SAT to Give Students 'Adversity Score'

Max Heiliger's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,016

"The College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic background, jumping into the debate raging over race and class in college admissions.

This new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 different factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the students high school and neighborhood. Student's won't be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications."

Does this really provide equality to under privileged students? Or does this defeat the point of standardized testing?

Comments (102)

May 16, 2019

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

May 16, 2019

Did a quick google search and i'm assuming the formula and level of influence of this metric hasn't been released. Until the weight and formula for the adversity score is found/released, it's difficult to make an intelligent discussion regarding any of this. I definitely think it's a significantly better metric if it works as intended in comparison to race/extracurriculars/misc. hooks alone. IE. Burmese refugee low-income Asian-American vs. Nigerian aristocracy that immigrated to the USA will now be rated more fairly in comparison to Asian-American vs. Black.

If it has similar influence to the degree of influence to being a URM vs over-represented minority has, I think it would be fair. Assuming that SAT is the "intelligent capacity" metric, this could be used in conjunction with GPA/SAT to assess grit/work ethic, assuming success = grit x intelligence. I think that top-tier schools have been rapidly shifting to selection based on ceiling rather than floor and this metric is a reflection of the times.

I'm sure that there will be dead-sea levels of salt about this however.

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May 17, 2019
Dumpster Fire Yuppie:

Did a quick google search and i'm assuming the formula and level of influence of this metric hasn't been released. Until the weight and formula for the adversity score is found/released, it's difficult to make an intelligent discussion regarding any of this. I definitely think it's a significantly better metric if it works as intended in comparison to race/extracurriculars/misc. hooks alone. IE. Burmese refugee low-income Asian-American vs. Nigerian aristocracy that immigrated to the USA will now be rated more fairly in comparison to Asian-American vs. Black.

If it has similar influence to the degree of influence to being a URM vs over-represented minority has, I think it would be fair. Assuming that SAT is the "intelligent capacity" metric, this could be used in conjunction with GPA/SAT to assess grit/work ethic, assuming success = grit x intelligence. I think that top-tier schools have been rapidly shifting to selection based on ceiling rather than floor and this metric is a reflection of the times.

I'm sure that there will be dead-sea levels of salt about this however.

This. Let's wait the formula is out before thrashing it. My first reaction was negative, but it might turn out to be a lot better than expected, especially better than any kind of affirmative action that's currently implemented.

Unless you guys have already forgotten the big college admission scandal of a few weeks ago. Sorry, but the system is rigged in favour of the rich and that's bad.

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May 17, 2019

Why this got MS thrown at it amazes me. +SB

Jun 11, 2019
Dumpster Fire Yuppie:

I'm sure that there will be dead-sea levels of salt about this however.

LOL. Definitely going to use this line.

May 16, 2019

I understand your point, but are these factors not already being assessed in the non-quantitative portions of the college application? In my opinion there are already plenty of opportunities for a student to showcase their work ethic and grit, and I think introducing this "expected performance" component might do more harm than good.

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

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May 16, 2019

Fair point but standardized test scores are openly leaned upon more heavily by admissions teams than other metrics.

Look at any admissions website or take any college tour and they'll tell you that GPA > Test Scores > extracurriculars when it comes to evaluating a candidate.

Sure you have your outliers that really demonstrate exceptional potential through extracurriculars, but those are outliers.

I don't have the link atm, but there have been studies demonstrating an incredibly high correlation between socioeconomic status and how well a student performs on these tests. Overall, I think this is a step in the right direction.

What I'm waiting to hear about are the actual specifics of how this handicap will be implemented. That could be the deal breaker.

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May 16, 2019
Uncle Bobo:

Fair point but standardized test scores are openly leaned upon more heavily by admissions teams than other metrics.

Look at any admissions website or take any college tour and they'll tell you that GPA > Test Scores > extracurriculars when it comes to evaluating a candidate.

Sure you have your outliers that really demonstrate exceptional potential through extracurriculars, but those are outliers.

