University of California looks likely to drop SAT, ACT requirement

Leaders of the University of California system appear strongly inclined to drop the requirement that applicants to UC campuses take the SAT or ACT test, heeding the argument that it hurts the chances of Latino and African-American students to be admitted.

A faculty task force is expected to deliver a report on whether the mandate should be retained in February. But UC Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley, who is also the chancellor of the California Community College system, has already called for scrapping the standardized test requirement. So has UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Michael Brown, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs for the UC system and its 10 campuses. No one who works for UC appears to be standing up, at least publicly, for the testing mandate.

The SAT/ACT test has for decades been criticized for alleged cultural bias against minorities. But that claim is strongly disputed by the College Board, which administers the test and says it has long since fine-tuned the language of questions in the test so that they don’t presume knowledge of white cultural norms. Some academic studies back up this claim of neutrality and find that SATs are a better indicator of college success than grades.

But one of the SAT critiques offered by Ortiz, the regent, is mostly undisputed. It’s that low-income Latino and African-American families are unable to pay for the vast variety of test-preparation classes used by middle-income and wealthy families to help their children. “Perhaps the tests were well-intended, but they are perpetuating a wealth advantage and undervaluing low-income students,” he wrote earlier this year.

The Princeton Review test-prep company, for example, “guarantees” that its 30-hour, $1,599 class will lead to at least a 1400 score on the basic SAT. A 1400 is at the 95th percentile of the approximately 2 million SATs taken each year.

Meanwhile, upper-income families have long been willing to spend whatever it takes to help their children on standardized tests, in particular by hiring specialized English and math tutors who charge up to $450 an hour.

But the College Board pushes back on this front as well, saying it provides free test prep online that helps tens of thousands of students each year.

Nonprofit behind SAT defends UC admission practices

The New Jersey-based nonprofit is so worried that a UC decision to drop the SAT would be copied by many other U.S. universities – as a recent USA Today analysis predicts – that it is offering increasingly thorough defenses of how UC makes its admission decisions.

According to an EdSource report, Jessica Howell, vice president of research at the College Board, appeared at a symposium on the SAT two weeks ago in Berkeley in which she suggested that critics of the test exaggerated its importance to UC admission officers, who consider 14 factors in evaluating prospective students.

“Any effective standardized measure that is one of those factors is going to reveal underlying inequities in our society,” she said. “As researchers, we shouldn’t stop using them, or measuring them because we don’t like what they say. … [Instead,] we should continue to have a discussion about solutions to close the gaps that we see.”

The comment reflects the College Board’s argument that if SAT critics think it’s unfair that students from wealthy families with more resources do better than students from poor families, it’s not the test that’s unfair. It’s American life – the rich can help their kids more than other families.

To address this issue, the College Board proposed also giving SAT test takers an “adversity score” in May so colleges could quickly determine if a student came from difficult circumstances. But the plan was dropped in August after if faced harsh criticism that it was a facile attempt to label students from wildly different backgrounds with a simple number.

17 comments

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  1. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 2 December, 2019, 13:49

    Well, if they do scrap the SAT/ACT requirement, guess what–there will be no incentive for any kids to study hard to score high or even just pass. This will hurt disadvantaged kids whoever they are, and keep them down at the bottom forever. Then what will the point of going to college be? Simply to get a degree so you can get a job and be a bog flop your whole life. Now there are some kids that just plain love learning–and these kids will do well whether they go to college or not. Also, I think it is insulting to minorities to get rid of standards for their sake. As if they aren’t capable of making the grade if they try. Doesn’t anybody remember the movie “Stand and Deliver”?

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 2 December, 2019, 21:21

    Comrades

    What can be said?

