What's the Real Reason Colleges Are Ditching SAT Requirements?

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Did you know that most colleges don’t require SAT scores for admissions anymore? It’s true. I’m finding this hard to wrap my head around, because getting a good score on your SATs was once critical to determining your academic future.

If you wanted to get into a good college, you had to not only do well in school but also do well on your SATs. You’d take prep courses, a practice exam, the real exam, and maybe even a retake, just to give you any edge possible. But according to a report from Forbes last year, “more than 80% of U.S. bachelor-degree granting institutions will not require students seeking fall 2023 admission to submit either ACT or SAT standardized exam scores.”

The reason, of course, was absurd. Harry Feder, the executive director of FairTest, an anti-standardized testing organization, claimed at the time standardized test scores are not an accurate measure of academic merit. “What they do assess quite accurately is family wealth, but that should not be the criteria for getting into college,” he said.

That’s a ridiculous take, if you ask me. So, what’s the real reason?

According to journalist Matt Yglesias, Feder’s explanation is a ruse to keep us from seeing that the true objective of eliminating standardized tests is to obscure the use of racial preferences in the admissions process.

“This is so obvious that it’s not worth beating around the bush: the schools leading the push toward de-testing are not making some kind of blunder, they are trying to get away with something,” he writes. “SAT scores make it inconveniently easy to demonstrate anti-Asian discrimination in college admissions, so the industry is moving to burn the evidence.”

Yglesias might be onto something here. It appears that removing the SAT is less about leveling the playing field for all students and more about concealing the fact that top-tier universities are raising the bar for highly qualified Asian applicants — which has been the reason for a number of lawsuits, including a discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University. The Supreme Court, which currently leans conservative, is expected to weigh in on race-based admissions policies this year, and there’s a good chance they’ll rule that colleges and universities can no longer take race into account in their admissions. This means that if schools want to continue to admit students based on the color of their skin and not academic merit (and there’s no reason to expect they won’t), they will have to do so more discreetly, and eliminating the SAT requirements makes that much easier.

Related: Now Comes ‘Equitable Grading’ to Dumb Down Our Children

Of course, there’s another issue here as well, and that’s the general problem of education being dumbed down in the name of equity. As the radical left seeks equal outcomes over equal opportunity, the constant need for policies to equalize results has produced a dumbed-down public education system. Legendary comedian George Carlin warned us about this back in 2005, during a performance in which he ranted about how education is failing and it won’t get any better.

“They lower the passing grades so more kids can pass. More kids pass, the school looks good, everybody’s happy,” Carlin said. “The IQ of the country slips another two or three points and pretty soon all you’ll need to get into college is a f—ing pencil. ‘Got a pencil? Get the f— in there, it’s physics.’ Then everyone wonders why 17 other countries graduate more scientists than we do.”

Boy, was he right.


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