The real problem with fake SAT scores

You may have thought the real problem with monkeying around with measurements of scholastic aptitude was that lying to ourselves only leaves us with less trustworthy information to guide our actions with.  No, no.  The real problem is that jimmying the SAT scores to reflect the impact of adversity only obscures the real point, which is racial quotas, because they alone can purge the sin of slavery.  Well, maybe racial quotas and a healthy dollop of reparations.  Apparently only pitifully demoralized liberals still think measurable adversity is the real problem.  Besides, how would you measure it?  Quit wasting time and show us the money.

By the way, remember when "SAT" stood for "Scholastic Aptitude Test," before we started to pretend it was simply three neutral letters chosen more or less at random?  "Scholastic" raises all kinds of uncomfortable issues, as does "Aptitude."  "Test" produces anxiety.  Soon we'll have to call it "banana," and we'll have to get to work on that hateful term "score."


E Hines said...

A couple of random quotes from the CNN article:

Yale University, which has been beta-testing the system, has said that it has nearly doubled the number of "low-income students" by using the score.

They could have achieved that by using position on the Federal Poverty Guideline as a separate screener. But that would have been too easy and not drawn in as much "research" funds.

...with this score, the anti-affirmative action forces have won a major battle to replace the goal of boosting diversity with that of reducing adversity.

On the face of it, a good outcome, since affirmative action programs and the forces that support them are racist and sexist at their core. Sadly, the utility of the "victory" is erased by the alternative goal--which just as blatantly says that the folks victimized by--oops, I mean benefited by--such a reduction are just inherently inferior, incapable of competing on their (lacking) merits, and so should be grateful for the protection and the coddling.

This stinks, and the further bastardization of an already useless index only adds to the wet steam rising from the pile.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

The article also insisted strangely on the inability of statistics like poverty and single-parent households to yield any predictive power, or perhaps only to fail to achieve true individual social justice. Is the idea not to give a chance to students who have genuine academic potential that previously has been masked by random circumstances, but can be brought out in the university setting? If we think the university setting can't reveal something that so far hasn't appeared in a particular student's performance, this seems a lot like letting people try out for professional basketball teams but giving their scores a handicap for the height they unfairly lack. The pro team doesn't imagine it can make them taller, no matter how fervent their belief in every boy's right to become a basketball star. On the other hand, a team might well think it had found hidden potential in a kid who could get stronger and faster with better nutrition. There would need to be a coherent theory of what we expect from candidates and what produces the results we want. Instead this all appears to be about ensuring paychecks.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

No, that's not the idea. That's the cover story. It was true once. I went into my standardised tests knowing that I had to be at my absolute best, because I was a poor kid (who also didn't work very hard at 2/3 of my classes) who had few ladders available. That was fifty years ago and more. I treasured the cruel objectivity of it, because it diminished the privilege of those who were rich, connected, and better-dressed. They had to stand or fall on their own, just like the rest of us, at least on that credential.

College costs more and is worth less every year, and the cost is increasingly disguised. This is unsustainable, yet we remain addicted.

ymarsakar said...

The NAACP has teamed up with the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints.

If that isn't new age harmony, I don't know what would be.

Christopher B said...

As I commented over at AVI's, if you accept that there is a genetic component to both behavior and IQ then an 'adversity score' is exactly what you need to provide a plausibly deniable identification of race. The diversity rational from the 1990s is only a few years from being overwhelmed by the demand for identity specific cultural spaces.