In July of this year, in Adversity Scores: Real Racism in Higher Education, I wrote about the company that produces the SATs’ newest diversity initiative: assigning an “adversity score” that will allow universities to skirt the law and use race to drive their admissions decisions, not that they don’t do it now. Enter “SAT” in the SMM home page search bar to find other related articles. The Trump Administration, here, as in so much else, is demanding universities obey the law, so they have to come up with new ways to admit people qualified by little but their skin color or politics. Some excerpts from that July article:
What this means in practice is a kid who gets up at 0400 every morning to do his farm chores, and who rushes home after school to help on the farm until 2100, then does homework until midnight and starts all over again, will get no adversity points, because he happens to be white. His family isn’t wealthy at all, but he’s white, so too bad. No adversity, just not diverse enough, white boy. [skip]
Culture mattering?! Impossible! Everything is about race and diversity. Just ask campus diversity bureaucrats. Ultimately, intelligence, dedication, responsibility and academic ability have to matter, or college degrees will become even more meaningless than they are now, as I noted back in 2017: [skip]
The SAT, adversity scores, all a scam to promote and ensure racial discrimination in college admissions, and to ensure college administrators never lose their cushy positions. There’s the real racism in higher education.
It now seems things aren’t working out as the College Board and Universities thought it might. The LA Times explains:
The company that administers the SAT college admissions test is replacing the so-called adversity score with a tool that will no longer reduce an applicant’s background to a single number, an idea that the College Board’s chief executive now says was a mistake.
Amid growing scrutiny of the role wealth plays in college admissions, the College Board introduced its Environmental Context Dashboard about two years ago to provide context for a student’s performance on the test and help schools identify those who have done more with less. The version used by about 50 institutions in a pilot program involved a formula that combined school and neighborhood factors like advanced course offerings and the crime rate to produce a single number.
But critics called it an overreach for the College Board to score adversity the way it does academics.
David Coleman, College Board’s chief executive, said in an interview with The Associated Press that some also wrongly worried the tool would alter the SAT results.
“Wrongly worried”? It sounds like any worry about what these people are up to can’t possibly be wrong or overstated.
The idea of a single score was wrong,’ he said. ‘It was confusing and created the misperception that the indicators are specific to an individual student.’
Oh really? Giving each individual student an “adversity score” directly in conjunction with their SAT results isn’t “specific to a individual student?” They really do think normal Americans are stupid, so they’re changing their language:
Renamed ‘Landscape,’ the revised tool will provide a series of data points from government sources and the College Board that are seen as affecting education. They include whether the student’s school is in a rural, suburban or urban location, the size of the school’s senior class, the percentage of students eligible for free- and reduced-price lunch, and participation and performance in college-level Advanced Placement courses at the school. Admissions officers also will see a range of test scores at the school to show where the applicant’s falls, as well as information like the median family income, education levels and crime rates in the student’s neighborhood.
And why would any of that be any business of a company producing a single test that is supposedly a reliable indicator of a student’s likely future academic performance? Is their test so incompetent it must be buttressed with a dog’s breakfast of social justice ephemera?
Colleges and universities have for several years been acting on the concerns, with an increasing number no longer demanding SAT or rival ACT scores from applicants. More than 1,000 schools, including elite liberal arts colleges as well as research universities and for-profit schools, are test-optional, according to the nonprofit group FairTest, which argues standardized tests are biased against minority groups.
That’s not quite accurate. FairTest and others argue that the tests are not, in and of themselves, accurate or necessary, and many colleges and universities agree. This puts the College Board in an uncomfortable position. They’re now having to argue that not only is their test perfect, it needs consideration of leftist diversity arguments to prop it up. The LA Times is suggesting adversity scoring is necessary to address those not prepared for college. Through adversity scoring, sufficient points can be added to admit them into an environment any rational person should know will see them encumber enormous debt, fail to earn a degree, and have no skills or credentials to help them pay it off.
No one is suggesting colleges shouldn’t consider factors that might indicate someone not otherwise academically qualified might have personal skills such as determination or an excellent work ethic, that might help them succeed academically, but that’s not what adversity scoring is about. Involvement in free and reduced lunch programs, participation in AP testing regardless of result, median family income and neighborhood crime rates do not speak to an individual’s character or personal qualities that might assist them in being successful at genuinely college level study.
This sounds exactly like a common Leftist tactic: getting the messaging right. They don’t change their policies or goals, but they manipulate the language in an attempt to obfuscate, or trick normal Americans.
I am not, for a moment, suggesting that people should be denied the opportunity to attend college, but if anyone can attend, what’s the value of a college degree? Ivy League universities are most invested in the diversity scam. With a straight face, they actually argue that merely placing people of the right–Left–race, gender identity, etc., in the proper proportions in their classrooms, makes education better for everyone. Whether they are actually capable of doing college level work, or even good people, is a decidedly secondary consideration.
There are a great many community colleges, which are a relatively low cost, or at least lower cost, way for the less academically capable or inclined can learn if they have the ability or interest to pursue a bachelor’s degree. If they leave before they earn an associate’s degree, they at least have a reasonable chance to pay off whatever loans they may have incurred. But when colleges, for sociopolitical reasons, admit people they know are unqualified, they’re doing them no kindness, nor are they in any way improving society. Taking out loans in the $50,000 dollar per year range is ruinous, even if a student somehow manages to graduate. Unless their degree is something practical, something that will aid them in making a living—a good living—they’re consigned to a miserable existence they may never escape.
This may be the most obvious accomplishment of the College Board and complicit schools, but this is common for Leftists. They destroy those they claim most to want to help.