It's Official: No More Test-Based Admissions for University of California's System

AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File

California’s bidding adieu to the SAT – well, in some public universities, at least.

Also gone: the ACT.

In May of last year, I covered the University of California’s Board of Regents’ vote to ditch testing systems used in determining admission.

The decision was evidently easy: The dump dominated, 23-0.

It was a ratification of UC President Janet Napolitano’s proposal.

From her 2018 letter:

“This seems like a good opportunity to review the role of admissions in UC eligibility and admissions, something I understand the Board on Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) does periodically but may not have done since 2010.”

Scores, schmores — let’s talk “values”:

“[T]he President of the University recommends that the Regents approve a suspension of the current standardized test (ACT/SAT) requirement for undergraduate admissions until 2024 to allow the University to modify or create a new test that better aligns with the content UC expects applicants to have learned and with UC’s values.”

A lawsuit was also on the move.

As reported by The New York Times, in 2019 the Compton Unified School District — along with students and activist groups — sued UC in an effort to 86 test-based entrance:

The plaintiffs said that the college entrance tests are biased against poor and mainly Black and Hispanic students — and that by basing admissions decisions on those tests, the system illegally discriminates against applicants on the basis of their race, wealth and disability.

As for the Board of Regents, it had chosen to end the requirement gradually.

Following that vote, per the Times, the University of California system “said it would not consider scores for the next two years in the case of in-state applicants. In those cases, standardized tests would be used only to award scholarships, determine course placement, and assess out-of-state students.”

As indicated by RedState’s Shipwreckedcrew, for health reasons, a recent deemphasis on scores didn’t stand out:

In 2019-20, 77% of high school seniors took the SAT test as part of the process of applying for admission to colleges and universities. In 2020-21, fewer than 50% will do so and most colleges are not requiring SAT scores because many of the testing dates were canceled because of COVID.

But on Friday in California, a major announcement was made.

Putting a period on the lawsuit, it’s now official: No more test-based meritocratic entry, period.

As stated by the settlement:

For students applying for entry between Fall 2021 and Spring 2025, no University of California (“UC”) campus will consider SAT or ACT scores in determining whether to offer admission. SAT and ACT scores, if submitted by students, will not be provided to admissions readers.

The tests are now nixed, even where scholarships are concerned.

As I’ve written previously, the entire concept of school looks to be transforming.

It appears the goal is no longer academic achievement, but equitable outcome by any means necessary. Also evidently part of the mission: students’ cultural and social shaping.

It’s a notable difference, across primary education as well.

Courtesy of my May 2019 article:

Gone are the days of high-stakes competition and the reward of valedictorian and salutatorian high school honors.

At least, that’s the case for Cincinnati, Ohio’s Mason High School.

Principal Bobby Dodd hopes the change will make things more relaxed for the young skulls full o’ mush:

“This will help reduce the overall competitive culture at MHS to allow students to focus on exploring learning opportunities that are of interest to them. … It’s about what it means to be happy and what it means to be successful and it’s not just about the grade but it’s about the whole child.”

And there was this:

As for the SAT, the very group that creates it seems to be coming ’round as well.

From NBC News at the beginning of the year:

The College Board announced Tuesday that it is ending the optional essay section and subject-area exams of the SAT for college-bound U.S. students.

Broader and more diverse access to Advanced Placement courses, the College Board said, means SAT tests in subjects like biology, physics and world history are “no longer necessary for students to show what they know.” SAT subject tests were optional, multiple-choice exams that students could take to demonstrate aptitude or standardized academic credentials in topics like Spanish, biology and physics — none of which are part of the general SAT exam.

And now in California, many students will be able to enter school without any sections of any test holding them up.

Upward and onward…and test-free.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

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Find all my RedState work here.

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