SAT Dumps Controversial Adversity Score Program

David Coleman, the President and Chief Executive of the College Board, has been under steady and rising criticism over his relatively short tenure at the head of the testing organization. After taking control, Coleman immediately moved to implement the most controversial move in the history of standardized testing: an “adversity score” that would supplement the testing scores to benefit students from impoverished areas. Critics objected that Coleman was moving beyond the core function of standardized testing and engaging in his vision of addressing social ills and inequities through testing. Some even objected that it was an effort to insert a de facto affirmative action program at the test score stage. The College Board has now announced that this expensive effort by Coleman will be scrapped. College Board however has indicated that “information” may still be given to colleges, leading some to question whether Coleman is truly yielding on his effort to augment the standardized scores of applicants.

Coleman has been pushing the so-called “adversity score” as a supplement to the SAT college admissions test. Coleman wanted colleges to use the Environmental Context Dashboard to add points for students who came from areas with less resources and more difficult learning environments.

Coleman has long been criticized by conservatives for what is viewed as a social agenda in this work. His prior efforts on the Common Core were viewed as diminishing the authority of local boards while others objected to the dropping of classic works in education in favor of non-fiction works. Once he took over the College Board, he was accused of undermining Common Core critics by incorporating much of the Common Core foundation into the SAT testing.

The adversity scoring for many seemed an effort by Coleman to defeat the primary purpose of the College Board to offer a single, standardized test that ranks students solely on their performance and knowledge. Coleman seemed to reject the value of simply supplying blind, standardized scores and explained that augmented scoring “enables colleges to witness the strength of students in a huge swath of America who would otherwise be overlooked.”

Encouraging the use of an augmented score was a paradigm shift for SAT, That was a function that has been performed by colleges and has been the subject of continual litigation, particularly in the use of race as a criteria. Coleman was accused of creating a new avenue for advantaging students with lower scores, but to do so at the testing stage to better insulate the preferential ranking from review.

Coleman’s pushing of the adversity score led some to opt to take the ACT rather than the SAT, though it is unclear how much of an impact the score has had on participation. When this controversy heated up in the last year, SAT had reclaimed its position as the most used test. The controversy was undermining that effort.

For students who would not receive a bump from an adversity score, there was little reason to choose the SAT. Since those students already face the likelihood of such factors being weighed by colleges, the incorporation of the adversity score was viewed as inviting a second possible adjustment against their ranking. For white and Asian students that made the SAT less attractive. Moreover, this was a highly controversial exercise in designating whole areas as adverse or non-adverse.

There is no sign that the College Board is reconsidering the leadership of Coleman despite almost two years of controversy and distraction over this failed effort. Coleman now admits that “the idea of a single score was wrong. It was confusing and created the misperception that the indicators are specific to an individual student.”

Critics however are not convinced that Coleman is truly giving up on the idea of creating a new basis for augmenting scores or applications.

In my view, SAT should return to its core function of supplying blind, standardized scores. Students work hard to get their grades and scores as high as possible for college. SAT and ACT are supposed to offer them reliable and neutral testing options. Colleges and universities will likely continue to litigate their own admission standards, particularly in considering race and other immutable characteristics. However, Coleman’s effort to weigh in on college selection was unnecessary, unwise, and ultimately harmful to the College Board.

74 thoughts on “SAT Dumps Controversial Adversity Score Program”

  1. Community College for first two years. Transfer to a state college or university and avoid the frat boy and sports places like Mizzou and go to UNKC or UMSL and complete four years at a reasonable tuition rate. Then, start your own business of some sort. Or teach. Or teach teachers.

    1. I think this is on point.

      I was a community college student, and then I transferred to a four year.

      I do not have any regrets about it. It was cheaper, by a mile, and the professors were not overworked/over stressed. I was always able to reach the professors easily…even by their personal cell phones (probably wouldn’t do that today).

      The class size was 10 to 30 students total, its probably more now…but it was very stress free environment. You didn’t have to clamor with other students for the teachers attention or questions.

      The four year experience was a little different. Definitely more clamoring the last two years of schooling.
      Class sizes were much larger, the professors were much more stressed out, they had TA’s to help out with all the students. The last two years were more expensive.

      One of my favorite professors at the community college (he also taught at UCLA), he taught English. He would kick all 25 of us students out of the classroom, post submitting papers, and call us in one-by-one, and just grill each of us about our papers in private, it took up a whole day of class, after every paper, but it was super helpful.

      I don’t think you would get that level of attention at a four year school….he probably did not do that for his 50-100 student class at UCLA…I am guessing…

      1. Anonymous – I cannot speak for UCLA, however ASU has a maximum of 30 students in its Eng 101 and 102 classes.

        1. Wow, that’s really good of ASU.

          The class size for a lower division course (1st/2nd year) at UCLA ~75 to ~150, maybe more.

          They try to make up for it with required discussion session w/ TA’s 1x per week. Depends on who your TA is. The discussion session ~10 to ~20 students.

          The upper division course (3rd/4th year) are small ~10 to ~30.

  2. Washington Post Retracts ‘White Nationalist’ Smear Against Conservative Author

    A Washington Post article that attempted to smear the entire pro-life movement as a tool of white nationalism had to be corrected Tuesday after one of its assertions was found to be completely unfounded.

