Universities throughout the United States have been using SAT and ACT scores to make admissions decisions for decades. These standardized tests quiz students on math, spelling, grammar, reading, and science to ensure prospective students have the necessary skills. However, activists are furious that not everyone can pass the SAT or ACT with flying colors, and are suing the University of California for daring to use these standardized tests for admissions.
Predictably, these activists allege that such standards discriminate against minority and low-income students. Given the fact that many far-left pundits are claiming that English and Math, in themselves, are inherently racist, it’s not surprising to see this logic play out.
The lawsuit itself makes little sense. SAT and ACT scores have, for a long time, acted as an equalizer by allowing even poor students who are willing to work hard and study to earn a spot on a top-tier university. Free test-prep aides such as Khan Academy and the College Board website allow anyone with access to a computer to receive professional assistance. Both the SAT and the ACT offer modified testing options for those who have disabilities. Test-takers with ADD, ADHD, vision problems, and those who don’t speak English are among the many individuals who are offered assistance as they take the SAT or ACT exam.
And it’s not like standardized tests are the only things college administrators look at. Many educational institutions use a wide range of factors when assessing student applications. It’s common knowledge that skin color and ethnicity can make a difference. Progressive campuses put a premium on diversity, and so make it a point to look for talented minority students.
Faculty members also look at recommendations, personalized essays, the classes a student has taken, and the grades he or she has received. SAT and ACT scores are certainly important, but even hard-working students who have a hard time mastering a particular subject can still get into a good university.
However, no educational institution offers a free ride even though some far-left academics have floated the idea of using a “lottery system” rather than a merit-based criteria.
It’s not hard to understand why an educational institution would want to use standardized tests to find good students. Universities need to maintain a high graduation rate in order to maintain their reputation. Bringing in students who won’t be able to complete rigorous course material hurts both the school and the students who are being cheated out of a real education. Employers count on leading universities to only choose the best candidates. Selecting mediocre candidates would lessen the value of a university’s diploma.
If the lawsuit is successful, the move to ban the use of the SAT and ACT at universities throughout the nation would make the admissions process even less fair than it already is.