UC President Janet Napolitano’s proposal to suspend a standardized testing requirement will fuel student uncertainty, strain budgets and exacerbate concerns about fairness by making the admissions process more subjective, the head of the ACT testing organization said Monday.
Marten Roorda, ACT chief executive officer, criticized the proposal in a letter to members of the UC Board of Regents, who are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to suspend and possibly eliminate standardized testing as a UC admissions requirement.
Last week, Napolitano unveiled a five-year proposal to make the SAT and ACT testing requirement optional for two years, eliminate it in years three and four and move to a new test developed for the UC system in year five. The proposal noted that the UC system already has suspended standardized testing requirements for fall 2021 applicants after the coronavirus crisis prompted test cancellations.
The unusual plan was seen as a compromise between the UC Academic Senate, which overwhelmingly voted to keep the tests while a new assessment is developed, and testing opponents who argue that the SAT and ACT are unfairly influenced by race, income and the education level of parents. ACT and the College Board, which owns the SAT, have asserted that their tests are not biased but reflect unequal access to quality education and help predict college success.
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