    Reply this comment
  3. Dawn Urbanek
    Dawn Urbanek 3 December, 2019, 04:11

    The Office of the President of the University of California along with UCI and UCLA helped College Board with their “Adversity Score” Pilot. No need to worry about to many privileged white and native American students getting into a UC- the number of white and native American incoming freshman students from private schools has been cut by 50% since 2007-08. They have been replaced by TAG students – Community College Transfer students with a 2.4 GPA and through that initiative Undocumented students receive subsidized Tuition- room, board and a job while CA’s hardest working students get an admit to UC Merced (99.1% turn that down) and then they are forced to gain admittance to an appropriate school like a UC Berkeley or a UCLA by going out-of-State or to a Private University. The Conduct of the UC has been so unconscionable that President Janet Napolitano has stepped down and the UC Auditor has stated that CA resident students should be entitled to recompense. https://cusdwatch.com/index.php/2-uncategorised/1175-california-admissions-data-shows-institutional-race-based-admissions-and-discrimination-against-california-resident-students

    Reply this comment
  4. deweaver
    deweaver 3 December, 2019, 07:37

    Being from the wrong side of the track while being a bit of an ass according to my teachers, my LA high school (Dorsey) told me to be a mechanic and wouldn’t let me take the test for the accelerated science classes. However, I did test well and ended up with a Ph.D. in the sciences in the UC system. Even if the teachers don’t like you, testing allows talent to rise.

    The system they want seems to do away with the concept of meritocracy and give arbitrary power to educational bureaucrats which are products of non-rigorous social sciences and humanities, which have not intellectually progressed over the last century. All the areas of life where the STEM majors made contributions have progressed and eliminated massive poverty, making the world a safer and better place even in the face of massive population increase. The “progressive” non-stem academics have given us Marxism, Maoism, Pot Pol in Cambodia killing fields along with non-reproducible “science” and advocacy science.

    The infection of these “progressive” bureaucrats in academia has spread to hiring faculty in the STEM area with their focus on how “woke” (DEI statements) engineering facility are not whether they actually understand the subject. “Successful candidates for our faculty positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to equity and inclusion.”

    To actually teach technical subjects hopefully they will hire non-tenured Lectures who know the subject they are teaching and are cheaper while giving the tenure track positions to PC “woke” applicants with the correct diversity.

    China will achieve its stated objective of technological dominance if we choose students and facility based upon PC criteria and not merit.

    Reply this comment
    • Dawn Urbanek
      Dawn Urbanek 3 December, 2019, 07:49

      So well said. Almost every UC campus is 50% is from Asia and the middle east with 61% of those students coming from a single country- the Peoples Republic of China. Is that Diversity?

      Reply this comment
  5. oregon farmer
    oregon farmer 3 December, 2019, 08:32

    Amazing! Watching the once-vaunted UC system slipping beneath the waves, fires raging out of control; while the Maoists at the helm scan the horizon for the next victim group, the very next extreme auto-da-fe of racial reparation. The Left, encountering NO opposition, accelerates ever faster until they achieve their Stalin/Mao strongman and dead society. Or their heads explode.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 3 December, 2019, 20:32

    Comrades

    Californians are Doughboy soft….so ya offer an educational product for the seething disadvantage proletariat masses. Trophies all around, double doctorates ala Journalism/ Comparative Diversity…..

