In 2008, Jonathan Epstein, a researcher with Maguire Associates, studied the impact of test-optional policies in college admissions. Epstein discovered that test-optional policies at colleges and universities lead to artificially inflated average SAT scores among incoming freshmen. He found this resulted in further confusion for prospective students and families and “is not in the best interest of any institution or higher education in general.”
As parents, we all want our children to grow up and become productive members of society. The college search process is an important step in helping our children make major life decisions. A political group is advocating for the end of standardized testing, and continues to mislead students and families by attempting to influence an academic professional organization overseeing college admissions. The result will be to marginalize successful black students or those who come from other racial, ethnic or socioeconomic groups.
Promoting the racial bias myth also harms students by creating the wrong expectation that the deck is stacked against them. The truth is, every SAT question is exhaustively pre-tested and carefully analyzed for any bias.
Questions are reviewed by panels of K-12 and college educators and questions which indicate any bias are never used in the actual test. Furthermore, more than three-quarters of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities accept the SAT as an admissions requirement. Score differences may exist among some students in different groups, but they do not indicate bias in the SAT, and are an unfortunate reflection of inequities in K-12 education across thousands of school districts.
The continued claims of racial bias in SAT testing are insulting to all families of color when interest groups portray us as victims incapable of advocating for ourselves. The policies of Fair Test and other liberal interest groups reveal that these groups are more concerned with the politics of race than educating the children of this country.