The chancellors of UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, along with the University of California’s chief academic officer, said they support dropping the SAT and ACT as an admission requirement — stances certain to fuel the growing national movement against the tests as an unfair barrier to college entry for underserved students.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and UC Provost Michael Brown told a forum on college admissions Friday that research has convinced them that performance on the SAT and ACT is so strongly influenced by family income, parents’ education and race that using them for high-stakes admissions decisions is simply wrong.
“They really contribute to the inequities of our system,” Christ said at the Berkeley forum, sponsored by the Policy Analysis for California Education research center and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education.
Brown said he was not opposed to all standardized tests but objects to the SAT and ACT because their results compare students against one another in a way designed to produce high and low scores. He prefers standardized tests that measure students by how much they’ve mastered prescribed academic content. One such test is Smarter Balanced, which is used in California to assess 11th-graders on the state’s Common Core curriculum, but Brown said he would prefer a test more closely linked to the content of courses required for UC admission.
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