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Faculty Says UC Schools Shouldn't Ditch SAT/ACT Tests

The recent college admissions scandal allegedly involved some parents hiring special proctors to administer entrance exams to their children and correct their answers. (Photo by Seth Perlman/AP) (Seth Perlman/AP)
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There's no shortage of criticisms about the standardized tests most colleges use to decide whether to admit students. Opponents say the SAT and ACT tests are a better measure of whether you can afford test preparation than a gauge of academic aptitude.

The University of California system has been debating whether to keep the tests, and last year it asked faculty leaders to study the issue. Now the results of the yearlong review are in:

Don't ditch the tests, faculty leaders say.

Well, that's the very short answer. The Academic Senate's executive committee released more than 200 pages of reasons why they think the tests are worthwhile. The main takeaway: after factoring in demographics and other socioeconomic information, less-advantaged students are actually admitted at a higher rate than other students with similar test scores.

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Bob Schaeffer, interim executive director of FairTest, a group that’s pushing colleges to make standardized tests optional for admission, said the executive committee's recommendation "is contradicted by other evidence."

"It ignores the fact that test optional policies work well in a thousand other campuses across the country both big and small,” he said.

The committee's preliminary recommendations will continue to be debated over the next few months. The full Academic Senate is expected to issue a final set of policy recommendations at its meeting in April.

“We expect that the UC Faculty Senate and ultimately the Board of Regents will look at a broad range of evidence, not just this task force report, in making the final decision as to whether the SAT and ACT continue to be admissions requirements at the University of California,” Schaeffer said.
You can read the full report here: