The University of California will no longer consider SAT and ACT scores as part of the admission process in its system of 10 schools beginning in the fall of 2021 in accordance with a settlement in a lawsuit brought by students that claimed that the traditional tests are racist, The Associated Press reported Friday.
The lawsuit, filed against UC on Dec. 10, 2019, by some high school students and nonprofit groups, including Chinese for Affirmative Action, College Access Plan, College Seekers, Community Coalition, Dolores Huerta Foundation, and Little Manila Rising, argued that standardized tests put minority and low-income students at a disadvantage
The Compton Unified School District later joined the lawsuit.
The settlement, reached earlier this month, “ensures that the university will not revert to its planned use of the SAT and ACT — which its own regents have admitted are racist metrics,” Amanda Savage, an attorney representing the students, said in a statement reported by the Chronicle.
The UC Board of Regents voted last year to drop the SAT and ACT tests as admission requirements through 2024 and eliminate them for California residents after that. Incoming students this fall didn’t submit SAT or ACT scores. However, regents had said applicants for fall 2021 and 2022 could submit the scores voluntarily.
The new settlement will “provide certainty for students and their families, counselors, and high schools,” the school said. It also specifies that the university can still use SAT and ACT scores to determine course placement after the students are accepted and that UC will pay $1.25 million in attorney fees to the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs.
In addition, the 10 campuses will no longer use the test scores to determine who gets scholarships.
A superior court last September ordered the university to stop using the SAT and ACT test results for admissions or scholarship decisions while the lawsuit was pending. UC initially appealed the decision.
“The SAT itself is not a racist instrument. Every question is rigorously reviewed for evidence of bias, and any question that could favor one group over another is discarded,” College Board, the maker of the SAT test, told The Epoch Times.
“Today’s SAT is an achievement test that measures what is taught in school and what students need to know to be prepared for college. Performance differences across groups of students reflect an unequal K–12 system. That’s why the SAT should only be considered in the context of where students live and go to school, and an SAT score should never be a veto on a student,” reported the Epoch Times.
Test scores from the SAT and ACT tests have been a mainstay of the college admissions process for decades. Opponents of the tests’ use for admission argue that students of certain races score lower on average than other races. Proponents say standardized tests offer an equal playing field, since all students take the same test.
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