header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 25
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in SCV area; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez


| Thursday, May 21, 2020
UCLA Campus
University of California, Los Angeles, campus. Photo credit: UCLA website.

 

By Matthew Renda

(CN) — The University of California system will no longer use the SAT or ACT standardized tests as a consideration for admission after the UC Regents voted unanimously to discontinue its use during its meeting on Thursday.

“It’s a racist test,” said regent Jay Sures before casting one of 23 votes in favor of making it optional for prospective students until 2025. The UC system will explore alternative standardized tests that don’t have some of the same equity problems as the SAT and ACT.

The move comes as several experts testified that the SAT fails to reflect college readiness and instead measures a student’s access to resources like private tutors to help goose their scores.

“High test scores correspond to high family income,” said Yolanda Coleman-Morgan, vice-provost of enrollment at UCLA. “This has a disproportionate impact on admissions outcomes.”

The UC system, comprised of 10 campuses and some of the most highly esteemed universities in the world, has long grappled with the fact that the demographics of its incoming freshman class often fail to reflect California’s diversity.

Last fall, historically underrepresented minorities like African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, accounted for 26% of the freshman student body, while California’s population is majority-minority.

UC president Janet Napolitano recommended moving to a testing-optional format for the next two years, where students can take the SAT and submit their scores if they choose, before moving away from the SAT altogether.

“We need to explore the feasibility of a test that is better aligned with what we expect students to have mastered to gain admission to the University of California,” Napolitano said during the hearing.

But some of the regents were less bullish on the idea of crafting another standardized test.

“A new test could be subject to the same problems,” said regent Sherry Lansing, arguing that wealthy families invested in their children’s education will simply enlist tutors to give their students a leg up for whatever format the university system chooses.

Those concerns were echoed by many of the experts who spoke on the possibility of ridding the schools of the SAT, saying high scores and high wealth are only a correlation and did not prove causation.

Furthermore, a strong high school grade point average, abundant extracurricular activities, advanced placement coursework and other aspects of student performance that admissions offices use to assess student achievement also correlate with high family income, in some cases to a higher degree.

“These all correlate to family background so then the question becomes which one do we choose,” said Kim Wilcox, chancellor of UC Riverside.

Wilcox said he runs the most diverse campus in the system with the highest percentage of first-generation students. His admissions office relies on SAT testing to identify which students are likely to flourish in a university setting.

“We rely on SAT in our admissions process and it produces a highly diverse student body,” he said.

Others, like Julian Betts with UC San Diego, said standardized testing is critical to assessing student performance because grade variability throughout different high schools across the state and country renders GPA an unreliable indicator of ability.

“A grade of B means different things at different high schools,” Betts told the regents.

He said the UC system should focus more on how it analyzes the test scores, favoring a more holistic and contextual approach rather than discarding them altogether.

“Admissions offices should want more data on students, not less,” he said.

The UC system’s own academic experts also questioned the wisdom in abandoning standardized testing.

Andrea Hausenstaub told the regents that a lack of standardized testing would impair the university’s ability to identify students likely to adapt and flourish in university life and contribute to the institution’s research mission.

“Admissions tests are helpful for finding students who are likely to succeed at UC and do not account for much underrepresentation,” she said. “This led us to conclude that dropping test scores would probably not diversify the student population and might actually hurt diversity.”

But Napolitano noted the proposal does not recommend jettisoning standardized testing altogether but looks to alter a system in place that appears to reinforce inequities by allowing those with more means to take advantage of tutors and study prep to make students appear more college-ready.

Board of Regents chair John Perez said eschewing the SAT is not solely about racial demographics, but about building an education system that is open to more Californians statewide.

