Thomas Sowell

In India, subjective factors were clearly being used as automatic offsets to differences in academic qualifications. As one Indian court put it, there was a "disturbing" pattern of discrepancy between interview rankings and rankings on other criteria. Students with unsatisfactory academic records nevertheless received "very high marks at the interviews," while "a large number of students who had secured very high marks in the university examinations and who performed well in their earlier class had secured low marks at the interviews."

In short, inconvenient academic criteria were being gotten rid of, so that group quotas could continue in new disguises. That is precisely what getting rid of standardized academic tests is all about. Similarly, admitting the top X percent of each high school's graduates is more of the same deceptive sleight-of-hand. The top 10 percent of students from one high school may be less qualified than the merely average student from another high school.

The claim is often made that the SAT is "culturally biased." But life itself is culturally biased. If you can't handle math and the English language, you are in big trouble.

If the "culturally biased" argument is meant to insinuate that these tests predict a lower academic achievement level for minority students than for someone from the white majority with the same score, then that is a purely factual question. And the facts have devastated that theory time and again, for years on end. No wonder the quota crowd don't want to define exactly what they mean by "culturally biased" nor put it to the test of facts.

The tests are not unfair. Life is unfair. If you are serious about wanting minority students to have a better chance in life, then you need to start years before they take the SAT. And you need to stop deceiving them and the American people.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate