According to the NY Times, a disturbing trend is that small liberal arts college are making the SAT and other standardized tests optional for admission.
It's disturbing to me, but the tone of the article sounds gleeful.
“Test scores are a much weaker predictor of how students will do in college than their high school transcript,” said Mark Gearan, the president of Hobart and William Smith
Now that's only true if high schools can be compared and the transcripts are meaningful. Many high schools are withholding class rank, thus making the transcripts meaningless.
Furthermore, it has been shown that high school grades plus SAT is a better predictor of how students will do in college than just the high school grades by themselves.
One parent, who I'm sure only votes for Democrats, had this to say:
I think SAT-optional is great, it’s wonderful,” said Lynne Brandes, of Hanover, Mass., who took her daughter, Jacqueline, on a New England college tour this summer. “Some families have the money to pay for tutoring, but some don’t. I’d love to see the SAT’s abolished.”
Lynne Brandes clearly has a complete lack of understanding of how college admissions work. The SAT allows middle class and even working class students to demonstrate they are as smart as upper middle class students. Without the SAT, the upper middle class students will have a huge advantage over the lower classes because they will go to upper middle class high schools where they are encouraged to take the right classes, participate in the right extra-curricular activities, and have the right summer experiences (such as paying $7,000 to learn about poverty). The working class and middle class kids will have a crappy application in comparsion to the rich kids. When you add on top of that the fact that the rich kids' parents can afford to pay full tuition, it's hard to see how how eliminating the SAT benefits the kids of less well off parents.
Maybe the no-test trend has the racist intent of keeping high scoring but undesirable Asian students from invading the small liberal arts colleges?
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One factor the article mentions is that "the revamped, longer SAT" is contributing to "growing disenchantment" with the test. Now what did I say about the new SAT in the past? In November, 2003 I wrote, "The SAT has done a good job for many decades. Messing around with the SAT seems more likely to make things worse than to make anything better."
It turns out that I was right! Why doesn't anyone ever listen to me?
In other SAT news, SAT scores are falling, either because of "test fatigue," or because the longer test is discouraging test takers from retaking the test.