    In her op-ed, left-wing writer Marissa Brostoff cited two recent examples to make her case that “white nationalists have aligned themselves with the pro-life movement,” hapless Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and conservative author J.D. Vance.

    King has been accused of making comments related to white nationalism and in January was unanimously condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike.

    Vance made some comments at the National Conservatism Conference on July 16, that Brostoff distorted to paint him as a white nationalist.

    “Our people aren’t having enough children to replace themselves. That should bother us,” Brostoff quoted Vance saying. “Vance did not spell out exactly who was included in the word ‘our.’ He didn’t need to,” she concluded, suggesting that he was referring to white birthrates specifically.

    But Vance had made clear that he was talking about national birthrates in his speech, not birthrates of white people only: “There are a lot of ways to measure a healthy society, but the most important way to measure a healthy society is by whether a nation is having enough children to replace itself.”

    Moreover, contrary to Brostoff’s portrayal of Vance as a white nationalist, the conservative is in an inter-racial marriage and has a bi-racial son. Oooops.

    After a conservative backlash, the post added an “editor’s note” at the top of the article: “An earlier version of this story suggested that the author J.D. Vance lamented a falloff in white births; he was actually talking about American births.”

    The entire op-ed, however, sidesteps the inconvenient truth of the matter: the pro-life movement has a long history of lamenting the devastating impact abortion has had on black Americans.

    The impact is particularly striking in New York City, where more babies are reportedly aborted than born.

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal last July, columnist Jason L. Riley, in an article titled “Let’s Talk About the Black Abortion Rate,” reported that between 2012 and 2016 in New York City, the city’s health department recorded 136,426 abortions performed on black women compared to 118,127 black babies born. Among whites, Hispanics and Asians in New York City, births far surpassed abortions.

    However, when a pro-life group put up pro-life billboards in predominantly black neighborhoods in the south, the left reacted with outrage, calling the billboards racist and offensive.

    Brostoff’s attempt to link white nationalists to the pro-life movement hinges on the claim that white nationalists “are obsessed with falling birthrates, and by extension they are obsessed with the recruitment — and total control — of women’s wombs,” as feminist writer, Mona Eltahawy put it.

    But a much better case could be made that the abortion industry has “ties” to white supremacy going back to the racist eugenicist founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger.

    Dr. Brian Clowes, the director of education and research at Human Life International made that case after buying a complete set of Sanger’s journal The Birth Control Review and reading every one of its 5,631 pages.

    “Sanger associated with racists and anti-Semites, people who despised everyone who was not a Nordic god or goddess, and those who demanded coercive eugenics programs to eliminate “lesser” humans,” Clowes wrote at Human Life International.

    Here’s how Sanger summarized the intimate relationship between the eugenics and birth control movements:

    Before eugenists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control. Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit. … Birth control of itself, by freeing the reproductive instinct from its present chains, will make a better race … Eugenics without birth control seems to us a house built upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit.

    According to Clowes, The Birth Control Review was admired by none other than Professor Doktor Ernst Rudin, Adolf Hitler’s Director of Genetic Sterilization and founder of the Nazi Gesellschaft fur Rassenhygiene [Society for Racial Hygiene].

    In fact, Hitler himself was reportedly a fan of American eugenics journals, developing his ideas of an Aryan “master race” from its writers.

    Like the Nazis, writers for The Birth Control Review advocated positive eugenics. C.C. Little said, “The eugenist is very clear on the two facts which have been given you this morning: That the production of the unfit should be discouraged or stopped, and that the production of the fit should be encouraged and possibly forced.” This was the first mention in modern times of an idea that evolved within a decade into the Nazi’s grotesque Lebensborn program, which bred the “highest-quality” Aryan men and women like cattle.

    Brostoff sanitizes this history by asserting that Sanger was just latching on to a popular movement [eugenics] in an attempt to “legitimize” her noble cause.

    Initially, as the scholar Aiko Takeuchi-Demirci notes, Sanger had little patience for the eugenicists she described as “masculine ‘race suicide’ fanatics,” nor were they keen on the notion that women should be able to access birth control of their own volition.

    But hoping to legitimize her cause in the 1920s, Sanger sought the support of eugenicists and adopted their anti-immigrant views. The association lasted decades.

    Indeed, the left calls every attempt to point out Sanger’s odious pro-eugenicist views “revisionist history.”

    But what else can they do? The truth is ugly and the left’s cognitive dissonance on the matter is truly breathtaking.

    Brostoff’s allies in the pro-abortion movement are the very white nationalists she condemns—racists like Richard Spencer who support abortion as a means of limiting minority populations.

    As Spencer once explained: “The people who are having abortions are generally very often Black or Hispanic or from very poor circumstances.” Spencer supports abortion among whites only to weed out people with disabilities like Down Syndrome to improve the gene pool. Pro-abortion activists also encourage such abortions.

    It has been estimated, sadly, that somewhere between 67 and 90 percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.

    As far as blacks and Hispanics are concerned however, Spencer is highly supportive of abortion as a means of “birth control.”

    “They don’t oppose abortion because it’s good for racial minorities; they support abortion because it kills them,” conservative journalist Elliot Kaufman noted succinctly at National Review. “They hate black people and think America would be better if fewer of them were born.”

