Return to Ignorance. Students, Community Groups Sue Univ. of Calif. to Drop SAT, ACT Results

https://images.app.goo.gl/7VJ7nycrGknH9TgL7 

The Return to Ignorance in the State of California 

Students, Community Groups Sue University of California to Drop SAT, ACT

Redacted from an article by Melissa Korn

Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 2019

The law suit alleges the university discriminates against low-income students and others by relying on standardized-test scores in admissions.

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(What exactly are the SAT and ACT?

The SAT is defined as the Scholastic Assessment Test, now called the SAT Reasoning Test, which is a test that measures the reading, writing and math levels of high school juniors and seniors. An example of the SAT is the test many students take to get into college. The SAT was designed to be an exam for which students could not study. 

While the SAT attempted to test a student’s aptitude—that is, the students ability to learn—the ACT was much more pragmatic. The exam tested students on the information they actually learned in school. The ACT, on the other hand, was a test that rewarded good study habits. 

Today, with the release of a redesigned SAT in March of 2016, the tests are strikingly similar in that both test information that students learn in school. The separate tests are now given equal consideration.)

Students, Community Groups Sue University of California to Drop SAT, ACT

By Melissa Korn, Wall Street Journal 12/11/2019

A group of students and community organizations filed a much-anticipated lawsuit against the University of California, alleging that the university system discriminates against low-income students, racial minorities and others by requiring SAT or ACT admissions tests.

The suit was filed Tuesday in California state court on behalf of a high-school sophomore, two seniors, and a first-year student at Pasadena City College, all of whom it says would be strong candidates for more selective UC campuses except for their test scores. 

Several California college-prep and social-justice nonprofits are also plaintiffs in the suit. The Compton Unified School District is preparing to file a related suit.

They seek to bar the UC system from requiring applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, and from using scores in admission decisions unless it can demonstrate a way of assessing the scores “in a rigorous and meaningful, transparent, nondiscriminatory, and non-stigmatizing manner,” according to the suit.

(But, that is exactly what these tests are supposed to do – Find those students of merit most likely to contribute to this society, this nation, this world. Or, should we instead legislate for ignorance and a return to the Dark Ages?) jsk

The plaintiffs are wading into a nationwide debate about meritocracy and fairness in college admissions. Concerns that certain groups get special advantages, because of wealth, race or other factors have come to a head with last year’s trial regarding admissions practices at Harvard University, as well as the more recent admissions cheating scandal that accuses families of having their teens lie about their academic credentials and cheat on the SAT and ACT.

More than 1,000 colleges and universities including the University of Chicago and Colorado College now make test scores optional. They have questioned whether standardized tests offer any more value than high-school performance in predicting college success. 

Defenders of the tests say students with high scores tend to fare well in college and beyond. The standardized tests have been considered by many as an equalizer, allowing colleges to identify talent from high schools with which they are not familiar.

A UC task force is currently assessing the value of the SAT and ACT in admissions, with recommendations expected before the end of the school year, and the university will make a decision after that, said a spokeswoman from the UC president’s office. Its determination is expected to have wide-ranging implications due to its size and clout, as UC campuses received more than 176,000 freshman applications last year.

UC campuses can consider academic performance, standardized test scores, class rank, extracurricular activities and other factors, but unlike many other selective institutions are barred from taking into account race or ethnicity in admissions.

“We are disappointed that plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit when the University of California has already devoted substantial resources to studying this complex issue,” the university spokeswoman said Tuesday.

According to College Board data from this year, 45% of white students who took the SAT in California scored at least a 1200 out of a possible 1600, and 55% of Asian students did, compared with only 9% of African-American students and 12% of Hispanic students.  (excuse me but whose fault is that) jsk

“The notion that the SAT is discriminatory is false,” said a spokesman for the College Board. “Any objective measure of student achievement will shine a light on inequalities in our education system. Our focus, with our members and partners, is combating these longstanding inequalities.”

(So, what is the direct result of all this previous social engineering “affirmative” ( a debatable adjective) action” by our educational savants, beginning way back to bussing children in elementary school?) jsk

U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries

BY DREW DESILVER

Pew Research Center

Feb. 15, 2017

How do U.S. students compare with their peers around the world? Recently released data from international math and science assessments indicate that U.S. students continue to rank around the middle of the pack, and behind many other advanced industrial nations.

One of the biggest cross-national tests is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which every three years measures reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. 

The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science. (Ugh)

Compiled by Jerome S. Kaufman

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