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Thu May 21, 2020, 11:24 PM

University of California Will End Use of SAT and ACT in Admissions [View all]

Source: New York Times

SACRAMENTO ó The University of California on Thursday voted to phase out the SAT and ACT as requirements to apply to its system of 10 schools, which include some of the nationís most popular campuses, in a decision with major implications for the use of standardized tests in college admissions.

Given the size and influence of the California system, whose marquee schools include the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Berkeley, the move is expected to accelerate the momentum of American colleges away from the tests, amid charges that they are unfair to poor, black and Hispanic students.

The school systemís action, which follows many small liberal arts colleges, comes as the ACT and the College Board, a nonprofit organization that administers the SAT, are suffering financially from the cancellation of test dates during the coronavirus pandemic. One critic of the industry estimated that the College Board had lost $45 million in revenue this spring.

Although many students will likely continue to take the exams as long as they are required by highly competitive schools like Stanford and those in the Ivy League, Californiaís decision will clearly be a blow to the image of the tests, and experts said it could tip the balance for other schools in deciding whether to eliminate them.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/us/university-california-sat-act.html

This article explains that private schools like Smith and Chicago have gone test optional recently. However, there's a difference between highly selective private schools like those vs. a state's entire research university system.

The last five years - online misinformation, the resurrection of vaccine phobia and anti-Semitism from the graveyard of history, the inability for the general public to understand the science behind coronavirus - have shown me (a Millennial) we need critical reasoning more than ever. For those older than me, I'm sure you'd say the last 10, 15, or 20 years...if you have a case for 30, 40, or 50+ I'd love to hear it.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a more socially equal society. But dumbing down the academic standards of the nation's greatest public university system is NOT the way to go about it. Instead, give disadvantaged groups more access to the resources they need to be successful with the SAT. For crying out loud, it's 2020, and with resources like Khan Academy who the hell needs to drop thousands of dollars for SAT prep?

There's already enough anti-intellectualism coming out of AM radio, social media, blogs, and sadly the White House too. Why the hell is the UC system joining in on that?

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