    That’s all abortion is—a means to prevent unwanted people from being born. If it’s ghastly mission attracts some of the worst among us, that’s not the pro-life movement’s fault.

  3. “Critics objected that Coleman was moving beyond the core function of standardized testing and engaging in his vision of addressing social ills and inequities through testing.”

    More bigotry of low expectations by the bigots of the Left. Nothing new there, but the push back’s intensity was new.

    I’m seeing a growing frustration with these social engineers by all segments of society and it’s palpable and growing. This extends to the royalty of social engineers: the federal bench who are “right” simply because they are “last.” I think abortion will be the straw that breaks the woke camel’s back given its visceral gruesomeness and nihilist underpinnings. We are seeing it in Missouri where a federal Carter appointee just blocked comprehensive abortion legislation. It’s ushering a crescendo of opposition.

    Cases we all took for decided like Roe v. Wade and NYT v. Sullivan are on a fast track to SCOTUS. I bet we have a sea change because judges do read papers beyond briefs.

  4. The SAT was barely relevant when it first appeared in 1926, as a tool for lazy school administrators to supplant the tedious work required to dig into a student’s academic record and has been a story of shifting scores and scales ever since in futile attempts to remain pertinent and mask a general decline in overall academic fitness of students in the USA.

    Virtually every decade since its introduction there have been test and scale modifications designed to portray the average present student as every bit as capable as his or her predecessor in decades past. But the 1400 scored today is not remotely close to the 1400 achieved in 1980. Calculators, extra time for “special” students (sometimes as much as twice the average student receives), a private room, a word processor for essays, extra breaks, a scribe, and other nonsense accommodations make today’s test seem like show & tell compared to the locked-down test environments of the past.

    And let’s not underestimate the greed and laziness of the College Board and Educational Testing Service who’ve been caught recycling and reusing questions from past SAT exams or the fact that the test can be “gamed” by preparation services in which no additional factual knowledge is required to boost one’s score by 100-200 points simply by analyzing the way questions and answers are posed.

    It’s no wonder schools are abandoning standardized tests in the admissions process. They’re worthless predictors of academic success. But don’t tell the ETS that – it’s loathe to give up its country club-like campus in Princeton, NJ any time soon, and will do anything to keep it alive. I wouldn’t be surprised if ETS has been kicking back money to the colleges it serves in an effort to do so.

    1. The SAT was barely relevant when it first appeared in 1926, as a tool for lazy school administrators to supplant the tedious work required to dig into a student’s academic record and has been a story of shifting scores and scales ever since in futile attempts to remain pertinent and mask a general decline in overall academic fitness of students in the USA.

      It’s a standardized test, you twit. It’s supposed to indicate something about the student’s aptitude and performance given the variation from one school to another in course content. You don’t really fancy an admissions examiner at SUNY Binghamton is ‘lazy’ because he’s not reading through 10,000 secondary school reading lists every year, You’re just being a jack-wagon.

      And, yes, ETS examinations are the most reliable predictor of future performance. Which is why the psychometricians who design them need to keep their eye on the prize.

  5. And to offset this change, The Evergreen State College will announce that the “Warm Body” pre-requisite for admission will be lowered to “Room Temperature”.

    1. Gov. Gavin Newsom is going to steal our money, the private wealth of taxpayers, and make community college free for everyone – presumably even those with unconstitutional “birthright citizenship.”

      The inmates have taken over the asylum.

      1. I’m pretty sure the writers on HBO’s Silicon Valley based character, Gavin Belsom on Gavin Newsom…

  6. Give Coleman a shovel and send him back to the coal mine to resume shoveling. And make him change the spelling of his name back to Coalman.

  7. “It’s Merit That Matters”

    The American Founders provided FREEDOM not “FREE STUFF” in the form of “affirmative action privilege,” quotas, generational welfare, bias, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, etc., as various and sundry forms of compulsory charity. A person’s success does not become the property of the state except under communism – oh yeah, America is under communism, huh? Successful people have the freedom to enjoy and pass on their success. Other people’s money is not other people’s business. The American thesis is freedom and self-reliance. Americans enjoy freedom and must rely on themselves, provide their own success and blame no one but themselves.

    Davis Coleman should be vigorously prosecuted and penalized for abusing power, usurping power and denying constitutional freedoms, rights, privileges and immunities. Perhaps the most important being the immunities of Americans from the theft of their money by various insidious taxes and means employed by criminal, greedy communist parasites who have been inconceivably allowed to persist in America.

    It’s time to stop talkin’ and start chalkin’!!!

    1. It is the only way that Democrats keep creating more sheep. The Left depend on a philosophy of decline. Otherwise a thinking populace threatens their existence. Witness the Left wing trolls on here: insult, insult, insult

      such is their DNA

      1. VK says: August 28, 2019 at 1:28 PM

        ‘Witness the Left wing trolls on here: insult, insult, insult

        such is their DNA’

        VK is projecting.

    2. Well, it would succeed if the goal was to bring America low as punishment for slavery, which existed globally. It seems ironic that America was at the forefront of abolishing slavery, which still thrives in Africa, India, and Asia, but is punished anyway.

      Slavery was ubiquitous, across cultures, and since the dawn of human history. Are Leftists angry that, out of the 2 million plus year history of human evolution and civilization, the United States didn’t figure out slavery was wrong around a hundred years earlier? Why not demand recompense for not arriving at women’s suffrage earlier? Or the working conditions up until a hundred years ago? Land disputes. Women barred from inheritance. Younger songs barred from inheritance of non divisible estates. Entailments.

