high school.  Staples High School might mean something around here, but not necessarily to those who are reviewing applications for Haverford or Swarthmore or Pomona or any other non-New England liberal arts powerhouse.

Conclusion: The SAT is the only way to differentiate students from these schools across the country.