Glenn Radio

SAT introduces 'adversity score' to take students' hardships into account

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The College Board announced plans Thursday to introduce an "adversity score" for college admissions exams. The new metric, called the Environmental Context Dashboard (ECD), is designed to adjust SAT scores according to the test-takers' social and economic background.

According to the College Board, the ECD will calculate an "adversity score" by taking into consideration "hardships" such as the median family income, family structure, housing stability, and crime rate in the student's neighborhood and school.

On Friday's radio program, Pat Gray and Jeff Fisher (filling in for Glenn Beck) discussed the College Board's attempt to level the field by quantifying students' "disadvantage level" and adjusting their test scores accordingly.

"If you've had advantages," Pat said, "that's going to be factored in and you're going to be pushed down. It will be counted against you."

Pat pointed out that, if the score on a standardized test requires a separate algorithm to determine whether it's a valid measure of ability, then the problem is likely with the test itself.

"If there is a problem with the SAT, that it favors wealthy kids, then fix the SAT," he said.

Jeff brought up a recent lawsuit in which Harvard University is accused of holding Asian-American applicants to a higher standard than others. Harvard has argued that they receive a higher than average number of Asian-American applicants and are trying to maintain a diverse class.

"Just let the best students get in," said Jeff.

Pat agreed, adding, "If they're the best students, they should be in."

Catch more of the conversation in the video below:

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