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    #245513 - 05/16/19 05:11 AM SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background: New score comes as college admissions decisions are under scrutiny
    By Douglas Belkin
    Wall Street Journal
    May 16, 2019 5:30 a.m. ET

    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 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood. Students won’t be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.

    Fifty colleges used the score last year as part of a beta test. The College Board plans to expand it to 150 institutions this fall, and then use it broadly the following year.

    How colleges consider a student’s race and class in making admissions decisions is hotly contested. Many colleges, including Harvard University, say a diverse student body is part of the educational mission of a school. A lawsuit accusing Harvard of discriminating against Asian-American applicants by holding them to a higher standard is awaiting a judge’s ruling. Lawsuits charging unfair admission practices have also been filed against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California system.

    The College Board, the New York based nonprofit that oversees the SAT, said it has worried about income inequality influencing test results for years. White students scored an average of 177 points higher than black students and 133 points higher than Hispanic students in 2018 results. Asian students scored 100 points higher than white students. The children of wealthy and college-educated parents outperformed their classmates.

    “There are a number of amazing students who may have scored less [on the SAT] but have accomplished more,” said David Coleman, chief executive of the College Board. “We can’t sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT.”

    The SAT, which includes math and verbal sections and is still taken with No. 2 pencils, is facing challenges. Federal prosecutors revealed this spring that students cheated on both the SAT and ACT for years as part of a far-reaching college admissions cheating scheme. In Asia and the Middle East, both the ACT and SAT exams have experienced security breaches.


    Students should be allowed to see the "adversity scores" that affect where they will be admitted.

    Groups with higher average SAT scores also score higher on IQ tests, but it is politically correct to attribute such disparities to "privilege".

    #245516 - 05/16/19 08:35 AM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Bostonian]
    mecreature Offline

    Registered: 03/14/11
    Posts: 353
    Students should be allowed to see the "adversity scores" that affect where they will be admitted. They should also be able to challenge the score. There are so many variables that can make this score appear as something it is not.

    Wouldn't most of this information and much more be available in your FAFSA paperwork?

    #245518 - 05/16/19 09:17 AM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Bostonian]
    Thomas Percy Offline

    Registered: 11/18/12
    Posts: 204
    This seems to be such a stunningly bad idea. Colleges have all the information on an applicant, what does the college board knows about the student colleges don't. It also really penalizes those families who lives in the smallest house/apartment on limited income just so that their children have access to a better school. Why is this even a thing?

    #245519 - 05/16/19 10:35 AM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Bostonian]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    I have emailed the College Board at (email address obtained from this site) asking how my son's "adversity score" can be obtained and expressing my belief that we have the right to know what the adversity score is, if it is being sent to colleges to evaluate him. I suggest that every affected student or parent do this so that the College Board understands how much people want transparency.

    #245520 - 05/16/19 12:54 PM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Bostonian]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Here is the NYT article on it:

    SAT to Add ‘Adversity Score’ That Rates Students’ Hardships
    By Anemona Hartocollis
    May 16, 2019

    The SAT, the college entrance test taken by about two million students a year, is adding an “adversity score” to the test results that is intended to help admissions officers account for factors like educational or socioeconomic disadvantage that may depress students’ scores, the College Board, the company that administers the test, said Thursday.

    Colleges have long been concerned with scoring patterns on the SAT that seem unfavorable to certain socioeconomic groups: Higher scores have been found to correlate with students coming from a higher-income families and having better-educated parents.

    David Coleman, chief executive of the College Board, has described a trial version of the tool, which has been field-tested by 50 colleges, in recent interviews. The plan to roll it out officially, to 150 schools this year and more broadly in 2020, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

    The adversity score would be a number between 1 and 100, with an average student receiving a 50. It would be calculated using 15 factors, like the relative quality of the student’s high school and the crime rate and poverty level of the student’s home neighborhood. The score would not be reported to the student, only to college officials.

