Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Who’s Afraid of the SAT? - Earlier this year, University of California President Richard Atkinson raised a ruckus with the College Board—guardians of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)—by suggesting that the University of California eliminate the SAT(I) as a tool for undergraduate admission. Towing the liberal line, he cited the test’s "cultural bias" and "educational unfairness" as the primary reasons for his new proposal to remove the SAT (I) from the admissions process at UC.

From the white liberal mind arises the two most common arguments against the SAT as currently constituted:

1) The exam is culturally biased against minorities . . . except that Asian students consistently outscore white students.
2) The use of SAT preparatory courses favors students with wealthy backgrounds . . . except that, according to the latest evidence, there is no correlation between family income and SAT scores for Asian-American students.

Contrary to popular belief, the motive behind this initiative was not to boost the numbers of black and Hispanic students at UC— who historically underperform on the exam. In fact, the overall numbers of black and Hispanic students in the UC system have actually remained steady, even after Affirmative Action was tossed out of the admissions process in 1997 as a result of voter-passed Prop. 209. By focusing attention on black and Hispanic enrollment and issues of fairness with the SAT, President Atkinson—the epitome of the bleeding-heart white liberal—hopes to distract parents and students from his true goal: creating a University of California where white students are no longer outnumbered by Asian students.

Asian students already outnumber whites at flagships UC-Berkeley and UCLA, and at two of the six other campuses. At current rates of student enrollment, whites will be a minority and Asians a majority at all but one of the eight UC campuses within five years. For the same reason why white American families generally choose not to live in predominantly Asian communities—cities in California like Monterey Park, San Francisco and Arcadia come to mind--the mostly white liberals that run the University of California would rather not administer schools with mostly Asian student bodies. Thus, the real reason why President Atkinson would like to eliminate the SAT from the admissions process becomes clear.


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