    Reply this comment
  7. Ed Ryan
    Ed Ryan 6 December, 2019, 10:37

    Deval Patrick Inspired Obama and Obama Inspired the Nation.
    Deval Patrick is from Chicago’s south-side and was practicing law in 2006 when State Senate Obama candidate looked him up. Now, he wants to be President and can count on Obama. It is no secret that Obama and go deep. Patrick inspired Obama and Obama inspired America”. Patrick’s timing is good. He’s a Centrist and proven leader. Deval Patrick is the alternative to Joe Biden who is falling in polls plagued by age and corruption in the Ukraine heart. Deval Patrick will beat Bloomberg, another billionaire oligarchic arrogantly try to purchase the Presidency. Unlike the Oligarch Bloomberg, Deval Patrick will never have to apologies for instituting dehumanizing and racist policies.
    Biden is dropping in the polls as his “Perception of Corruption’ is amplified by the Trump Impeachment Biden’s son Hunter lacked qualifications to serve on the Board of a Ukraine natural gas company that was owned by a corrupt oligarch who needed American government access. Hunter Biden was paid millions as Vice President Biden stood by. The conflict of interest, and maybe more, is obvious. Furthermore, it looks like the Biden ‘father Son Team pay for play scheme toured globally with incidents in Romania and China.
    Patrick was the architect of a Massachusetts health care system that now sees 98 percent of the population insured. He wants the same for the nation. Deval Patrick will build on Obama care with a sliding scale by in option Universal day care, equal pay for woman and economic opportunity for communities of color. Increasing and redistributing wealth for America’s working and middle class. Patrick has a Massachusetts legacy of “Green” cutting edge reform that incentivize and creates a green economy. Going beyond a “wealth tax” and restructuring the tax code and tapping corporate profits to end CEO pay-package greed while reducing in student loan debt for young American Families in need. “Socially Responsible Investments” at Bain Capital, Patrick engaged Corporate America at the nexus of shareholder profit and community enhancement.
    Deval Patrick 8 years as Governor of Massachusetts was transformational. Communities of color were brought back from the brink despair by replacing failure with success. economic investment that created jobs and housed homerless. Better schools built not only by bricks and mortar, but by decreasing class size and increasing teacher pay. Deval Patrick was a national leader in solving homelessness by pushing permanent housing for the homeless. In Massachusetts Deval Patrick is on forefront of prison reform and as President. He is of moral character is most likely to seek justice and dismantle the prison industry. Finally, an end to a system that now thrives means long-term incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, who are mostly people of color.
    By [email protected], 5th Street Peoples Emporium, Turners Falls, MA
    Ryan is Mass Political activist for justice asking why the California Attorney General Becerra fails to investigate the LAPD Crime-buster Vigilante Scandal that sees LAPD for using vigilante Provocateur to remove homeless from the streets by jailing them. Vigilante acts of harassment onto San Fernando Valley homeless are hate crimes and California Attorney General Becerra fails protecting the civil rights as he stays silent a on the matter along with LA Mayor Garcetti refuses to discuss the incriminating crimebuster vigilante Facebook postings. Why is LA City Council and it’s President Herb Wesson stay silent on the Crimebuster LAPD Vigilante scandal?

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaull
    Ulysses Uhaull 6 December, 2019, 11:43

    Control

    Oh Oh. We got a problem.

    Over

    Reply this comment
    • ricky smith
      ricky smith 8 December, 2019, 08:34

      Teddy said he has mentored dozens of 5150 cases off CWD yet he does nothing regarding the ER problem.
      Is it because ER thinks like the average Democrat?… or is it that Teddy is just another do nothing Democrat?

      Reply this comment
  9. Roger Miller
    Roger Miller 6 December, 2019, 23:56

    There are such things as standards you know and without them we would have never made it to the moon and airplanes would fall out of the sky. Removing SAT/ACT standardized knowledge level measurements simply guarantees America’s descent to 3rd world status and a win for her global competitors. In short we will become fodder for our carnivorous global competitors. Dumb move!

    Reply this comment
    • ricky smith
      ricky smith 8 December, 2019, 08:51

      Well said. The academic elites want more African American and Latino students to be enroll and succeed. A laudable goal, but if that doesn’t work then lower the standards for all is the way to go? That is mindless stupidity.
      By this process, the value of a diploma from is degraded, the reputation of the institution is tarnished, and the greater society is hurt by it.
      If you want students to succeed at the university level,students need to be prepared for it. You cannot lower standards to increase minority numbers and set them up for failure once they arrive on campus unprepared for rigorous academic standards.
      And you can’t do it with a teachers union driven grade and high school system ranked 48th in the nation.