I don't have the link atm, but there have been studies demonstrating an incredibly high correlation between socioeconomic status and how well a student performs on these tests. Overall, I think this is a step in the right direction.

What I'm waiting to hear about are the actual specifics of how this handicap will be implemented. That could be the deal breaker.

But a standardized test is a standardized test. It is "standardized" so that everyone who takes it is tested, at the same time, for their reading and math skill set at the moment in time, ostensibly to have one, singular way to measure everyone's readiness for college. Arguably, standardized tests are a worthless metric for college admissions, but let's then just be honest about that. If you start weighting a standardized test then it's not a standardized test.

May 16, 2019

My contention for all of this hate against 'diversity' is, I could be as dumb as rocks. If I know how to interpret meaning out of "don't boil the ocean" and have the ability to nudge graphs around in PP, who cares about my level of intelligence?

May 16, 2019

It would be incorrect to interpret any part of my post as hate for diversity.

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

May 16, 2019
Max Heiliger:

It would be incorrect to interpret any part of my post as hate for diversity.

But that's the point. Why does it matter who's doing what for 'diversity'? When I applied to schools, I applied to schools I wanted to get into, understanding that I may not get into ones I preferred.

We all know rules/policy only matters to people who read them.

May 17, 2019

Intelligence is actually pretty important if you investigate its role. I don't have all kinds of organized hard data but I've spent an inordinate time reading about and listening to successful startup founders. One constant theme is that intelligence, especially as it relates to critical thinking and intuition, is almost the only thing that matters to them when building a team. They will often trade a highly skilled/trained/experienced person who is reasonably smart for a brighter person without the appropriate background. And they've learned the importance of this as they become more experienced entrepreneurs; Startup A didn't follow this rule but Startup B certainly did.

As it relates to college, I wouldn't have minded having more consistently smart classmates. Hard to quantify how that would've helped me grow, but those four years are a unique opportunity to focus on your personal development and anything that helps that process is valuable I think.

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May 16, 2019

Pump the brakes, this is a bad idea. Without coming off as a radical this system would benefit no one. Anyone who identifies as the socio-economic majority when it comes to culture or race will feel slighted. Anyone who isn't broke/poor will feel slighted. Anyone who identifies with the lower socioeconomic class will feel judged further for their circumstances with no promise of any improvement or benefit.

There are so many factors that go into whether or not someone had a difficult life/adversity. There are people who are financially wealthy who have had moments of serious/significant adversity. There are also people who aren't considered even middle class who for every other reason except financial have had stable healthy good lives.

This is really just another reason/way to unreasonably classify individuals within a demographic with no real improvement. Its just a data exercise, to be honest. They don't want to evaluate applicants more fairly, they just want the information. At the end of the day an admissions committee will let in who they want, regardless of the factors at play (bias, connections, legacy, etc.).

This "adversity score" feels like the beginning of the end to me. Another example of big brother watching you and feeling a need to know everything about you to decide if you are worthy?!? Where are the checks, balances and accountability to ensure this doesn't just further negatively impact the current system. Especially if only the admission committees are the only ones who get to see this number. Are they going to report this metric? how will student know where they stand? Will people compete for adversity points to try to stand out among the crabs in the barrel that is their low funded high school?

(deep breath)

Bad news bears don't like this at all.

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May 16, 2019

To your last paragraph the article on WSJ states that AdComs will not be releasing a candidate's diversity score or telling them where it stands, only making their decision while factoring in the score.

I agree with some of your concerns. For example, how do you differentiate between a poor black kid that grew up with loving, supportive, and encouraging parents vs. a well off white kid that had a mom addicted to shopping, and a dad that was never home / always traveling...

Point is the AdComs will NEVER get the level of insight they need to make a fair factor by which to inflate or deflate scores. This isn't a problem right now because they DON'T change anything based on diversity factors. Point is if you implement this, you better be sure you have the deepest most accurate, granular data possible... which they won't.

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May 16, 2019

Thanks, i'm a bit of a lazy bum and didn't get to the article yet. Yes I totally agree, i don't know that they will ever get it right but i can say for sure this isn't the right direction.

