Bitter Irony in Test-Blind Admissions

Those in favor of test-optional and test-blind admissions tend to wax poetic about the need to abolish testing requirements in order to improve access and equity. I have previously written about how the latter belief is misguided (see here) and false (see here). But today I want to highlight one school in particular because the […]

Test-Optional May Increase the Value of Attending an Elite High School

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does often rhyme.” – Mark Twain In this instance, it appears that test-optional admissions is recreating the very problem that standardized tests were intended to solve in the first place. Purpose of Standardized Exams for Admission Without all students taking the same classes with the same teachers and the […]

“Defining Promise” Study Pushes Agenda, Not Facts

Opponents of standardized testing have two favorite studies: “Defining Promise” and a University of Chicago study. A thorough look at each reveals that they do not overturn the facts found by the many more studies that show that test scores help colleges select students who will have better college outcomes (typically lower rates of academic […]

Hiding Inequality

When I met Bob Schaeffer, the Executive Director of FairTest, at a National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) conference in October of 2012, I thought he was misguided. In our roughly 20-minute conversation, he decried that the SAT and ACT were tests that could be prepared for and explained that he wanted them to […]

Truth, Lies, and… College Admissions

If the name Mackenzie Fierceton rings a bell, you probably read an article about her titled something like “Student Loses Rhodes Scholarship After Lying…” But, as the saying goes: “The plot thickens.” I’m going to do a post that uses her story to discuss some aspects of the college application process that are typically not […]

Broken Dreams: College Access and Outcomes

There has been an increasing focus on opening up access to a college education. In principle, I completely agree with and support this focus: a college degree is a dynamo for individual, generational, and societal advancement. Many college admissions counselors have taken up this worthy cause. For example, the updated mission statement of NACAC (National […]

Test optional. Confusion mandatory.

“Garbage in; garbage out” is a popular phrase to describe the effect of bad information on outcomes. Think of your local weather service: “Today it will be sunny. No chance of showers.” And you end up drenched from a downpour – bad info led to a bad outcome for you. When given bad info, it’s […]

Sal Khan on Testing, Admissions, and Equity

Sal Khan gives his thoughts on the role of standardized testing in admissions and the tests’ effect on equity. Published by Chariot Learning and published here with permission.

Selectively Test Optional

Most colleges prefer applicants to submit standardized test scores. This post was published by Summit Prep and shared here with permission.

How Standardized Testing is Essential to Promoting Equity

Educational inequity is a crisis in the United States, and standardized tests are among the best available tools for understanding disparities in achievement and opportunity. We can only fix what we can measure. This post is authored and published by the National Test Prep Association and shared here with permission.