      The list of past grievances according to today’s standards is extensive. If only ancient man adopted modern sensibilities.

      Since slavery is still relatively common in Africa, it is possible that the descendants of tribes who captured and sold their enemies into slavery to Europeans and Americans are still alive, and owning slaves today in African countries.

  8. As the mother of an elementary school student inflicted with Common Core, all those responsible for it should be fired and never work in education again. Common Core should be put into a locked strongbox, weighted down, and then tossed into the Mariana Trench.

  9. Leftist politics has infested the education system. We need to weed it out like any invasive species.

    Coleman won’t stop; he’ll just shift tactics.

    A meritocracy is fair. The focus should be on improving the quality of education, providing tutoring, and other help so that the student actually learns the material. It is racist to lower the bar.

    When great importance is placed on education in the family home, the student does better. There are Caucasian parents in my rural area who blow off school. A sweet kid in my son’s class did not turn in homework all year, because his mother thought it didn’t matter. Said it was a waste of time. The teacher managed to convince the child to do it, in the face of discouragement from his own mother. That mother might as well have built a brick wall between her own child and a successful future. But he did start turning in assignments at the end of the year, pleased as punch with himself for getting it done. I volunteer in the classroom, and just about had a party when he handed it in for the first time.

    Action = consequence, for good or ill.

    Socialism divests outcome from effort. This SAT adversity scoring is just the next logical step towards Socialism. Don’t think it’s fair? Neither is Socialism.

    1. A meritocracy is fair.

      Equal liberty and careers-open-to-talents may not be fair. The question is, is there an alternative modus operandi that’s an improvement on it. The purveyors of ‘affirmative action’ have had 50 years to demonstrate its worth, and it persists only because of emperor’s-new-clothes collective self-deception, decrees from judges and administrative agencies, flagrant acts of intimidation, and institutional penalties imposed on dissenters.

      1. When I went to college, one of my professors once complained that he had to teach the same class to two different audiences – those who earned their place through study, regardless of race, and Affirmative Action students who were hopelessly lost.

        The latter usually migrated to less rigorous degree programs or failed. Universities seem to be creating watered down degrees to be able to graduate students who cannot cope with the requirements of a traditional bachelor’s degree in any of the sciences, literature, or business. Graduates then have significant debt for a degree in gender studies, race studies, queer studies, or activism, which makes their potential employment opportunities limited.

        1. There are a lot of students in college who are there because it is expected of them or they have believed into the lie that you need a degree to succeed. Many of these students are the “barely 2.0-ers” and some of them take away from others, such as in-class antics resembling the need mental evaluation.

          At the end of every quarter, and I mean EVERY quarter, there is a line of 1.9-ers in the student advisors office arguing for that 0.1 point. I know of one prof. who keeps records and sits with an advisor going over every complaint. It often goes like this: class participation is 33% of the grade and you missed several without regard; or, I have a no-late homework policy – it is in the syllabus and we cover the syllabus on the first day – and weeks late is unfair to the other students who actually do their homework. Then, of course, there are those who believe the first day doesn’t matter, so they skip that day when the prof. goes over the syllabus – you know, the discussion of what is expected of the student this quarter and how they can succeed. In increasing numbers, there are those in-class students who simply cannot put their phone down then wonder why they tanked the quizzes, which is 30% of their grade.

          Mediocre students dumb down the value of an education for everyone. A standards test based on actual performance is big freaking hint that maybe, just maybe, STEM isn’t for them. Poor in-class performance is a big freaking hint that a student either needs to re-evaluate their life or consider a different program.

          (Future employers, you are warned.)

      2. THIS IS VERY WISE what TIA said above

        the key thing is not whether some system is perfect but whether improvements produce a net incremental gain over costs.

        in other words, for example, prohibiting sale of alcohol to adults is costlier to prohibit than permit, even if it does help some people, the net result is negative for society

        this is a simple notion of common good that realistic people understand

        unfortunately, the utopian mindset never grasps the notion

  10. What’s grossly amusing is that for more than fifty years, higher education has been unable and unwilling to stay in its lane and just offer academic schooling and vocational training. They’re ill-equipped to engage in social work projects and there’s little indication that the projects in which they engage are of aught but marginal benefit to the client while distorting and disfiguring institutional life.

    The utility of all this is that it creates job opportunities and allocates discretion to social workers, social workers manque, and compliance people (especially lawyers). It also builds patron-client relationships and socializes an individual’s accomplishments, stripping him of the autonomy to deviate from group consensus and critique his supposed ‘helpers’. Of course, no one could ever defend publicly the actual objects of the people who run these programs. As for the rest of the institution, faculty are generally other-directed and highly attuned to status-enhancing and status-lowering stances. Throwing darts at these silly institutional escapades marks you as one of ‘them’, and faculty are nothing if not determined to be lumped with ‘them’.

    An absurd example of this mentality is playing out at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as a portrait wall of accomplished medical researchers has been cleared off and the portraits put in storage. (It consisted, I think, of Nobel and Lasker prize winners, &c). Seems it bothered some tools associated with Brigham and Women’s Hospital that the portraits were of white men. Neither feminists or racial chauvinists respect actual accomplishment.