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May 20, 2019

Adding on to this - even if they had the "deepest most accurate, granular data possible" this group of chosen arbiters would still need to interpret the data. The interpretation of the data, no matter how high quality it is, would be subject to bias.

May 16, 2019

I couldn't agree more. This is going to help no one overall and if anything make things feel worse for all parties.

SB'd +1

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May 20, 2019
DontDiscountMyCashFlows:

This "adversity score" feels like the beginning of the end to me. Another example of big brother watching you and feeling a need to know everything about you to decide if you are worthy?!? Where are the checks, balances and accountability to ensure this doesn't just further negatively impact the current system. Especially if only the admission committees are the only ones who get to see this number. Are they going to report this metric? how will student know where they stand? Will people compete for adversity points to try to stand out among the crabs in the barrel that is their low funded high school?

This 100%. If you were to consult the political views of the people/group who created this metric, I guarantee you they would be biased in one direction (leftist/Marxist/SJW). There is no way to eliminate bias from this score - the whole point of standardized testing is to eliminate bias in the first place... The purpose of this exercise is to re-brand affirmative action so as to eliminate criticism of race-based preference/selection.

From the WSJ article - "The purpose is to get to race without using race," said Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. Mr. Carnevale formerly worked for the College Board and oversaw the Strivers program.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sat-to-give-students-...

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May 16, 2019

Why don't they keep the test like the good 'ol days. Bring back analogies, bring back IQ-related questions, etc. I guess people have become such pussies in this liberal PC infested society ,

Fun fact: my oldest brother scored almost perfectly on this old SAT test, and we grew up shit poor in a broken neighborhood and school system

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May 20, 2019

The USA is marching to a slow death as meritocracy and objective morality dies.

Oh, and IQ is "rayciss" yet it is the most critical component of societal development.

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May 16, 2019

As an advocate of affirmative action based on socioeconomic background, I applaud the thought here. However, a standardized test is not the place to apply a socioeconomic boost. The admissions committees should be doing that anyway. A standardized test is a standardized test. The College Board asserts that the scores are tied to the likely success in college of a candidate. If that's true (I doubt it is), then why adjust scores (even privately) based on outside factors?

May 16, 2019
real_Skankhunt42:

The admissions committees should be doing that anyway.

And they already are doing that, and probably with much more sophistication than a generic 15-point formula. I know this is cynical, but I just see this as virtue signaling from The College Board after years of taking it on the chin with accusations that their tests culturally biased.

May 16, 2019
HighlyClevered:
real_Skankhunt42:

The admissions committees should be doing that anyway.

And they already are doing that, and probably with much more sophistication than a generic 15-point formula. I know this is cynical, but I just see this as virtue signaling from The College Board after years of taking it on the chin with accusations that their tests culturally biased.

I think we have to ask ourselves the purpose of standardized tests for college admission. The College Board asserts that there is a strong correlation between test scores and success in college. I'm skeptical, especially when it comes to the liberal arts.

I think any above average student could get through a liberal arts degree in an Ivy League school with great academic success (on paper, at least). The most common undergraduate grade given at Harvard is an "A." I've got a co-worker that sits next to me who went to an Ivy. He was admitted as an athlete from some podunk high school in the middle of nowhere. He could barely write (according to him) and was taught to write in college. His most common grade was an "A".

I think standardized test scores should be used for narrow reasons (e.g. admittance to MIT's engineering programs), but I think they are basically horeshit when it comes to the liberal arts at the so-called prestigious schools.

May 16, 2019
real_Skankhunt42:

As an advocate of affirmative action based on socioeconomic background, I applaud the thought here. However, a standardized test is not the place to apply a socioeconomic boost. The admissions committees should be doing that anyway. A standardized test is a standardized test. The College Board asserts that the scores are tied to the likely success in college of a candidate. If that's true (I doubt it is), then why adjust scores (even privately) based on outside factors?

For once, I agree with every part of your post.

