Originally Posted by Bostonian
Almost everyone applying to selective schools such as the University of Chicago has SAT or ACT scores. Why wouldn't an admissions committee want to see them? The SAT and ACT offer fee waivers based on income, so how do "tests place an unfair cost and burden on low-income and minority students"?
University of Chicago to stop requiring ACT and SAT scores for prospective undergraduates
by Dawn Rhodes
Chicago Tribune
June 14, 2018
The War on Admissions Testing
What’s behind the move to drop ACT and SAT scores for college entry?
Wall Street Journal
July 1, 2018

The “test optional” movement has won its most high-profile convert in the University of Chicago, which announced last month that applicants to the school would no longer need to submit ACT or SAT scores.

The University of Chicago has become known in recent years for its commitment to academic rigor and resistance to coddling and group think. But in this decision it has increased the momentum of a fashionable but damaging ideology overtaking elite education: That standardized metrics of any kind are discriminatory and elitist, and that each student is so special that he or she can only be evaluated according to uniquely personal traits.

No test is perfect, but the ACT and SAT are powerful predictors of college performance. As psychology professors Nathan Kuncel and Paul Sackett wrote in The Wall Street Journal in March: “Longitudinal research demonstrates that standardized tests predict not just grades all the way through college but also the level of courses a student is likely to take.”

Standardized tests are especially important in a time of severe grade inflation, especially in more affluent high schools. That doesn’t mean students who don’t test well can’t succeed, or that students with high scores are guaranteed to graduate summa cum laude. But it’s clear scores are at least as valid a predictor of college performance as a students’ roster of carefully selected extracurricular activities or “personal essays,” which may be rewritten by tutors.

So what’s behind the campaign against standardized assessments? A University of Chicago spokeswoman says the test “may not reflect the full accomplishments and academic promise of a student.” This is true but could be said of any single part of a college application, including high school grades.

Grades may be the next metric to fall out of fashion. Last year a coalition of private high schools, including Phillips Academy, joined a campaign to eliminate grades on grounds that “a GPA shaves off a lot of humanity,” in the words of one prep-school principal. One wonders if the aim isn’t really to shield well-off students from rigorous assessments so they can skate by on testimonials and extracurriculars alone.

The University of Chicago also says eliminating testing requirements “levels the playing field” for “under-resourced and first-generation students,” who may not have access to test-preparation courses. But contrary to myth, most such courses produce only modest gains. And last year Khan Academy and the College Board unveiled a free course they say boosts SAT scores for students at all income levels. By contrast, low-income students are unlikely to have access to exotic summer internships or other activities that impress admissions offices.

The article cited is

The Truth About the SAT and ACT
Myths abound about standardized tests, but the research is clear: They provide an invaluable measure of how students are likely to perform in college and beyond
By Nathan Kuncel and Paul Sackett
Wall Street Journal
March 8, 2018