The College Board created the S.A.T. (Scholastic Aptitude Test) in 1926 to measure literacy, numeracy, and writing.
In 1937, James Conant, president of Harvard University, instituted the SAT for use in admissions to that university. His ideal was for a classless and democratic society. He also wanted students from outside the traditional New England private schools which made up the bulk of Harvard’s student population. He considered the SAT to be not just a measure of intelligence but also of the quality of the test takers education. The SAT was meant to gauge the predictability of the student’s success in the college environment.
And it worked for many years as a pretty good predictor of how well students would do in college.
However, it came under attack in the 60’s for not being “inclusive” enough, African-Americans scoring significantly lower. This led to quotas on college campuses to quell attacks that they were “racist.” Coincidentally, test scores from the early 60’s to the late 70’s dropped by as much as 50 points in the verbal section and 30 points in math. This was blamed on “changing demographics.”
Quotas came under attack because they were, well, quotas. The very thing that the Civil Rights Movement had argued would not happen.
They were saved by Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Joseph Califano, who declared that the SAT’s were “culturally biased.” This then was taken on faith and became the backbone for affirmative action, which to make up for past discrimination with a new description for quotas.
Affirmative action, which on its face is racist, finally reached the Supreme Court in 2003 in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger. The opinion split along liberal/conservative lines with the deciding vote in the hands of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Justice O’Connor had misgivings about affirmative action, worrying that they would lead to “identity politics”. (Whoa, that didn’t happen, did it?) But she voted in favor anyway saying, “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preference will no longer be necessary.” That would put the end of racial preferences at 2028, or six years before the end of mankind according to the Global Warming Alarmists.
A decade after Califano’s announcement a reporter finally asked him what his research was for his comments on the test being “culturally biased.” Califano remarked that there was no research, that his comment was “notional.” Oh.
Of course, it’s no longer called “affirmative action” on college campuses. Now the key word is “diversity.” As in, “diversity is our strength.” Like Califano’s comments, there’s no evidence of this but it sounds good. Plus diversity sounds better than “skin color” which is what it is. Because this does not apply to whites or Asian-Americans who, “have a culture of parental involvement and study.” Certainly not something that has any place on today’s campuses.
Affirmative action (diversity) is likely to be overturned by this Supreme Court, so the SATs have pivoted again. This time they’ve included added points for “adversity.” Dubbed the Environmental Context Dashboard, the score will give prospective colleges another point of information that takes into account students’ socio-economic backgrounds as well as factors like the rigor of their high schools.
Things that will not be considered adverse are whether you had a pimple outbreak at your high school prom or whether you had to take accordion lessons.
The average SAT to get into Harvard is 1520. The average SAT score for an African-American in Baltimore is 947. This is nearly enough to get into Coppin State (950) but not Harvard. So, the final question on this year’s test will be worth 575 points.
The 25 most violent cities in America are governed by Democratic mayors. Which answer below best describes this phenomenon:
a. like a match to gasoline
b. like a match to a gas leak
c. like a match to a stick of dynamite
Congratulations! Welcome to Harvard.