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May 16, 2019
real_Skankhunt42:

As an advocate of affirmative action based on socioeconomic background, I applaud the thought here. However, a standardized test is not the place to apply a socioeconomic boost. The admissions committees should be doing that anyway. A standardized test is a standardized test. The College Board asserts that the scores are tied to the likely success in college of a candidate. If that's true (I doubt it is), then why adjust scores (even privately) based on outside factors?

My feeling is that they are doing this proactively in light of college "discrimination" lawsuits that, if successful, may limit options to consider diversity in the future. By having a truly objective method of weighing diversity that is reported by the college board, it gives them another way to factor such considerations in application reviews that would likely be resistant to any future restrictions from ongoing lawsuits. And with 15 metrics a much more holistic perspective of diversity at that. A step forward IMO as well.

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May 18, 2019

This is exactly right. We know by looking at what's behind the adversity score. From the info available now, it appears the adversity score will be calculated from basic data that's been widely available for over 50 years (average income in zip code, school graduation rates, and so forth). Nothing new.

So in other words, if colleges wanted to know about adversity, they could've measured this a long, long time ago exactly as they are planning to do it now.

So why now all of a sudden? What changed? The lawsuits. That's what's changed.

May 16, 2019

The huge flaw in all of this is just because someone is from affluence doesn't mean they weren't disadvantaged. Think kids who grew up wealthy but were abused by parents or had no one raising them or any other result of having mentally unstable parents

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May 16, 2019
funding_SECured:

The huge flaw in all of this is just because someone is from affluence doesn't mean they weren't disadvantaged. Think kids who grew up wealthy but were abused by parents or had no one raising them or any other result of having mentally unstable parents

Lol this reads like amazing satire.

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May 18, 2019

"I only got to see my parents during Xmas and our summer vacation to Monaco. The rest of the time I was at my boarding school in Geneva. I was scarred by this; how will my adversity factor in!?"

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May 20, 2019
Pmc2ghy:

"I only got to see my parents during Xmas and our summer vacation to Monaco. The rest of the time I was at my boarding school in Geneva. I was scarred by this; how will my adversity factor in!?"

As funny as this sounds, I personally know several rich kids who were rather neglected by their parents even though they lacked nothing financially. You'd be surprised how big of a toll it can have on them. Money just doesn't you the quality time you need with your kids for them to develop well mentally and emotionally. On the other hand, I also know plenty of kids who were relatively poor. They didn't starve to death but had lived with stress of financial burdens. They turned out perfectly fine and I credit to their parents for spending all the quality time raising them.

The bottom line is, this adversity score is a fucking joke.

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May 16, 2019

Seems like an inappropriate place to put this in action. Shouldn't this be done at each college, weighting whatever they deem necessary, than by College Board? Fucking lol. Good luck actually capturing a "diversity score" when absolutely no one bu the person knows what adversity they've been through.

tl;dr fucking what?

May 17, 2019

Doing it at the SAT level kinda forces the colleges to comply. If you leave it up to colleges themselves to implement weights, I'm sure many would rather not. Many private schools would probably prefer to have high-income, high-SAT score individuals over their low-income counterpart (donations, socioeconomic attraction, etc.).

May 16, 2019

The thing is if colleges use this adversity score, they should stop using affirmative action. If they use both, it can really hurt ORMs like Asians and would be pretty darn unfair.

May 17, 2019

I think the purpose is to not judge on race but on socio-economic factors which is much more fair. I'm all for college admissions being adjusted based on that then race.

May 16, 2019

Its stupid. You can't really score "adversity."

May 17, 2019

Anyone who hasn't been around people who this is targeted to help (poor, URM who go to shitty public schools) can't weigh the pros and cons. Also, from my experience, the people who would gain from this the most don't do well on the SAT or care about school.

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May 17, 2019

I've had a little bit of experience on both ends of the spectrum.. While in grad school, I've tutored SAT/ACT in NYC - on one hand I have paid clients whose parents pay 150-250/hr for my time (Group A). On the other hand, I also teach an ACT/SAT class in a really poor part of the Bronx (Group B).