    Professor Turley, if you’re not working to conquer this problem, you’re part of it.

    1. “Professor Turley, if you’re not working to conquer this problem, you’re part of it.”

      What are you doing? Are you part of it?

      1. I don’t have a prominent faculty position, you senile old wench. I’m not in a position to do much of anything.

        1. Your anger management class will be starting shortly, “This is absurd x XII.”

          1. You’re too old Diane to learn the distinction between anger and dismissiveness.

            1. I don’t know this Diane to whom you’re referring, but whatever floats your boat. Your name is appropriate. What you’ve said “is absurd.”

          1. I repeatedly violate the civility rule, but I like to quote it and pretend it applies to everyone but me.

            1. I also like to post links instead of trying to actually think of something to say in a comment.

        2. I’m not in a position to do much of anything.

          You can pray like a Trappist for all of us pathetic sinful slobs in the trenches like me. You can pray for my spouse, my family, my career, our friends, our local church, our leaders, the souls in Purgatory, and on and on and on. Where can I send you my list of prayer intentions?

          There is plenty you can do. Do not underestimate the good that you can do by praying and encouraging others like all holy people before you have done.

  11. Adversity Score Program is soft racism: “The poor black kids aren’t smart enough to compete; we have to give them a helping hand.”

    And in doing so you stigmatize their achievements for the rest of their lives.

    1. Lowering the bar has always seemed racist. Like they can’t do it unless they make it easier. That’s so wrong. I’ve worked besides brilliant African Americans and H1B visa holders.

      Affirmative Action deflates their achievement. Whenever there are any aspects of AA, such as quotas or “adversity scoring”, employers and prospective patients or customers would always wonder if an African American earned their spot through hard work, study, intellect, and merit, or if the bar was lowered. That’s a real shame for people of all races who earned what they’ve achieved.

    2. Yes, my brother and his friend (asian), both acted rather condescending about their half-black/half-white friend who got into Berkeley Law with a 167, while their other full-white friend did not get into Berkeley Law with the same 167 score.

      But what they didn’t take into account in admission was the GPA’s and essays of these two individuals. Maybe the one that got in, was just more interesting…

      Moreover, after 2 years of hearing the shit talking, I said, “Well, if so-and-so wasn’t qualified to be at Berkeley Law, then why hasn’t he failed out? It seems he is doing just fine @ Berkeley Law. No one is taking his exams for him, or writing his papers for him, so….shut them up quick.

      Side note: Both applicants are from upper class families made up of parents who are doctors and lawyers, so not taking into account the poverty struggles of another individual….

  12. How does helping students enter colleges they are not actually prepared for help them? They are very likely going to flunk out with debt, and, be discouraged to boot. They may also feel they were lied to, as it was implied they could handle the work by their admittance.

    It is dishonest, does not do the student any favors, and does not fix the underlying problems.

    The emphasis on non-fiction texts also greatly concerns me.

    1. Universities created fluff degrees to address high dropout rates. Students graduate with relatively worthless degrees.

      1. Karen, the ‘worthless degrees’ are in the arts and humanities and in the non-quantitative social research disciplines. About 65% of those awarded baccalaureate degrees receive vocational degrees: business, schoolteaching, nursing, IT, physical education, agriculture, engineering, journalism &c. About 1/2 the remainder cadge degrees which require some facility in experimental science, calculus, statistics, or academic computer science.

        1. My undergraduate degree was worthless. It did not matter at all.

          I ended up in a Corporation sitting next to a Harvard grad on my left and a Berkeley grad on my right.

          Next to each of them — UCLA grad and UC Santa Cruz grad.

          Degrees including:

          Liberal arts degree; communications degree; history degree; and English degree, respectively….all sitting next to each other, all getting paid the exact same amount of money.

    2. The number of students at the 300 level who haven’t mastered basic high school grammar is appalling. It’s emblematic of either social promotion in high school or the expectation of college as remedial education.

      1. Thomas Johnson,
        I would also argue that it is the foolishness of schools simply not teaching grammar effectively or reinforcing accuracy in students’ writing, emphasizing instead ‘content’ to the detriment of mechanics. Content matters little if it is not effectively organized or expressed. It leads to mushy thinking on top of it all.

  13. The SAT is still adding a secondary score to “help” schools with their admissions. Same, but different.

        1. Paul S.,
          I’m not sure why the College Board is doing this in the first place. It is outside of its responsibilities. They offer the exams and perhaps share students’ scores with selected colleges; after that, colleges decide who they want to admit. The selection criteria is not the College Board’s responsibility.

          The HotAir article didn’t really include much, so I found one from CBS that proved interesting. The HotAir article did bring up a legitimate concern about wealth discrimination. I suppose that’s where is could descend, but it doesn’t have to.

          The CBS article has some interesting oversimplifications:

          “”I’m hoping that it’s not exploited. I’m hoping that it’s used for what it’s made to be,” Viveros said. “It won’t be until we see some major shifts in admissions rates amongst students of color, low income, first generation, can we say that, ‘OK, progress is being made.’ It’ll have to be a ‘wait and see’ at this point.””

          It is unclear to me how weighting scores (unless HotAir is correct) will majorly shift admission rates for the aforementioned demographics. Major shifts in admissions would have to accompany major shifts somewhere else besides a weighted SAT score.