“We have rural students in the far north of the state and other places who are underrepresented too,” he said. “We need urgency to create better and more equitable outcomes.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
July 26-28: LEAP Children’s Museum Hosting Pop-Up Event
A new nonprofit initiative in Santa Clarita is laying the foundation for a groundbreaking Children's Museum.
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
SCV Senior Center Announces $5.1M Cut to Nutrition Budget
The SCV Senior Center was recently informed that their Nutrition Budget - “Meals for Seniors” for Fiscal Year starting July 1, 2024, will be cut by $5.1 million dollars.
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
Santa Clarita Native Jeremy Bischoff to Compete in Olympic Trials
Jeremy Bischoff, a Santa Clarita native and a member of the USA Gymnastics National Team for five years, will compete for a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games this week. Bischoff, a 2020 graduate of Canyon High School/Learning Post Academy, will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials June 27-June 30 in Minneapolis.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in SCV area; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
The 2023-2024 school year has come to a close and along with it a very successful year of high school athletics.
CIF-SS Commissioner Mike West | Year in Review
The Castaic Union School District Governing Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m.
June 27: Castaic Union Expected to Adopt 2024-2025 Budget
The regular meeting of the Saugus Union School District Governing Board will take place Tuesday, June 25, with closed session beginning at 5 p.m., followed immediately by public session at 6:40 p.m.
June 25: Saugus Union School District Regular Board Meeting
A new nonprofit initiative in Santa Clarita is laying the foundation for a groundbreaking Children's Museum.
July 26-28: LEAP Children’s Museum Hosting Pop-Up Event
The SCV Senior Center was recently informed that their Nutrition Budget - “Meals for Seniors” for Fiscal Year starting July 1, 2024, will be cut by $5.1 million dollars.
SCV Senior Center Announces $5.1M Cut to Nutrition Budget
I know I speak for everyone when I say the passing of firefighter Andrew Pontious in the line of duty just one week ago was heartbreaking.
Kathryn Barger | Fighting Fires
Jeremy Bischoff, a Santa Clarita native and a member of the USA Gymnastics National Team for five years, will compete for a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games this week. Bischoff, a 2020 graduate of Canyon High School/Learning Post Academy, will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials June 27-June 30 in Minneapolis.
Santa Clarita Native Jeremy Bischoff to Compete in Olympic Trials
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley invites the community to celebrate its 50 years of improving lives of women and girls globally and in the SCV with a glittering disco gala at The Oaks Club, Valencia, on Saturday night, Sept. 14
‘Studio 74’ Coming to Zonta SCV’s Golden Anniversary Celebration
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Spotlight Series will feature a diverse lineup of talented musicians and performers, as well as family-friendly events as part of its programming.  
PAC Announces 2024-2025 Spotlight Series
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has released the list of seven productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, June 24 - Sunday, June 30.
Seven Productions Filming in Santa Clarita
Eleven additional athletes claimed spots on the 2024 Paris Olympic Team, including Saugus High School alumna Abbey Weitzeil, on night eight of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming presented by Lilly, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Santa Clarita’s Abbey Weitzeil Qualifies for Paris Olympic Team
As a city manager, father and community member — the safety of Santa Clarita residents will always be my top priority - especially on the roads.
Ken Striplin | Enhancing Safety, Efficiency in Our Community
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is set to roll out a fresh, data-oriented strategy aimed at curtailing crime throughout L.A. County.
LASD Rolls Out New Crime Strategy Unit
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Hart Park, Newhall [story]
Saugus Train Station
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall estate and his (now West) Hollywood home to the public [story]
Hart dies
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
Vasquez Rocks
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath have sent an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to continue funding the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations hand crews who currently help the Los Angeles County Fire Department tackle wildland fires.
Supes Urge Newsom Not to Cut L.A. County Inmate Firefighting Crews
Give the gift of life, an upcoming blood drive is scheduled for Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. The blood drive will be held in Cedar Hall.
June 28: City Hosts Blood Drive at The Centre
The city of Santa Clarita invites local schools and nonprofits to submit a proposal outlining a project that can benefit from volunteer support as part of Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Santa Clarita Now Accepting Project Proposals for Make A Difference Day
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. that includes a host of issues including assessments, taxes, fees and budgets in addition to continued hearings on the Town Center Specific Plan.
June 25: City Council Meets on Open Space, Budget, Town Center Specific Plan
Part of the Summer Theatre Festival by Santa Clarita Shakespeare, "An Evening of Absurdity" will run July 12-21 at the MAIN, 24266 Main Street., Newhall, CA 91321.
The MAIN Presents ‘An Evening of Absurdity’
The city of Santa Clarita has issued a traffic advisory for daytime lane closures at Copper Hill and Rio Norte Drive beginning Monday, June 24.
June 24: Traffic Advisory Lane Closures Copper Hill/Rio Norte Drive
Santa Clarita will celebrate this year's Fourth of July with the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club's pancake breakfast, Santa Clarita Valley Parade Committee's Fourth of July Parade and city of Santa Clarita fireworks show.
Fourth of July Events in Santa Clarita
SCVNews.com