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Teacher Lesson Return to "Together, but Alone, at the SAT"
Together, but Alone, at the SAT
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Senior Stories

Three writers describe the challenges they face as high school seniors. Nell Becker in “Together, but Alone, at the SAT,” writes about how the test brings her together with similarly stressed-out peers. Elizabeth Sanchez in “Media for My People” focuses on her dream of creating a media organization for young people. And Keshia Harrell describes her fear of making college-related decisions.

Prompts for discussion and/or writing:

—What is most stressful about being a senior? How do you try to deal with that stress?
—Nell says her “definition” is 1270—her score on the SAT. Do you think the SAT unfairly labels young people, according to the score they get? Why or why not?
—Keshia can’t study for the SAT because she feels too much pressure. How is pressure affecting your ability to plan for life after high school?
—Because she’s grown up in poverty, Elizabeth dreams of establishing a media center for underprivileged youth. What goals or dreams do you have for the future? How are they related to the way you grew up?

Group activity: Students can work in pairs or small groups. Tell the groups they are in charge of coming up with ideas for replacing the SAT with a better way of evaluating student performance. In other words, aside from testing, how can colleges tell if a student is motivated and will do well in college? Have the groups share and compare their ideas in a general discussion with the class.
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[Other Teacher Resources]
(NYC-2002-12-06a)