          Why are students of color scores not high enough for their liking?
          Why are low income students’ scores not high enough for their liking?

          They are running up against culture, family dynamics, life aspirations, and other difficult to change hierarchies. However, addressing those issues will help, somewhat, with the goals they have.

          But, what goals does the College Board have? Is it to have a particular percentage of people go to college? Why does that mean ‘the right kind’ of success? I guess the more people going to college means the more money the College Board will make? Is that it?

          The CBS article also included a somewhat odd exchange.

          “Taking the SATs is “nerve wracking,” Kyle said. “Because you feel like every question that you answer, you’re thinking about, ‘will I get into college?'”

          Kyle attends a selective college prep high school in New York City, maintains a 3.8 GPA, plays sports, and volunteers. But she doesn’t know if it’s enough”

          This gal worries whether she’ll get into college? I think she means ‘the one of her choice’. She would absolutely gain admission to state universities, many of which are quite good. College, your education, is, to a point, what you make of it. True, she would not make the same kind of connections at State U as at an Ivy League, but is that critical to success?

          She does have a point to be bothered by the cheating and whether that will interfere with her gaining admission to a select college, but that worry is completely separate from the issue at hand of ‘Landscapes’ and SAT scores. Unless I am overlooking possible ways the two are actually connected???

          1. They’re doing this because (1) they want to and (2) they’re getting pressure from the schools. Standardized test scores embarrass the schools, because they reveal the degree to which the schools relax the rules for minority applicants. Discrimination of the scale and thoroughness practiced by colleges admissions officers is unlawful, but the courts don’t enforce the law because judges are more responsive to their social circles than to the law. Keep in mind that 14% of fall enrollment at baccalaureate granting institutions consists of black students, but only 10% of all graduating classes so consist. There’s been a 0.9 stdv gap between the black median and the general median on standardized tests for a generation or more. The only way you admit blacks in such numbers that college classes match the youth cohort in their racial composition is to admit any black applicant who has an equivalency and a pulse beat.

          2. Prairie Rose – I am against adjusting or adding to the scores in any way. You live by the test, you die by the test.

    1. PCS, “What’s My Line.” Speaking of reading up on it, try Mark Shaw’s book. Dorothy Kilgallen was assassinated employing the same M.O. of Marilyn Monroe’s assassination wherein a hit team gained access to the target, sedated it then overdosed it with barbituates. Kilgallen was going to publish Ruby’s probative evidence and testimony related to the JFK assassination but she was “suicided” just like Marilyn who was making private things public.

      “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much”

      Mark Shaw

      1. Dorothy Kilgallen had one too many drinks and took one too many sleeping pills. She died at home. The only people present were her husband, her younger son, and the domestic staff she employed. She knew nothing consequential about the Kennedy assassination and there was no reason for anyone to kill her. She was at the time of her death assembling material for a book recounting the murder trials she’d covered, including Jack Ruby’s trial, to which she was planning to devote a chapter. The notion she had some blockbuster planned doesn’t pass the chuckle test.

        1. Fun fact: Precisely the same MO transpired in Marilyn Monroe’s bedroom. It was just coincidence that she was the paramour of JFK, RFK, Sinatra et al. You, my friend, are an irredeemable fool or an agent for the Deep Deep State that will maintain the cover-ups in perpetuity. The fact is likely the former.

          The Big Picture: JFK, RFK, MLK, Oswald, Ruby, David Ferrie, Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Kilgallen, etc., etc., etc., all dead and dead men tell no tales, right?

          1. Norma Jean Baker (aka Dougherty, diMaggio, Miller; aka ‘Marilyn Monroe’) isn’t known to have met the Brothers Kennedy more than a couple of times. Neither they nor anyone else had any reason to see her killed.

            The woman was the daughter of a hopeless head case and spent scads of time growing up in foster care. A wide swath of people who had to deal with her personally and professionally would attest she was stupefyingly needy and erratic. Three very different men failed at the task of being her husband (though diMaggio was willing at the end of her life to give it another attempt). She was the meat and potatoes of the purveyors of inpatient and outpatient care and had been recently signed out of an inpatient admission by diMaggio, who was very irate with her doctors. That she eventually killed herself is zero surprise.

            1. I must concede, you are good at ignoring the facts and creating fiction. You replicate the O.J. Simpson squad of liars, frauds and spin doctors. Incidentally, Do you believe O.J. was innocent? Your response may engender a revelation about you. Again, you, my friend, are an irredeemable fool or an agent for the Deep Deep State that will maintain the cover-ups in perpetuity. The fact is likely the former.

              I would be very interested in the results generated by your psychiatrist. Were you abused or abandoned and ignored as a child? What exactly generated your aversion to facts and your obsessive/compulsive desire to parry and thrust; to deny and create entirely new and misleading scenarios. You’re just plain weird; truly bizarre. Alternatively, you’ve read and retained nothing of the facts of these cases. They say a little knowledge makes one dangerous.

              1. George – I watched the OJ trial gavel-to-gavel and there was no way that jury was going to find him guilty given the evidence shown in court. OJ was Not Guilty.

