TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, May 20, 2019

SAT To Give Students ‘Adversity Score’: 1 (Privilege) To 100 (Hardship)

Wall Street Journal, SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background:

WSJ 2The 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. ...

The College Board, the New York based nonprofit that oversees the SAT, said it has worried about income inequality influencing test results for years. White students scored an average of 177 points higher than black students and 133 points higher than Hispanic students in 2018 results. Asian students scored 100 points higher than white students. The children of wealthy and college-educated parents outperformed their classmates. ...

WSJ

An adversity score of 50 is average. Anything above it designates hardship, below it privilege. ...

The College Board declined to say how it calculates the adversity score or weighs the factors that go into it. The data that informs the score comes from public records such as the U.S. Census as well as some sources proprietary to the College Board.

The College Board began developing the tool in 2015 because colleges were asking for more objective data on students’ backgrounds, said Ms. Betterton. Several college admissions officers said they worry the Supreme Court may disallow race-based affirmative action. If that happens, the value of the tool would rise, they said.

“The purpose is to get to race without using race,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

Inside Higher Ed, New SAT Score: Adversity:

IHE

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/05/sat-to-give-students-adversity-score-1-privilege-to-100-hardship.html

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Comments

The quantification and ritual representation of victimhood. No risk of subjective bias here. Move along.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | May 20, 2019 3:43:34 AM

Predictions: Decreased admissions of upper-class minority students, greatly increased admissions of Asian students from poor neighborhoods, slightly increased admissions of white students from Appalachia. Drastic revision of the ranking criteria almost immediately or even before this method is first used.

Anyone with half a brain can see this coming a mile away.

Posted by: AMTbuff | May 21, 2019 1:55:25 PM