New figures released this week by the College Board showed that overall SAT scores remained essentially unchanged from last year. But a closer look reveals growing racial, ethnic and income gaps that have some observers worried.
After gaining 13 points this year across all three parts of the SAT, Asian Americans now outscore African Americans by 163 points on math, 90 points on reading and 106 points on writing, according to Inside Higher Education. In addition, the 2010 scores showed a correlation between SAT scores and family income. Simply put, those with higher family incomes scored higher on all three parts of the SAT than their lower-income counterparts. Higher levels of parental education also were associated with higher scores.
The growing disparities did not go unnoticed by critics of standardized testing. FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, released a statement saying that the test scores show education reform is not leading to more equity as proponents claim. “Fortunately, more and more colleges have recognized the folly of fixating on the narrow, often biased, information provided by standardized tests and moved toward test-optional admissions,” said Bob Schaeffer, public education director of Fair Test.
FairTest, which maintains a database of test-optional schools, says the number of colleges and universities that make SAT or ACT scores optional for applicants now stands at more than 840.
Categories: Continuing the Conversation
Of course we know there is a positive correlation between income and SAT scores. And this makes sense, right? SAT tutors charge $100+/hr, and SAT courses will easily run you a few 0’s. Personally, I think the only way to get around these obstacles isn’t to complain, but create technologies that level the playing field and bridge this disparity gap.
The best tool I’ve found it http://www.ShowMeSAT.com, a free online learning community that provides interactive video tutorials from professional tutors for every practice problem in all major SAT prep guides. With this tool, everyone can learn from top notch instructors, while setting their own pace and personalized their learning.
Could it be that someone with a higher income generally has a higher aptitude or work ethic? Or is every disparity prima facie evidence of racism? Could it be that the children of parents who graduated from college value a college education more and so perform better on tests that determine who is qualified for college? Or is that racism too?
Frankly, I am shocked at the naiveté of your post. Is it Wake Forest’s goal to distribute admissions tickets based on skin color or is it Wake Forest’s goal to find the most talented collective student body? When you are not using objective measures to decide, then it is all politics; in other words, Wake Forest is no better than a bunch of racists.