From the New York Times:
The university system has reached a settlement with students to scrap even optional testing from admissions and scholarship decisions.
For some reason, that strikes me as the funniest Conquistador-American name yet that I’ve seen among diversity hires. I’m waiting for José Antonio Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia IV, Duke of Primo Rivera to show up on the New York Times list of its new vibrantly diverse employees, but until then Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio will have to do.
May 15, 2021
The University of California will not take SAT and ACT scores into account in admissions or scholarship decisions for its system of 10 schools, which include some of the nation’s most sought-after campuses, in accordance with a settlement in a lawsuit brought by students.
Lawsuit settlements are one of the most corrupt ways for liberal institutions to do what they wanted to to.
The settlement announced on Friday signals the end of a lengthy legal debate over whether the University of California system should use the standardized tests, which students of color and those with disabilities have said put them at a disadvantage. Opponents of the tests called the settlement “historic,” and said that it would broaden access to campuses for students across the state.
“Today’s settlement ensures that the university will not revert to its planned use of the SAT and ACT — which its own regents have admitted are racist metrics,” said Amanda Mangaser Savage, a lawyer representing the students.
Some 225,000 undergraduate students attend University of California schools, and the settlement this week makes the system the largest and best-known American institution of higher education to distance itself from the use of the two major standardized tests.
You are no longer allowed to even optionally submit your test scores to the University of California.
The settlement resolves a 2019 lawsuit brought by a coalition of students, advocacy groups and the Compton Unified School District, a largely Black and Hispanic district in Los Angeles County.
In other words, the University of California was simply overwhelmed in court by the intellectual superiority of the students of the Compton Unified School District. The University of California tried its hardest, but it was simply cognitively outgunned by Compton high school students.
The plaintiffs said that the college entrance tests are biased against poor and mainly Black and Hispanic students — and that by basing admissions decisions on those tests, the system illegally discriminates against applicants on the basis of their race, wealth and disability.
Seriously, the UC Regents commissioned a study by the Academic Senate of UC faculty of the utility of the SAT college admissions test only a couple of years ago. The UC faculty reported back that the SAT was even more valuable than high school grade point average, with GPA only explaining 16% of freshman grades while SAT accounted for 21%.
Together, SAT and GPA predicted 26% of freshman grades. So eliminating the SAT (and ACT) will reduce predictability by 3/8ths from 26% to 16%.
Interestingly, the SAT is a better predictor than HSGPA for nonwhites, but not as good for whites. My guess is that this is because whites tend to attend schools with less grade inflation than nonwhites. For example, most public schools like to add 1.0 points to GPA for taking Advanced Placement classes, so the highest possible GPA on a 0.0 to 4.0 scale is 5.0, but the very good old line private school my son won a scholarship to refused to offer AP classes (on the grounds that they preferred their teachers to design the courses they preferred to teach), so the highest GPA possible was only 4.0. Despite not taking any officially Advanced Placement classes, my son wound up passing some huge number of AP tests such as 8 or 10, because it was an extravagantly good school. But his GPA would have been a lot higher if he’d attended a public school.
Charles Murray’s view is that colleges should use instead of the SAT the SAT Subject tests. My theory is that the SAT should be turned back into an IQ test (the SAT Verbal test might have been the best high end IQ test in the world up until it was made drastically easier in 1995) and should be combined with Advanced Placement tests.
The idea of having a standardized test for intelligence is so that kids who are smart but not totally into high school can be distinguished from kids who aren’t smart. For example, a friend of mine from first through twelfth grade was always obviously brilliant, but he was kind of bored by school and his home life was difficult because his father had died when he was young, leaving his widowed mother with four orphans. But he aced the SAT back in the 70s when it was a serious test and was admitted to Berkeley where he earned a Master’s in chemical engineering, a serious subject. He then got into programming and made small fortune in the World Wide Web era. Since then he’s played golf and been an important contributor (for free) to Linux, which the whole world depends upon.
So, the SAT should be restored to its past glory as a really good test of raw intelligence.
To complement it, colleges should pay more attention in the admissions process to Advanced Placement tests. If students are going to test prep as much as they have since the Asian Invasion began, they might as well learn American History and Chemistry while they are doing it.
Also, the Advanced Placement tests’ scoring should be extended from 1 to 5 to 1 to 7 to make it more relevant for elite colleges (e.g., Caltech doesn’t listen to AP test scores because it assumes that all of its admits are advanced on STEM subjects). For example, last I heard, to get a 5 on AP Chemistry, a brute of a test requiring both mathematical theory and memorization of weird facts, you only had to get 56% right. I totally agree that people who get 56% right on AP Chemistry should get a 5, but kids who get 70+% right should get a 6 and 85+% right a 7.