The College Board will soon attach Pity Points to SAT scores. The Pity Points will be used to suggest that those who scored poorly did not in fact score poorly and thus deserve access to the “best” universities.
According to the WSJ, the SAT bosses “plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes SAT to try and capture their social and economic background”.
It is possible to cheat taking the SAT, but it is difficult. Anxious parents can have ringers sit in for their preciouses, or the kids might go old-fashioned and put notes on their cuffs. These strategies do boost scores, but they’re risky. They don’t beat studying, although they can overcome to some degree a student’s native limitations.
Pity Points can be had with ease, though. They’re calculated “using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood.” Just have your kid take the test in the ghetto (do they still say “ghetto”?) and boost ’em up.
Now it’s only a guess, but there is no indication I could discover that any personal information goes into these scores, meaning they’ll be based only on geographic details. They wouldn’t dare use, I think, “Are you Asian?”, because this ploy might be discovered. One or more of the questions they do use, though, might easily be the racial makeup of the testing area. Or there will be other proxies for race.
Indeed, crime rate and poverty levels are already terrific indicators of race. This is why algorithms which specifically exclude race but include correlates of the same are so often decried as “racist”. The SAT bosses figured this out and turned it around.
Administrators who were anxious to make their Diversity quotas but who couldn’t explain why certain races were not required to perform as well as others can now use Pity Points knowing these will highly correlate with race. And they’ll be able to say, with mostly straight faces, that they didn’t use race as a factor in admissions.
It’s a brilliant plan. It’s also obvious nonsense. But it’s nonsense in the approved direction, and this is all that counts. Our society has long left behind Reality, and this small thing is not much of an affront to Truth.
In the same WJS piece it says (East) Asians score about 100 points higher than whites on average, and whites score 177 points higher than blacks and 133 points higher than Hispanics. These are huge—and persistent—differences. They can’t be ignored; and least, not without blushing.
Pity Points will thus have to be leaned on pretty heavily to purge Asians, and a little less heavily to punish whites. Colleges are willing to lean.
The score “is literally affecting every application we look at,” said a Yale apparatchick. Or I should say “said literally”. The Pity Points have “been a part of the success story to help diversify our freshman class.”
Why is Diversity something to be sought over ability? Hey, are you some kind of bigot?
The most revealing statement came from a Chicago high school bureaucrat, who said, “My emails are inundated with admissions officers who want to talk to our diversity kids.”
Well, everybody knows exactly what this means: non-white, non-Asians, and lately non-perverts.
Interestingly, there is no indication the Pity Points will apply to those embracing various perversions. Points, as far as we can see, will only work for diversity kids. Crime and neighborhood, as said, are good proxies for race, but unless the kids are from the Castro in San Francisco, there is no reliable geographic marker to indicate abhorrent sexual desire.
In order to achieve this highly desired level of Diversity, the SAT would have to ask personal questions. Maybe they could have a series of pictures of sexual activities, “Which of these would you do?” That’s absurd, so they’ll have to look at something else. Maybe religious questions. But once you open the door for personal questions the whole reason for the SAT is defenestrated.
“Students won’t be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.”
Good luck keeping the sauce secret!
Of course, it won’t be kept secret, not for long. It will take only one aggrieved person of color or perversion to sue to see their Pity Points before SAT or colleges buckle.
In Australia, postcodes (zip codes) are used to scale taxpayer support to private secondary schools. Anecdotally, the result matches your comments. Works particularly well for schools with high income families from nominally poor rural areas.
Still, idiot parents pay to send their kids to colleges. Some pay extra and may go to jail for it. I wouldn’t hire a college graduate if I could possibly avoid it. They are dumber than the janitor and now some will be dumber than the dust bunnies in the hallways.
(Hiring from tech schools still seems relatively safe for now.)
Q: Why is Diversity something to be sought over ability?
A: Because college is for social mobility.
The College Board made a business decision. Hundreds of schools have dropped the SAT as an admission requirement on the grounds that sub-cultural background of the test-takers affects the score. Score weighting is meant to blunt the objections. Regardless, SAT scores have only a small relationship to academic success. Motivation and mindset are key factors not tested, yet contribute substantially to retention and completion. Scores probably are better used as a broad indicator of how much the schools will need to give extra attention (remedial and supplementary help) to students.
The May 25th Washington Post article noted that SAT scores do not correlate with intelligence but do with the student’s parents incomes. Very closely. Thus, they are not a good predictor of academic and future success.
Insofar as the above extreme summary goes, the basic point that even WaPo reported aligns rather closely with other reviews on that general theme:
“Are we smart enough to know what intelligence is?” May 4, 2016
“A case of bad statistics in an IQ-Intelligence study”. Jan 3, 2019
There are some interesting points common to why the authors/purveyors of SAT align in their views with the author of the above articles. It’s just the method to resolve the problem that’s at issue. …and… how that might be addressed and remedied.
give it time. what’s absurd today, is mandatory tomorrow.
Will colleges see the full breakdown of math/verbal/adversity scores, or will they all be mashed together into one number?
At present, each college has its own formula for calculating adversity, so adopting a standard method might help whites and Asians to more easily game the system.
I don’t see how this would make the Ivy League any more of a joke than it already is. Decades ago, someone attended Harvard’s commencement and asked twenty-three new graduates why summer is hot and winter is cold. Only one gave the correct answer!
Ken: “The May 25th Washington Post article noted that SAT scores do not correlate with intelligence but do with the student’s parents incomes. Very closely. Thus, they are not a good predictor of academic and future success.”
What a flawed and confused slush of correlation/causation!
1. SAT scores do NOT correlate with intelligence?
2. SAT scores DO correlate with parents’ income?
You might want to let the Post know:
1. SAT is basically an IQ test. So, without getting into the nuances of what IQ (or intelligence) is, SAT scores can convert directly to an IQ.
2. Americans’ income level is correlated to intelligence.
“The results demonstrate that intelligence is a powerful predictor of success …”
Therefore, SAT scores correlate to income level.