From a post at: Schools of Thought Hudson Valley, NY
Harvard law professor and civil rights scholar Lani Guinier explains that the SAT is fundamentally flawed.”Scores are highly correlated with family income,” she posits. Dr. Guinier refers to the SAT as a “wealth test.” See here.
In Lani Guinier’s controversial new book, The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America (Beacon Press, 2015) she describes how higher education has drifted from a mission-driven to an admission-driven system, focused almost exclusively on the predictive value of the SAT-type tests for success in the first-year of college. In fact, as she notes, the SAT only has a modest correlation with freshman-year grades, whereas grades in the four years of high school are a much stronger predictor of academic success. Guinier asserts that the SAT’s most reliable value is as a proxy for wealth in its norming to white, upper-middle class performance, as shown by the average SAT test scores based on ethnicity.
Alluding to the “Volvo effect” in Andrew Ferguson’s book, Crazy U Professor Guinier refers to the inordinate amount of funding and effort placed by wealthy parents on preparing their children for college entrance exams. As she explains, “Aptitude tests do not predict leadership, emotional intelligence, or the capacity to work with others to contribute to society” (p. 26).
Professor Guinier calls for a “culture shift” in terms of how we evaluate merit in terms of “democratic values” rather than “testocratic machinery.” (credit).
Whether students can overcome inherent obstacles of the SAT exam and whether the new” SAT “removes barriers to learning,” as Coleman purports it will do, remains yet to be seen. The reality is that there are persistent obstacles that tend to challenge disadvantaged youth from entering higher learning arenas, such as poverty, and this has to be acknowledged, addressed and resolved in order for us to truly and genuinely achieve equity in public education.
To my knowledge, Coleman and his reformer ilk have no such plan to actually tackle the issue of poverty they seem, at least to me, more interested in exploiting students that serve as guinea pigs for private business and investors in the public education and higher learning markets. But, I digress.
So, will the new SAT truly “remove barriers to college” and are we embarking on a culture shift or is all the hullabaloo nothing but “pomp” with very little circumstance?