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There are 3 comments on POV: The Decision to Reinstate Mandatory Standardized Tests for College Admissions Is a Mistake

  1. Caltech and the UC schools, like UC Berkeley, are not test-blind. They are SAT/ACT-blind, but the best “test-blind” colleges very much want to see test scores (AP, IB, etc). In its application, Caltech even mentions wanting to see AIME scores (the by-invitation-only mathematics competition scores from scoring in the top 5% or above on the American Mathematics Competition test). Why do even “test-blind” schools use standardized test scores? Because the vast of high school students applying to college have A-average high school GPAs. If there is a better alternative to standardized tests, that’s great. But there isn’t. As such, they are the best option now. So why would we not use the best option available to us to help evaluate and admit students best equipped to succeed at a given institution?

    1. We know that SAT/ACT tests perpetuate bias and place the privilege of elite education access disproportionally on the already privileged. Yet, some professionals in and around the enrollment management field argue for their continued use based on the rationale that, “they are the best option”. No, they are not the best option. To assume so is like arguing we should continue to use a yard stick that measures 35 inches and pretend in measures 36 inches because we’re insufficiently concerned about the inequities it perpetuates to look closer, work harder, and get more creative. This perspective begs the question, is it certain students that don’t measure up or is it the gatekeepers who open the door for some and close it for others with little regard for truth in the assessment process?

  2. Trying again, in the spirit of free and civil exchange of ideas:

    “Scholars such as Leigh Patel have argued against the use of standardized tests for college admissions, pointing to the fact that Carl Brigham, the creator of the SAT, was a member of the American Eugenics Society and that the use of standardized tests in higher education came out of the eugenics movement. According to Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of BU’s Center for Antiracist Research and author of the best-selling How to Be an Antiracist, “Standardized tests have become the most effective racist weapon ever devised to objectively degrade Black and Brown minds and legally exclude their bodies from prestigious schools….This begs the question that if a standardized test that has links to a eugenics movement is less biased than all of these other more biased measures, isn’t it time to rethink the way colleges select members of their incoming classes?”

    What evidence can the author adduce in support of their claim that the SAT, as it is administered today, is informed by a racist ideology?

    Do origins essences make? Many people argue that the birthplace of democracy was Ancient Greece, where slavery was the norm. Should we therefore work to abolish democracy? After all, like the SAT, it has racist origins.

    What evidence is there that the SAT is still designed to ensure that White students perform better than Asian or Black students?

    Do white students do better than other groups? What does the data show? A little more evidence, please.

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