Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    Secret Socioeconomic ‘Adversity Score’ Being Assigned to SAT Test Takers — Disclosed Only To Colleges

    Secret Socioeconomic ‘Adversity Score’ Being Assigned to SAT Test Takers — Disclosed Only To Colleges

    Students may be penalized in college admissions without knowing it — it’s like being on “Double Secret Probation”

    The College Board is trying to make the SAT more ‘fair’ for everyone by taking social and economic factors into account.

    This is really just the latest attempt to institutionalize the concept of social justice into higher education. But this process is pernicious — the students who are assigned a socioeconomic score won’t know how they score, so they may be penalized in college admissions without knowing it. It’s like being on Double Secret Probation (ref. Animal House).

    Douglas Belkin reported at the Wall Street Journal:

    SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background

    The College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic background, jumping into the debate raging over race and class in college admissions.

    This new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood. Students won’t be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.

    Fifty colleges used the score last year as part of a beta test. The College Board plans to expand it to 150 institutions this fall, and then use it broadly the following year.

    How colleges consider a student’s race and class in making admissions decisions is hotly contested. Many colleges, including Harvard University, say a diverse student body is part of the educational mission of a school.

    See if you can spot the key term in this sentence from the same Wall Street Journal article.  Just think of the Bernie Sanders campaign platform:

    The College Board, the New York based nonprofit that oversees the SAT, said it has worried about income inequality influencing test results for years.

    Here’s an overview from ABC News:

    Would you be surprised to learn that the man behind this plan is the same person who brought us Common Core?

    Barnini Chakraborty reports at FOX News:

    College Board president pushing ‘adversity score’ is same man behind controversial Common Core program

    The College Board president behind the recent decision to assign applicants an “adversity score” is the same man who courted controversy pushing Common Core, the national K-12 curriculum standards project that several states adopted, then dropped under pressure from education activists.

    David Coleman, the architect of Common Core and current president and chief executive of the College Board, has a controversial history with standardized tests and higher learning. Critics claim Common Core, which was designed to establish baseline K-12 curriculum standards but was derided as a power grab from local school boards, should be seen as a cautionary tale. They also suspect Coleman’s latest effort, in his current job heading the company behind the SAT test, is an effort to stay relevant amid questions about the fairness of standardized testing.

    This part from the same Fox News piece seems rather important:

    Michael Nietzel, emeritus of Missouri State University, questioned the need of an “adversity score.”

    “At a time when standardized testing is under increased scrutiny and is even being discontinued or minimized as an admission tool by hundreds of colleges, one must wonder whether adversity scores are primarily an attempt to protect the SAT’s market or to promote social mobility,” he wrote in an opinion piece for Forbes. “Colleges that are genuinely concerned about the bias built into the tests or the cheating associated with the SAT or the ACT, have a simpler choice: don’t require students to take them.”

    Nietzel also believes “there’s not a straight line from socioeconomic background to SAT performance” and adds that “assigning an adversity number suggests an influence that may not be operating for individual students, and it probably overlooks influences that are.”

    “The fact that the College Board does not want students to know their adversity scores reflects their own discomfort with the concept,” he said.

    Students won’t know their adversity scores, but schools will? Why so secretive? It almost sounds like this is just a roundabout way of implementing identity politics and class warfare.

    Tucker Carlson spoke to Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan institute about this last week. As you can probably guess, she is not a fan. This video is cued to begin at the 9:51 mark, just press play:

    Featured image via YouTube.


    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.


    Albigensian | May 20, 2019 at 9:56 am

    There’s probably the basis for a “disparate impact” lawsuit in this adversity score somewhere. Although I suppose you’d have to have access to the secret data, and the scores derived from that data, to bring it.

    Perhaps the next step will be to do away with this adversity score and just use it to directly adjust the reported SAT scores? For surely it must seem a terrible injustice that these un-adjusted scores are even reported?

    Is it really necessary to point out that Affirmative Action has always depended on secrecy and dishonesty, as those who support and implement these policies seem forever unwilling to reveal exactly what they’re doing and how (and to what extend) they’re doing it?

      artichoke in reply to Albigensian. | May 20, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Probably no lawsuit, because the discrimination will be against the groups (white and Asian males) who are not legally protected classes.

      The best and most reasonable change we could make to civil rights law is to make everyone a protected class. It won’t happen to repeal existing protected classes, but why not add 2 more in the interest of fairness? How loud could the usual professional grievance mongers scream about that? Well pretty loud because they’re always loud, but they would be on shaky ground.

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend