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University of California Will Stop Using SAT, ACT

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: The University of California board of regents voted Thursday to stop using the SAT and ACT college admissions exams (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source), reshaping college admissions in one of the largest and most prestigious university systems in the country and dealing a significant blow to the multibillion-dollar college admission testing industry. The unanimous 23-to-0 vote ratified a proposal put forward last month by UC President Janet Napolitano to phase out the exams over the next five years until the sprawling UC system can develop its own test.

The battle against standardized tests has raged for years because minority students score, on average, lower than their white classmates. Advocates argue that the exams are an unfair admission barrier to those students because they often cannot pay for pricey test preparation. […] Ms. Napolitano’s proposal allows four years for the UC system to develop a new exam. If it fails to create or adopt one, then it likely would cease to use any exam, said Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as FairTest, which has fought against standardized testing for 30 years. Mr. Schaeffer said he doesn’t believe a new exam will be implemented. “It appears very unlikely that they will be able to design an instrument that is more accurate and fairer than relying on applicants’ high school records,” Mr. Schaeffer said. “And, if a new test somehow meets those goals promoters would face massive adoption barriers, including persuading UC and the rest of the admissions world that a third test is truly needed or useful.”

A spokesman for the College Board, which oversees the SAT, said the organization’s “mission remains the same: to give all students, and especially low-income and first-generation students, opportunities to show their strength. We must also address the disparities in coursework and classrooms that the evidence shows most drive inequity in California.”


Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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