Ken Blackwell

Human nature demands that we be given a target something for which we can strive. This is why humanity sets and seeks specific goals. But the holistic college admissions structure promoted by Fair Test and others destroys empirical standards and leaves such decisions to the whims of shifting admissions policies and those who formulate them. It's reminiscent of the uncertain standards I sometimes faced as a young black man coming of age in the post-segregation world of Cincinnati.

And who is formulating such policies? It varies from institution to institution but a look at the funding of Fair Test is troubling. Writer and college educator Mary Grabar revealed in her recent article that Fair Test is funded by men like liberal billionaire George Soros and the Woods Fund, who counts among its board members Bill Ayers, the former domestic terrorist who admitted complicity in a series of bombings from New York to Washington, D.C. during the 1970s.

All this, of course, would be forgivable if the goal was sincere, however misguided. But it's largely an extension of an education strategy that has been in place for nearly a half-century. In the 1960s, liberals began a concerted effort to seize control of higher-education, via dominating professorships and tenure. It worked. Now, the social engineers aren't content with dominating the faculty rooms they want to control who gets admitted to colleges and universities.

Ideology aside, the efforts of Fair Test and others who want to eliminate standardized testing stand to put all of American higher education at risk. Jonathan Epstein, a senior researcher with the private sector educational consultancy Maguire Associates, notes that colleges with test optional admission policies could disorient students and their families in terms of determining which college to attend. The result, says Epstein, is that "a disoriented customer market is not in the best interests of any institution or higher education in general."

Standards of academic excellence are critical to the future of students and our economy. If we forsake such standards based on the ill-conceived ideology of Fair Test and like-minded individuals, we risk not only our children's future but that of our nation.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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