The Answer Sheet: National Merit Program

Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 02/08/2010

Any merit to National Merit program?

I have long wondered why the National Merit scholarship program had so much cache, given the criteria necessary for winning. The program is a competition in which kids become eligible if they do well on the PSAT, or Preliminary SAT test that they generally take in 11th grade. Any regular reader to this blog will know that I do not look kindly on anything in education that relies on a single standardized test score. Here is a critique of the program that I recently read and wanted to share. It was written by Jonathan Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School. This is how he starts: "National Merit status is a good example of the Platonic distinction between attractive illusion and truth."

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:28 PM ET, 02/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  National Merit Program, college admissions