                1. PCS, the OJ jury was majority black (9 Africans, 1 Hispanic, 2 Americans). How in the world did the judge allow that in Los Angeles (i.e. Compton North)? Answer: Corruption of the process. OJ’s “peers” were in Brentwood. OJ was guilty and “found” Not Guilty. It sounds as if you approve of gross miscarriages of justice.

                  “Selection of the Jury”

                  “The racial composition of the jury was strongly influenced by the decision of the prosecution to file the Simpson case in downtown Los Angeles rather than–as is usually the case– in the judicial district where the crime occurred– in this case, Santa Monica. Had the case be filed in Santa Monica, the Simpson jury would have been mostly white instead of, as was the case, mostly African-American. With poll data showing that most whites believed Simpson to be guilty and most blacks believing him to be not guilty, the decision to file the case in Santa Monica may have been the biggest mistake the prosecution made. Vincent Bugliosi, the celebrated prosecutor in the Charles Manson case, said the mistake “dwarfed anything the defense did.”

                  – Internet Report

                  1. they were scared to have a conviction from a white jury. they were just chicken
                    but they made some other mistakes too. like letting–asking? OJ to put a glove on which was guaranteed to be debacle. any freshman lawyer should have avoided that.

                    probably the biggest mistakes lie on the judge who let the defense make too much out of their objections

                    1. The gross miscarriage of justice was a black jury.

                      OJ must have paid the prosecution dearly for that decision.

                      That decision was the ONLY thing that mattered.

                      Only a fool would believe that decision was a mistake and not a deliberate act.

                      The case boiled down to the prosecution’s decision of L.A. over Santa Monica; black jurors over white jurors.

                      Vincent Bugliosi, the celebrated prosecutor in the Charles Manson case, said the mistake “dwarfed anything the defense did.”

                      The mistake by the prosecutors to try in L.A. over Santa Monica dwarfed any acumen, strategy or tactic the defense employed.

              2. I must concede, you are good at ignoring the facts and creating fiction.

                What ‘facts’ am I ignoring and which fiction am I creating?

                Robert Kennedy lived in northern Virginia and his brother in DC. The family owned vacation properties in Cape Cod and South Florida. When, during the period running from November of 1959 to August of 1962, was Mrs. Arthur Miller in any of these locations? When was the President or his brother in New York or Los Angeles? And if they had assignations in New York, how did they maneuver around her husband? What possible reason could they have to have her killed that wouldn’t apply to every woman on John Kennedy’s mile-long tryst list?

                Is it your contention that her mother was perfectly normal, or that she was never in foster care, or that she wasn’t married to James Dougherty, Joe DiMaggio, and Arthur Miller; or that she was a superbly businesslike theatre professional who didn’t cause any trouble on the set, or that she never crossed paths with a psychiatrist in an inpatient or outpatient setting?

                1. You must be the only one that doesn’t know of Marilyn Monroe’s connection to the Mob, Sinatra, JFK, RFK, MCA, Hollywood, etc. You should read up on the subject of revelations potentially threatened by Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Kilgallen. The objective of the conspirators was to have the public believe precisely what you recited – “dumb” women mixed with pills and alcohol. The physical circumstances at the scenes, their documented “knowledge,” which they had the intent or potential to reveal – Kilgallen on Jack Ruby; Monroe on MCA/Mob – and their public credibility set them apart as whistle blowers. Read about Coroner Noguchi’s action the crime scene mess and the bizarre timeline the night of Monroe’s death. Marilyn knew about the machinations around MCA and the Cal-Neva resort which was co -owned by Joe Kennedy and Sam Giancana, if I remember correctly. You can seek and read the truth. The KIlgallen book title reveals the problem that both women had – “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much,” Mark Shaw. Shaw seriously and formally petitioned the court to have Kilgallen exhumed and examined by Dr. Cyril Wecht. Read the blurb on Shaw’s new book:

                  “Denial of Justice: Dorothy Kilgallen, Abuse of Power, and the Most Compelling JFK Assassination Investigation in History”

                  Why is What’s My Line? TV star and Pulitzer-Prize-nominated investigative reporter Dorothy Kilgallen one of the most feared journalists in history? Why has her threatened exposure of the truth about the JFK assassination triggered a cover-up by at least four government agencies and resulted in abuse of power at the highest levels?

                  Denial of Justice—written in the spirit of bestselling author Mark Shaw’s gripping true crime murder mystery, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much—tells the inside story of why Kilgallen was such a threat leading up to her unsolved murder in 1965. Shaw includes facts that have never before been published, including eyewitness accounts of the underbelly of Kilgallen’s private life, revealing statements by family members convinced she was murdered, and shocking new information about Jack Ruby’s part in the JFK assassination that only Kilgallen knew about, causing her to be marked for danger.

                  Peppered with additional evidence signaling the potential motives of Kilgallen’s arch enemies J. Edgar Hoover, mobster Carlos Marcello, Frank Sinatra, her husband Richard, and her last lover, Denial of Justice adds the final chapter to the story behind why the famous journalist was killed, with no investigation to follow despite a staged death scene. More information can be found at

                  Have you read the account of Mimi Alford (JFK took the virginity of a young White House intern in Jackie’s bed ) and all the other women in JFK’s life.