      Reply this comment
  10. Ed Ryan
    Ed Ryan 8 December, 2019, 15:31

    AAAADeval Patrick Inspired Obama and Obama Inspired the Nation
    By [email protected], 5th Street Peoples Emporium, Turners Falls, MA
    I witnessed Deval Patrick in action as Governor of Massachusetts. “Good Government” with “Audacious Vision”. Former Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick makes a great democratic nominee for President. Patrick can win as Biden slips in the polls because of Ukraine taint of corruption. Deval Patrick is a man of the people with a great heart. He is a solid alternative to the Billionaire Oligarchic efforts to destroy “Government for the people by the people” by attempting to buy the nomination as they spend millions on commercials.
    Deval Patrick is from Chicago’s south-side and was practicing law in 2006 when State Senate Obama candidate looked him up. It is no secret that Obama and go deep. In fact many correctly say that “ Patrick inspired Obama and Obama inspired America”. In no way is his bid for the presidency a long shot. African American voter are no longer beholden to Biden and want what Patrick can deliver. His “Audacious Vision” is inclusive, progressive and exciting.
    Biden is failing and dropping in the polls, and his problems are real. , Joe Biden’s “Perception of Corruption’ is amplified by the Trump Impeachment. Biden’s son Hunter lacked qualifications to serve on the Board of a Ukraine natural gas company that was owned by a corrupt oligarch who needed American government access. Hunter Biden was paid millions as Vice President Biden was the American official responsible for nurturing Ukraine ‘Good government Democracy. The conflict of interest, and maybe more is obvious. Furthermore, it looks like the Biden ‘father Son Team pay for play scheme toured globally with incidents in Romania and China.

    Billionaire Oligarch democrats like Bloomberg and Steyer have no valid place in the democratic or nay American party. They feel no compunction to prohibit the ultra-rich from buying seats of power in our government, because they are the ultra-rich. 73 percent of the US Senate is owned by Multi-Millionaires. All the Supreme Court and the Executive branch cabinet officers are multi-millionaires. These” One percenter has stolen our government. Duval Patrick authentic and believes political power comes from the people to always lead in the direction that is best for the people. He knows Americans have the right to make laws to protect democracy. Regulating the ultra-rich from taking a disproportional slice of political power is seemingly more necessary for Americans as we continue the witness the Billionaire Oligarch buying the political power then using that power to suite the needs of the rich regardless of what is best for the country.

