Since 2015, College Board has been experimenting with new metrics on its SAT college entrance exam to evaluate students based on 15 nonacademic factors, including school and neighborhoods’ crime, income, and single-parent statistics, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The 15 factors do not include race, College Board told WSJ, but all of these socioeconomic factors heavily overlap with race, and racial differences were the driving reason for making these SAT alterations. At Florida State University, using this dashboard boosted nonwhite enrollment 5 percent in the past year, said campus administrator John Barnhill.
He told WSJ “he expects pushback from parents whose children go to well-to-do high schools as well as guidance counselors there. ‘If I am going to make room for more of the [poor and minority] students we want to admit and I have a finite number of spaces, then someone has to suffer and that will be privileged kids on the bubble.’”
In a beta test, this new metric was reported to applicants at 50 colleges this past year as an “adversity score” that only colleges see, not students. The score is separate from students’ SAT scores and is on a scale of 1 to 100, where 50 is average and 100 is a measure of “privilege.” This fall, 150 colleges will receive these “adversity scores” with student results, and ultimately all colleges who accept the SAT will.
It’s not clear whether College Board also provides colleges a SAT score adjusted in light of the “adversity score.” But that’s another distinction without a difference, as providing the “adversity score” is meant to put a thumb on the scale of the actual SAT results. WSJ gave further details:
The College Board declined to say how it calculates the adversity score or weighs the factors that go into it. The data that informs the score comes from public records such as the U.S. Census as well as some sources proprietary to the College Board, [College Board President] Mr. Coleman said.
…Several college admissions officers said they worry the Supreme Court may disallow race-based affirmative action. If that happens, the value of the tool would rise, they said.
‘The purpose is to get to race without using race,’ said Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Mr. Carnevale formerly worked for the College Board…
Representatives of institutions well-known for preferencing students based on race were quoted praising this addition to SAT results, including Yale University, the University of Michigan, and New Trier High School, which notoriously held racial grievance seminars for students in 2017. Harvard University, and others, is embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit for using socioeconomic factors to reduce their Asian and Caucasian student enrollment.
Lest anyone think his or her child can avoid being ranked according to theoretical “privilege” by simply taking the ACT instead of the SAT, College Board’s system will also spit out an “adversity score” for students who have taken the ACT, Yahoo! News reported: “College administrators can also plug in a prospective student’s ACT score into the dashboard, although the score from the rival test will be converted to the equivalent SAT score.”
And ACT, which in recent years surpassed the SAT in college entrance exam market share, is developing its own system “to better judge the merit of students from under-served backgrounds,” a spokesman said. It appears the Classical Learning Test, a relatively new college entrance exam free of this fiddle-faddle and now accepted at more than 150 higher-education institutions, could not have arrived at a better moment.
Coleman, College Board’s president, joined the organization in 2012 after helping convince Bill Gates to bankroll Common Core and push the Obama administration to foist it upon the nation using a federal grant competition during the 2008-09 recession. Common Core is a nationalized system of K-12 curriculum content mandates and tests used in almost all public schools and many private schools. Coleman was a lead writer for Common Core’s English language arts mandates.
When he took the helm at College Board, Coleman immediately planned then executed a revamp of the organization’s many tests and curriculum products to better fit Common Core. His tenure has been marked by repeated controversies over College Board’s technical failures and a dramatic increase in ideological leftism, including openly leftist revisions to advanced U.S. and European history courses administered to hundreds of thousands of the nation’s brightest high school students every single year.
Taxpayers send hundreds of millions of dollars to College Board every year, for Advanced Placement curriculum and tests to PSAT and SAT tests to teacher training and exclusive contracts with states and school districts. But that kind of financial hegemony is not enough for College Board. They want to alter society, too. In 2018, Coleman told an audience of his mission at College Board, “We’ve tried to move beyond giving tests to delivering opportunity.”
What does he mean by that, exactly?
“We’ve got to admit the truth, that wealth inequality has progressed to such a degree that it isn’t fair to look at test scores alone,” Coleman told the Associated Press in April. “That you must look at them in context of the adversity students face.”