Public attention has been drawn to recent reports of state-by-state variation in standardized test scores, in particular the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). In this paper, Brian Powell and Lala Carr Steelman attempt to show how the dissemination of uncorrected state SAT scores may have created an inaccurate public and governmental perception of the variation in educational quality. Their research demonstrates that comparing state SAT averages is illadvised unless these ratings are corrected for compositional and demographic factors for which states may not be directly responsible.

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