While Harvard could select its undergrads differently, would choosing by test scores alone be selecting "smarter" students?

As more students apply who've achieved a perfect score on one of the high-stakes tests, selecting students based on perfect test scores in all areas might not gather a "smarter" student body but one which is more:
- test-focused (a test is a "snapshot", a proxy for one's knowledge base, but not the ultimate or only measure... anyone can have an "off" day)
- high-achieving, one-dimensional (for example, Amy Chua's tiger-parented, Harvard-bound kids were described as having little social life due to focus on academics, piano, etc)
- high-pressured, inflexible (no plan about what to do next, no "plan B" if not accepted to Harvard)

If I understand correctly, this article is suggesting raising test score standards for admission... and is therefore different than NYC considering lowering standards for admissions to its specialized high schools... at least in approach. However the end result may be the same: limiting access to a population based on race/ethnicity.

That said, any selection or de-selection based on race or ethnicity is, in my opinion, unethical and immoral. Sports teams choose the best athletes, without regard to race/ethnicity. We see this in varsity, college teams, professional sports, Olympics. Educational institutions may be wise to do the same.

Therefore if choosing applicants for admission based on perfect test scores alone creates a more objective criteria, and reduces subjectivity, then I would tend to support it... not because it necessarily brings in "smarter" students... but because using objective criteria generally tends to be fair, transparent, known proactively, etc.

Because policy/practice changes drive changes in behavior, this brings a question to mind: What happens in the future as more students apply who've achieved a perfect score on all of the high-stakes tests?