Stop Flunking College Prospects With Unfair Admissions Tests

Target: Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University

Goal: Do not mandate exclusionary SAT or ACT tests for college admissions.

The pandemic upended many facets of America’s education system, but at least one transformation may ultimately be for the better. An increasing number of colleges and universities (including elite higher education systems) have made standardized ACT or SAT test scores temporarily optional in the submission process. Many of the institutions, citing a greater diversity of applicants, are extending the optionality. For long-time critics of standardized testing, this reform is a long time coming.

These types of tests have remained the subject of intense scrutiny, as opponents argue they give an edge to wealthier students with greater access to test preparation tools like private tutoring and education at the most privileged schools. Low-income students attending schools with far less resources may not benefit from the level of preparation they need to succeed on these tests. In addition, the tests themselves have faced criticism for being tailored to certain cultural or ethnic groups and for failing to account for different learning styles of students.

Research seems to bear out many of the critiques. Schools that do not make college admissions testing mandatory have received higher numbers of low-income, minority, and first-generation college applicants. Even more telling, these schools appear to have higher retention rates from first-year to second-year students. Even long-term studies have revealed that it is often the students with lower SAT or ACT scores who emerge as the most effective leaders in their eventual careers.

Sign the petition below to encourage expansion of a measure that could bridge some of the most glaring gaps of inequity in education.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Bollinger,

At the beginning of this pandemic, Columbia helped set an important standard for the rest of the nation’s schools by making admissions test-optional. Now you can become a leader and a standard-bearer again by permanently implementing this reform. Until the SAT and ACT systems can address the income, racial, and other biases within their ranks, these arbitrary and restrictive measurements have no place as a tool for determining merit or future success.

Please help set a new standard that views individuals through a holistic lens and that values quality, not quantity.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kaboompics


One Comment

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