Group A gets to take the test 3-4 times, we run them through full length mocks, we drill them on exactly how to game the test to maximize points. We strategize around super-scoring and devise which tests fit their strengths the best. Basically, we do everything to get these kids a huge score with insight that we sell for prices that only the richest can pay for (you should see some of these apartments).

Group B takes it once, maybe twice if they can get a second waiver. Half the time I am re-explaining that you need to add the numbers when you subtract a negative. These kids have grown up in 35 person classrooms taught by teach for america 23 year olds who bounce half way through the year. Almost every one of them is embarrassed to actually try because they really don't know anything, and that's just the math. We struggle even getting to test taking strategies because we are so busy learning the basic math that these kids never learned because they weren't given homework for an entire year.

The way the tests are administered and designed and used currently is fundamentally broken, and I really feel like this is a move in the right direction to evaluate intelligence. It will help correct for the ways that rich kids learn how to game the test, while poor kids sit and spin. Obviously it is not perfect, but I'm glad they are addressing it.

Array

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May 17, 2019

Agreed. There's a lot of people at fault for this.teach for America, school systems, student (largely a product of the environment)

May 17, 2019

It's sad that the final paragraph is your takeaway.

The way the tests are structured is not broken. Our education system is broken and THAT is what needs to be fixed.

Furthermore, the college board CAN "address" the situation you laid out WITHOUT just inflating group B and deflating group A's scores ACROSS THE BOARD.

There is a qualitative assessment system where students' school district / house income / parent's education are all assessed and baked into the decision by each university.

To handicap or boost an entire group based prematurely is the wrong way to go about creating a better system. A system which I do believe needs to be improved.

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May 17, 2019

Agreed - see my comment below.

May 17, 2019

At the end of the day, it's like a HR derby. These poor kids have never picked up a bat before and are asked to compete against kids who have been training their entire lives (and can pick the right pitch). The idea is to identify raw talent, because obviously the poor kids are never going to do as well, but if you know it's their first time and they still hit 3 dingers, then maybe they have the same performance level as the kid who hit 5 but has been practicing his whole life because he knew to practice.

It means that maybe the poor kid's 1150 IS BETTER than the rich kid's 1200, because the poor kid did it without any help.

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May 17, 2019

I just have one worry, its that nowadays people will just get to the top of the society just given other factors and never performance. We see colleges recruiting based on 'diversity factors' ok so someone can get into a top college with a low SAT/GPA because his parents never went to university and never told him to get good grades. Then if you are again a diversity candidates, banks will hire you as they want a diverse body. Then as they need to narrow the gender/LGBT pay gap they will promote you faster (at least the Big4 does). What does all of this means? You can basically out run someone just because of the support you've been given. You don't need to perform as well as the others given some BS factors?

How about giving responsibilities to people rather than walking them through a park?

While I agree that it may not be fair to assess all candidates as if they had the same learning conditions, equality fo chances should be given earlier - at the college level it's too late already, how about strengthening the middle-high school system? To me an ideal society would be to raise kids with a great education system (ie boarding for everyone), and free HC for them, so that by the time they apply to colleges it would be 100% fair game as everyone would be healthy and educated with identical resources.

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May 17, 2019

I really don't know but I think it is fair as social background can often determine how well a student can do in the exams.

May 17, 2019

As someone who came from an under-funded, under-served high school this is a horrible idea. Someone mentioned that this is already taken into consideration within the test. Students who have less prep and less resources are proven to under-perform. I can only speak for myself, as everyone's experience is different. In my school we didn't have much in terms of preparation, some outdated prep books and a tutor that would visit us once a week. This is more than most schools in my area would get. On the other hand, my friends who attended charter schools, private schools or better funded public schools received specialized SAT classes to prepare them accordingly. This is a horrible idea. I'm a firm believer of bootstrapping, if someone can persevere and show their intelligence despite their circumstances, let them. It's already bad enough as it is, we don't need to further alienate students.

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Jun 6, 2019

Did you grow up in Detroit and vomit your mom's spaghetti during the test?

