What We Believe and Why
It is widely known that The Princeton Review's courses achieve results.
Although the worlds of school, testing, and admissions have changed, The Princeton Review continues to operate under a set of core beliefs:
You get what you measure. Good tests promote good education and bad tests will do damage. There's far more to testing than statistical validity.
Everyone is entitled to a college–ready education. College isn't for everyone, but there's no reason to believe that 90% of wealthy kids but only 30% of disadvantaged kids are innately college material. Those figures need to get much closer.
Done well, the processes of accountability and college admissions should encourage students and schools to do great things. The world is complicated, and there are many factors that affect these principles.
The world of testing has changed a lot in the past twenty–five years. "High–stakes" tests (i.e. tests whose outcomes affect your life) are no longer just for admissions and no longer just for students. The accountability movement, which has gained momentum over the past ten years and was cemented into place by No Child Left Behind, places testing at the center of K–12 education, for better and for worse. Students who perform poorly on their state tests can now face mandatory summer school, a repeated grade, or denial of a high school diploma. For teachers and school administrators, the outcomes of those tests exert strong pressure to improve teaching and learning, and class or school performance on those tests increasingly determines the pathways of their careers.
At the same time, admission to college and graduate school has become increasingly competitive. There are more students, and a larger percentage of them want to go to college. Universities compete harder to attract more applicants, and then reject an ever–increasing number of them.