The University of California system is no longer requiring students to submit SAT/ACT scores. Why?
Without standardized testing, it would be difficult to prove the weight given to race in admissions.
I would guess that's a big reason right there.
Yet, the University of California's own Standardized Testing Task Force found value in SAT/ACT results:
The Task Force did not find standardized testing to be unreliable or call for its abandonment, however.
Instead, its final report concluded that “At UC, test scores are currently better predictors of first-year GPA than high school grade point average (HSGPA), and about as good at predicting first-year retention, [University] GPA, and graduation.” Not only that, it found: “Further, the amount of variance in student outcomes explained by test scores has increased since 2007 … Test scores are predictive for all demographic groups and disciplines … In fact, test scores are better predictors of success for students who are Underrepresented Minority Students (URMs), who are first generation, or whose families are low-income.” In other words, test scores remain the best indicator for continued performance in college.
This is yet another attack on excellence, as I described most recently here.
The elimination of scores has a pronounced impact on students. While it will likely allow for greater diversity in admissions, it also removes a way for students to distinguish themselves in actual testing of their knowledge of math, English and other subjects. Yes, there are other ways to distinguish themselves, like community service and high school projects. Yet, as found by the UC task force, these tests do have a predictive value on success. Indeed, at a time when the United States is losing ground on math and science, the elimination of such testing could undermine our competitive position in a global economy; countries like China demand high levels of objective performance in areas like math and science.
There is an alternative. Rather than eliminate standardized scores due to the disparity in performance of racial groups, we should focus on improving the performance of minority high school students in these areas.
Suggesting that we help low-scoring, often minority students improve their performance will soon, if it's not already, be a no-go because it "comes from a deficit perspective", an idea that if we don't automatically assume all students are great at everything, we're somehow causing them harm and are probably being white supremacists in the process.
We as a society need to admit that there are certain cultures and subcultures that value education more than others do, and that if we want all students to succeed in the mass/common culture, those cultures are going to have to change their values and raise their standards rather than expecting the mass/common culture to lower its standards. Pretending there isn't a problem isn't going to make things better.
Instead of addressing the failure to educate kids in these communities, the push is to get rid of the testing itself. The deficiencies will remain — but the ability to expose them will be gone.
Eliminating standardized scores will not erase true racial disparities in our educational system. Indeed, it may only exacerbate them.
This proposed "cure" is far worse than the disease. Refusing a mammogram or a colonoscopy won't keep you from having cancer.
So why do you think so many are and have been pushing to eliminate the use of college entry tests?