Jun 6, 2019

Of course. The pencil was also hard to grasp due to my sweaty palms.

May 17, 2019

unrelated: The WSJ comments section has some hot takes - entertaining to browse through

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May 17, 2019

The boomers that comment on WSJ articles usually spit some knowledge. It's especially funny when they sign off their comments.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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May 20, 2019

Most hilarious is when they sign off as "Bob's faithful wife" or some other goofy moniker.

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May 17, 2019

While I get what they are trying to do and support the idea, which is serving the underserved, this really flies in the face of the idea of standardized testing. Artificially inflating test scores is wrong. If we're giving special consideration to those who got the short end of the stick, it should be in offering free products or services to prepare them to do well in a standardized format. A much less controversial way to approach this would be giving the underserved subsidized SAT prep courses, which directly correlate to improved scores.

Unless they want to give the kids with benefit factored test scores a benefit factored college education and job, I don't see the value of blending in how hard it was to get them into the test seat into a score. In my experience, access is not equal to opportunity and those same challenges that hold back their test scores in high school will resurface in college. Level the playing field with preparation for what is ahead instead of adding more jelly beans to the underprivileged jar.

When Jaime Lannister lost his sword hand, the enemies didn't slow down! Instead, he was gifted Bronn Blackwater's tough tutelage and the school of hard knocks.

DanielSon's bullies did not care that he could not fight. Miyagi saw worth in preparing for the inevitable showdowns instead of walking DanielSon home each night.

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May 17, 2019

Where I think it could be helpful (compared to the current shitshow of a system) is if it's a very focused score. In other words, if it doesn't try to be too broad. For example, I'm reading that it may be entirely about the socioeconomic status of the person's zip code. If it's very narrow like that, it's just an informative and objective data point. "This kid got a 1400, just FYI he grew up in the ghetto as evidenced by his 90 Adversity Score."

The school would then of course only consider that as one data point, and maybe one that's a bit more helpful than the current proxy which is race.

I tend to be very skeptical of AA and all other concepts related to the current national obsession with inequality. And I suspect this one will ultimately turn out to be BS just like the rest of them. But it could pull off an upset if it's narrowly defined.

May 17, 2019

What will this do to need blind admissions? Right now the admissions officer doesn't have any strong info on the candidate's ability to pay (outside of those special few who make large donations). But with an adversity score they have something that's highly correlated to ability to pay. Would be naive to think that this won't impact decisions as schools are already feeling financial pressure from the inevitable pullback of years of bloating of the endowment.

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May 17, 2019

Why did they position it as tied to the SAT, when in fact it is clearly not connected to the test at all? It doesn't affect a person's score on the test. Colleges will get the test score and separately, an adversity score.

The headlines could have easily said "colleges to consider adversity score" with no mention whatsoever of the SAT. What would the reaction have been then? Probably "well at least it's better than race". But by needlessly hitching it to the SAT it reeks of tinkering and manipulation. Terrible, awful PR. "Terra-awful" as Shaq would say.

May 17, 2019

1.) On a certain level, I am ok with this-- certainly handling adversity by high school. However, I would like to ensure the system is fair-- for instance, rural poverty and a neighborhood with a meth problem shouldn't be objectively an order of magnitude less adverse than urban poverty and a neighborhood with a crack problem.

2.) What I do not think helps is the College Board feeding the the social justice narrative. I think social justice needs to involve less talk, more action, and be about ensuring a level playing field rather than overtly about corrections for racial advantage.

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May 17, 2019

Here is an example. Chicago has a bunch of Lakefront parks named after Presidents-- Lincoln, Grant, etc. I think it would be a great idea to rename Jackson Park in Chicago to Obama Park. (1) Obama is from Chicago (2) he went jogging in that park (3) he lived next door and (4) Andrew Jackson never set foot in Chicago. There is a way to rename Jackson Park to Obama Park without making it about race, slavery, and grievance issues.