                  JFK, Monster
                  By Timothy Noah

                  “I knew that John F. Kennedy was a compulsive, even pathological adulterer, given to taking outlandish risks after he entered the White House. I knew he treated women like whores. And I knew he had more than a few issues with his father about toughness and manliness and all that. But before I read in the newspaper that Mimi Alford’s just-released memoir, Once Upon A Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy And Its Aftermath, described giving Dave Powers a blow job at JFK’s request and in his presence, I didn’t know that Kennedy had an appetite for subjecting those close to him to extreme humiliation.”

                  If you believed the cover story of Oswald killing Kennedy, read the transcript of the Parkland emergency physicians who stated in a news conference that Kennedy was shot in the front of the throat, the bullet came from the front and that the physician placed a tracheotomy in a bullet “entrance” wound in the front of JFK’s throat and you’ll understand that Oswald was a “patsy” and the shooters on the grassy knoll were a mob hit team deployed by LBJ, CIA, FBI, Hoover, Dulles, Marcelo et al. after Kennedy left the CIA abandoned on the beach at the Bay of Pigs, lost the Mob casinos in Cuba, wanted to pull out of Vietnam, intended to replace Federal Reserve Notes with Silver Certificates, prosecuted Hoffa, Marcelo and the Mob, and wanted “Shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

      2. if i had a nickel for every woman that od’d on booze and pills I might be as rich as, say, ….. the Sackler family? lol

    2. An adjustment based on zip code/ income is more legitimate than one based on race. Parents’ income and neighborhood reflects actual, verifiable disadvantage. I’m surprised colleges would accept this change, however. They’re not looking for actual poor students, but rather minority students from upper-middle and professional backgrounds, because they’re the ones who may actually graduate. A black student whose parents are two government executives and graduated from Bethesda/Chevy Chase High School will have the background to survive in college. A black kid who grew up on welfare in Baltimore will wash out. Thus poor and working class Asian and white kids get screwed by the system in favor of well-to-do blacks. I’ve talked with college admissions folks and they say this is lamentable, but it’s the only way to graduate blacks from top-tier colleges, to admit privileged blacks under the guise of AA, because blacks who really were economically disadvantaged won’t make it past their first year. Thus anyone who thinks, like Turley apparently does, that “disadvantaged” is a euphemism for black, needs to get out more. There are far more disadvantaged whites in America than blacks, and many, many white and Asian kids from low-income families who can and do succeed in top colleges, despite the fact that it’s much harder for them to get in than their “disadvantaged” black classmates.

      1. Neither is legitimate. Some people have have problems in the classroom because of baselines that are manifest early in life. Those features they have must be navigated. They’re not going away and will always detract from performance. They don’t disappear because you relax standards. Other people have troublesome domestic environments. So, you fancy people who manage their home in a conscientious and orderly fashion shouldn’t reap any benefit from that because It’s-Not-Fair-to-The-Children. Attempting to assess a prospects readiness to absorb material offered is challenging enough, and getting it wrong is a cost to every party in a transaction. These ‘corrections’ you are suggesting are beyond the capacity of the sort of person who lands in an admissions office and will, by necessity, get you students who are less prepared than the students you do not offer the ‘corrections’ to, again causing deadweight loss to every other party.

        Honestly, that a student lands at a common and garden state university rather than a private research university or a swank private college or a Public Ivy is not a particularly severe disappointment on an ordinary scale of life events. That someone lands at a state college or a common-and-garden private college rather than a state university isn’t either. That someone lands at a community college rather than an ordinary private college isn’t either. These are the horrors you’re trying to prevent.

        1. TIA,
          Do you think this is an attempt to keep student college admissions high (rather than have hs graduates choose trade schools)?

      2. I cannot agree with you enough. I mentioned something about my two brother’s friend, one full white, the other half-black/half-white. Both went to law school — post undergraduate degrees, one got into Berkeley Law (half-black/half-white) and the other did not (full-white). Both had the exact same LSAT score (167), but didn’t take into consideration GPA’s and essays and other “stuff.”

        But most importantly, both were from $$$$ families….both upper class. Both graduated from their respective law school without any hiccups.

        Now, I have lived in a working/lower class apartment complex. All the people struggle to get by in life/with life….white, black, asian, hispanic….doesn’t matter.

        In fact, the white and black young men, who live below me, both were going to community college. Both have dropped out now due to needing to pursue 2nd jobs and more money.

        They both intend to get back to school at some later date, when they don’t have to pay their high rent and work multiple jobs.

        Those guys do not receive any support from their parents. All on their own by 22 years of age.

        Most people I went to law school with were receiving financial support from their Baby Boomer parents, in some capacity….some more, some less…

        Some parents were even covering the entire degree (Wow…that’s generous.)

        Those with support will always have a “leg up” over those without support, and the “race” of the person does not matter. W

        hen you don’t have the additional mental stress of where my next paycheck is coming from, it frees your mind to focus your attention other places….

        I cannot tell you how many peers I know that complain about their lives and how hard it was for them and how much they have struggled, all the while using mom and dad’s bank account as their own ATM account….

        I always laugh b/c they’re so out of touch….they do not know what struggling is….they think they do, but they don’t, and it rather assuming to hear them speak about how “hard” life is w/o cracking at least one smile.

        Everything was set-up nicely for them…including that post-graduate job, sometimes found by their parents…but they know the “struggle.”

        The struggle to what….get their latte at Starbucks in the morning….pahleez

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