Standardized Testing: The Biased Report

Posted: Feb 12, 2009 10:02 AM
Standardized testing has historically been the one of the best ways to evaluate students for college admission. But the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) recently released an arguably negative analysis on the use of standardized tests, such as the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). The results of the study may have been hastily interpreted by media outlets like the New York Times -- ready to proclaim a bias against minorities in these types of tests.

However, the report itself was likely biased, as it relied heavily on information from the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, also known as the Fair Test. While the Fair Test is often consulted on this matter, their anti-testing stance is not without predisposition.

CNSNews reports that the Fair Test has received $165,000 from corrupt liberal billionaire George Soros’ Institute since 2004. Soros is heavily affiliated with a litany of left-wing organizations and his big money influence often dictates messaging. The Fair Test also received money from the Woods Fund, whose board includes domestic terrorist William Ayers.

The Fair Test’s public education director Robert Schaeffer has little record of experience in educational matters, having previously worked for a “progressive” law firm. The group’s Executive Director Jesse Mermell was recently honored by left wing, pro-choice organizations NARAL and formerly served on the board of Planned Parenthood.

After consulting the Fair Test’s staff of politically active individuals, the NACAC report essentially concluded that the SAT may be unnecessary. Though the study was directed at Harvard, CNS points out that former Harvard President James Bryant Conant developed the Conant and Educational Testing Service to “reward those with intellectual merit, but without social standing, with the chance for admission to elite colleges of the day.”

With so many left wing political ties, the Fair Test is clearly an unreliable source for evaluating the merit of standardized tests. Their agenda is sure to lean that way and NACAC is irresponsible for relying on their information to support a movement to make testing optional.

Studies show that when testing is optional, national averages for SAT scores are skewed and this could disrupt college admission standards across the country and run a risk of lowering standards overall. A recent LA Times editorial said it well: "Admissions standards could stand a bit of modification, but not at the expense of academics."

Having a debate on the issues is fine but the NACAC does an injustice by relying on a politically motivated organization for “facts.”