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May 17, 2019

Geez... A lot of prep school educated trust fund babies getting worked up. Nowhere in the WSJ article does it say the adversity score is used to adjust SAT scores, its just an additional data point. Similar to social scores or whatever is currently used. Relax

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May 17, 2019
FrkWhite:

Geez... A lot of prep school educated trust fund babies getting worked up. Nowhere in the WSJ article does it say the adversity score is used to adjust SAT scores, its just an additional data point. Similar to social scores or whatever is currently used. Relax

Sure. But while I understand the college board is the final arbiter of the exam, what makes them the final arbiter of adversity?

May 17, 2019

Who said they are? They are simply providing a score to admissions offices. Nobody is required to use it or give it any consideration at all.

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May 17, 2019

Just no...a person who scores a 1600 is clearly more fit and acedemically capable to go to Harvard or MIT than someone who scored a 1100...u have to make a distinction and the SAT does this.

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May 18, 2019

It goes to the question of equality in opportunity or outcome. Seems like the score can give underprivileged kids a better shot at getting into a good school and thus a more equal opportunity to succeed in a career. That said, it can, unfortunately, be guilty of creating equality in outcome at the college admissions level.

May 18, 2019
CaughtShort:

It goes to the question of equality in opportunity or outcome. Seems like the score can give underprivileged kids a better shot at getting into a good school and thus a more equal opportunity to succeed in a career. That said, it can, unfortunately, be guilty of creating equality in outcome at the college admissions level.

Or, or, or...work with me now...or, people on the admissions committees who are paid six figure and multiple six figures salaries at universities with billions of dollars in untaxed assets could do their f&cking job for once and actually investigate the backgrounds of individual competitive students, and then let standardized test scores remain standardized...

May 19, 2019

where was this when i was going to school lmao, would have scored a fucking perfect

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

May 20, 2019

Disclaimer, I haven't read all of the comments and don't know if my point is duplicative but here it goes.

This reminds me of a kid I knew who moved from a highly competitive high school to a much worse one so that he would have a better chance at getting valedictorian (he ultimately did by supplementing his highschool work with community college classes). Based off of what I've read, these 15 factors are bucketed 3 ways, Neighborhood, Family and High School. If you are willing to risk it, you can easily move one of your kids to a neighborhood and a school with a much higher adversity rank than the one you currently live in. Kids do this to transfer schools for sports reasons all the time. Ultimately, this will lead to gentrification of certain areas and higher participation in public schools in order to boost their "Adversity Scores" (obviously only for parents will to brave it). But this can ultimately be circumnavigated by buying/renting a place in a poorer neighborhood, etc.

My personal opinion, schools have already been assigning quasi "Adversity Scores" to kids for decades, now more so than ever. I respect the College Board for finally being blunt and transparent about it, but don't see any positives for doing so. Living in the unspoken rule world was much better.

May 20, 2019

One issue that none of the articles are touching on is that the College Board cannot keep this "adversity score" secret from consumers, which they seem to be trying to do.

Under the Fair Credit Report Act, consumers have the right to see such information and scores about themselves. It is not just limited to credit reports. Many other databases that track and score consumers have been ruled by the courts that they have to provide this information to consumers upon request.

Such things as your insurance report (CLUE), your ChexSystems files (bank overdraft history), LexisNexis (multiple database products), etc. All of these companies have to provide copies to consumers about what they track and sell to 3rd parties. They also need to provide a dispute process to challenge and delete information disputed by the consumer.

I have no doubt at all that the College Board will likely be sued by someone for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The College Board will be ordered by a Federal Court to provide a full report to a student about what they have on that student and provide a process to dispute and change that data if the student believes it is inaccurate.

Once the College Board realizes this, they will likely have to be prepared to start an entire customer service division and 1-800 number and call center to handle all of the requests.

There is no way possible that students/parents are going to allow this "secret score" to mess up their odds of getting into an Ivy League or other premium school. This is going to be litigated and the College Board is going to lose badly. And they will have to pay legal fees to the plaintiffs, which is provided for in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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Jun 15, 2019
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May 21, 2019