    Admissions officers have struggled for years to find ways of gauging the hardships that students have had to overcome, and to predict which students will do well in college despite lower test scores.

    “We’ve got to admit the truth, that wealth inequality has progressed to such a degree that it isn’t fair to look at test scores alone,” Mr. Coleman recently told The Associated Press. “You must look at them in context of the adversity students face.”


    #245521 - 05/16/19 03:52 PM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Bostonian]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    The article says "The new score—which falls on a scale of one through 100—will pop up on something called the Environmental Context Dashboard, which shows several indicators of relative poverty, wealth and opportunity as well as a student’s SAT score compared with those of their classmates."

    A College Board publication Data-Driven Models to Understand Environmental Context from 2016 describes the model:

    "This Environmental Context Framework identifies three overlapping sources of environmental influence related to an applicant’s access to the educational resources and support needed to maximize potential. The framework spans three areas of the applicant’s environment:

    § Neighborhood Environment — Measures related to the socioeconomic milieu of the applicant as they move between school and home, such as the housing market structure and stability; poverty measures; peer culture; and crime risk.

    § High School Environment — Measures related to the socioeconomic status of peers at the applicant’s high school, such as the percentage of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch; relative academic performance; access to and participation in advanced course work; and relative success in gaining access to college.

    § Family Environment — Measures related to family influences, such as family income; familial structure and stability; educational attainment; and cultural context."


    The motivation for the model is described in a blog post

    More than Numbers, Context Matters: A Peek at College Board’s Environmental Context Dashboard Pilot
    Camille Boxhill, Associate Director, Professional Communications, The College Board

    There is a 45-page College Board presentation Environmental Context Dashboard: A Scalable, Systematic Approach to Educational Disadvantage.

    On page 42 there is a graph showing that a model that predicts college GPAs based on test scores (presumable SAT/ACT), AP exam scores, and high school GPA underpredicts the college GPAs of the students with the least adversity by about 0.10 and overpredicts the GPA of the students with the most adversity by about 0.10. This demonstrates that standardized test scores and high school grades are not biased against the underprivileged.

    #245522 - 05/16/19 10:31 PM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Bostonian]
    ashley Offline

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 638
    in the case of public schools: aren't there reports on socio-economic profiles of the student population of each public school already available? And I assume that the colleges have access to that set of data.
    How will this score work during the admissions process for those colleges that allow self-reporting of SAT scores?
    Everyone has a right to know what information is being compiled and sent to colleges about them since it affects the rest of their lives. The College board is too powerful for a private company. This new tool seems like another income generator for the company. I think that we will be seeing a lot of lawsuits regarding the "adversity score" sooner rather than later.

    #245525 - 05/17/19 07:39 AM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: spaghetti]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: spaghetti
    So, how will SAT gather this info? Can't be from the voluntary reporting-- how can that be valid? Do you get a score for no answer? Do they want parent tax returns? Or is it just going to be the neighborhood/zip code you live in?

    You could read the presentation I cited in post# 245521. The adversity score does not depend on the circumstances of the student but on the characteristics of his or her school and neighborhood. The College Board knows a student's address and school attended. I think that in my town, which has a single public high school, that all students from that high school (who could not attend that school unless they lived in town) would have the same adversity score.

    Edited by Bostonian (05/17/19 08:01 AM)

    #245526 - 05/17/19 09:06 AM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Bostonian]
    Kai Offline

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 592
    What do they do about homeschoolers?

    This seems like just another idea to do something about the achievement gap without actually doing something about it.

    #245527 - 05/17/19 09:48 AM Re: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ [Re: Kai]
    ashley Offline

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 638
    Originally Posted By: Kai
    What do they do about homeschoolers?

    And also the thousands of international applicants, charter schools, tens of thousands of private schools, CC/DE etc.
    I am confused as to how they think that they can accurately predict "adversity" ...

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