    Deval Patrick ranks as one of the most intelligent national democratic leaders was architect of a Massachusetts health care system that now sees 98 percent of the population insured. Patrick supports universal day care, equal pay for woman and economic opportunity for communities of color. Increasing and redistributing wealth for America’s working and middle class. Patrick has a Massachusetts legacy of “Green” cutting edge reform that incentivize and creates a green economy. Going beyond a “wealth tax” and restructuring the tax code and tapping corporate profits to end CEO pay-package greed while reducing in student loan debt for young American Families in need. “Socially Responsible Investments” at Bain Capital, Patrick engaged Corporate America at the nexus of shareholder profit and community enhancement.
    Patrick is an intuitive authentic leader with sincere logic that brings people in. Deval Patrick 8 years as Governor of Massachusetts was transformational. Communities of color were brought back from the brink despair by replacing failure with success. economic investment that created jobs and housed homerless. Better schools were built not only by bricks and mortar but by decreasing class size and increasing teacher pay. Massachusetts under Patrick providing permanent housing for the homeless. Deval Patrick is on fore-front of prison reform and as President he will dismantle the prison industry that now thrives means long-term incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, who are mostly people of color. Unlike the Oligarch Bloomberg, Deval Patrick will never have to apologies for instituting dehumanizing and racist policies. Deval Patrick is a good man the sincere qualities of respect and love and tolerance that is now so needed in America’s next president.
    Corporations partnering with government to address climate change. At Bain Capital Deval Patrick, did “Socially Responsible Investments” and by focusing on the nexus of ‘Corporate advancement and community enhancement America’s where corporations are balancing shareholder concerns for profitability are one in the same with community advancement Patrick understands the true costs of production includes social cost inflicted by raw boned capitalism.
    The American dream to have a good and meaningful life is possible, and hope needs to be ignited and Deval Patrick can do this. “Audacious Vision” is how President Obama as described Duval Patrick. Deval Patrick “Government for the People and Government by the People” Massachusetts was vastly improved from Deval Patrick’s eight years as governor. Better schools, access and opportunity at all levels for all peopleRestructuring of the economy greed to a market economy that values social enhancement of the American community will be engineer by a leader of the people by the people and for the people In Massachusetts as governor, Deval Patrick American; poverty is no longer a tolerable clot of doing business to maintain corporate greed.
    Secular Americans will stand behind a leader like Deval Patrick if he has the nerve to strive for the necessary structural changes that cap wealth, radically increase the money supply and redistribute wealth. America can do it all and do it right. We have their production capacity and resources for all to live well It is true what John Lennon sang, imagine the world that could be created if resources were no longer diverted for weapons. Using a reformed market system, we have the ability, the technology and resources to live globally as one people, as a free people. All poverty can be ended globally. No war, no hate.
    We need Patrick’s leadership, ultras rich Oligarchs and autocrats who dismiss messages like this seditious nonsense/. But before that, there will be arrogant silence. Merely a message of political garble, unworthy of being recognized, unworthy of existence. Please Governor Patrick be a leader and acknowledge. No matter what it is a message that is part of a beginning. It is a message of notice that it is on and that they alone, the elite Oligarchs across the globe now prevent the people of the world from starting down that road of real global prosperity in perpetuity. This is wrong and must be challenged. This is a message of challenge seeking acknowledgment already granted by the mere act of doing. It is a clear message. They are the few, we are the many. We are the good, they are the evil. They need to be stopped. We will stop them. Organize. Deval Patrick understands the road I talk about. He knows it is the road that must be and will someday be traversed, the hope is that he is a leader capable and courageous enough to lead us there.
    Raw boned capitalistic greed greed will never be challenged by the Billionaire Oligarchs. American political Landscape is now firmly under their control with seventy three percent of the US Senate controlled by multi-millionaires. The ultra-rich do not lead won’t lead, they will take and take and take, enriching their class while inflating their profits by sluffing off the costs of the necessary social enhancement to American Communities Billionaire purchasing the presidency proves the system is broken. The system we have system concentrates massive wealth in the hands of a few. And those few, the one percenter buy seat of political power for themselves. How then can the promise of “Government for the people by the people” be realized.
    Political Billionaires like Bloomberg won’t allow America’s economy to operate at its true or full productive potential. Why? Greed and fear of may be losing a bit of their wealth. They fear inflation and their logic is warped by greed., so they fail to understand the power of technology. Attaining full economic potential requires radical expansion the American money supply. The rich won’t allow radical monetary expansion because of false fears of inflation. Technology in modern production the rich worry that cause inflation the rich always point to as a fear that shuts down American Economic expansion and ensures that wealth remains concentrated in the hands of a few. The rich buy seats of power then use those seats to prevent any policy that may harm or devalue their wealth. Thus necessity monetary expansion to fuel wealth for the masses is stopped by the rich who buy power, They violate the inherent oath of elected public servants, that being to do what is good for the people, not to do what is good for them at the cost of stopping what is good for the people Sreenivasan, Jyotsna (2008). Utopias in American history. Santa Barbara, CA, US: ABC-CLIO. pp. 330–334. ISBN 9781598840520. OCLC 213444815.
    • ^ “Free Spirits movie. Michael Rapunzel, Renaissance Community commune”. acornproductions.net. Retrieved 2018-04-27. For DVD, Free Spirits : the birth, life, & loss of a New Age dream in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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  11. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 8 December, 2019, 23:37

    Mission Control

    We still have the problem.

    Over

    Reply this comment
    • ricky smith
      ricky smith 9 December, 2019, 09:19

      Mission control is 10-7.
      I plead to the gods of CWD for relief.
      CWD censors: There never once was a better time to ban free speech.

      Reply this comment
  12. Sean
    Sean 21 December, 2019, 11:25

    In light of the Dec 16 story on foreign and out of state students bringing in extra tuition and fee revenue, perhaps the headline should have read, SAT & ACT dropped in lieu of CASH.

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Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

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