Sadly, bigotry appears to be alive and well in America’s education system …
Instead of judging potential students by merit, which some might argue is what deceased civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. would have preferred, the organization responsible for developing the SATs is reportedly hoping to spur schools into judging them by everything else.
“The College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic background, jumping into the debate raging over race and class in college admissions,” The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
“This new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood. Students won’t be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.”
The board has however refused to reveal exactly what factors it intends to use and how exactly it intends to procure the information to even make these judgment calls.
Not surprisingly, the plan has already engendered widespread criticism:
How in the world do you
(a) create a formula to determine how much “adversity” a 17-year-old has faced,
(b) using only school-level and neighborhood-level data, not personal data, and then
(c) hide the formula’s results from the kid? https://t.co/Bf2Ato62mi
— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) May 16, 2019
It isn’t enough that affirmative action distorts the college admissions process, now it must distort academic testing, too.
How old do you have to be to remember a time when the Scholastic Aptitude Test actually measured scholastic aptitude?https://t.co/fG7U292RXV
— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) May 16, 2019
I find this troubling on so many levels. We are moving farther and farther away from objective merit. The SAT is basically giving students “demerit points” for coming from stable homes & safe neighborhoods. https://t.co/Xj5BBIhJ6n
— Kim Lucky (@kimlucky) May 16, 2019
For real, Universities should throw ETS off the pier to the bottom of the sea where they belong.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG WITH A SECRET ADVERSITY SCORE FOR STUDENTS. How about no.
You don’t fix systematic oppression by just rejiggering the nonsense. Just. Ditch. The. Nonsense.
— Sarah Tuttle (@niais) May 16, 2019
The goal, according to the Journal, would be to allow schools to continue judging students by their race, albeit in a surreptitious fashion that’d be harder to argue against in a legal court of law. The Supreme Court is eventually expected to make a final ruling on race-based admissions.
“The purpose is to get to race without using race,” Anthony Carnevale, the director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, bluntly said to the Journal.
As it stands, several schools across the nation have faced lawsuits because of their affirmative action policies. These policies benefit black and Hispanic students at the expense of whites and Asians. Were the College Board to move forward with this plan, such schools could bypass any potential litigation.
How so? Well, the theory is rooted in the bigoted assumption is that black and Hispanic students live in poorer neighborhoods and have less-educated parents.
It’s called the soft bigotry of low expectations.
🛑 BizPac Review News 🛑
👉 White liberals suffering from soft bigotry complain about cop rolling up knocked-over flag video https://t.co/9Kq2Q0KB57
— ❌nuuzfeed (@nuuzfeed) July 8, 2018
This is a prime example of the soft bigotry of low expectations.
SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background – WSJ https://t.co/CvssApsCUt
— Yearning (@YearningHealth) May 16, 2019
GP “Not enough blacks and Hispanics are scoring highly enough on the SATs. We have to implement soft bigotry of low expectations protocol number 4,519, stat!” <= totally not racist people doing a totally not racist thing that’s actually totally racisthttps://t.co/VZA0lMayk6
— The Gormogons (@Gormogons) May 16, 2019
For instance, writing about the College Board’s plan, The New York Times warned that it could invite a backlash from more affluent, white and Asian families and from students who do well on the test and worry that their adversity score will put them at a disadvantage.”
Apparently, affluent black and Hispanic families don’t exist …
Under the board’s plan, any student — regardless of how well he or she performed on the SATs and ostensibly regardless of race — would essentially be penalized for coming from a financially well-off family, not that the supporters of such radical measures mind.
“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,” John Barnhill, the assistant vice president for academic affairs at Florida State University, where adversity scores have reportedly already been implemented, proudly said.
The College Board reportedly tried a similar scheme back in the late 90s after California and Washington reportedly banned affirmative action policies in their respective states.
“The program aimed to measure the challenges students faced. It created an expected SAT score based on socioeconomic factors including, if schools chose to add it, race,” the Journal noted.
“Students who scored at least 200 points more on the SAT than predicted were called Strivers. Because minorities often had lower predicted scores, they were more likely to be Strivers.”
It’s unclear why the program disappeared, though the Journal cited “backlash from colleges.”
Because colleges and universities throughout the nation have become increasingly more radicalized since the 90s, it seems unlikely they’ll respond similarly this time around.
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