This week, the College Board announced, in addition to the tradition grading and rating of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), there will also be an "adversity score" included in the students' final scores.
This score is meant to better represent not only the students' working knowledge of the materials on the test, but to also incorporate the social influences impacting the students' abilities to learn the included subjects.
These Adversity Scores will be based on 15 predetermined criteria, including the crime rate and the presence of poverty in the students' neighborhood and school environment.
The catch? Students will only see their performing test scores, the points they earned for the total number of questions they answered correctly. The Adversity Score will be added after the fact and will only be forwarded to colleges when reviewing admissions applications.
Students will not have access to how they were scored on the adversity scale and will not know how this score impacts their appearance of performance.
With this latest development in college news, educators, students, supporting family members, and the general public are taking to Twitter to voice their concerns surrounding the implementation of the Adversity Scale, and the continuation of the SAT in general.
True to any shift in educational structure, there are those who are concerned about the impact on the "merit" of education, or how standards will shift to accommodate this new scale, which is a conversation all its own.
We could also just get rid of the SAT because if it’s inherent biases. It’s actually regressing American education. https://t.co/uFZea0hu4Y— Frederick Joseph (@Frederick Joseph)1558010472.0
This article is from The Wall Street Journal, so the posts in the comment section are pretty predictable. My favo… https://t.co/zlxL3mynXI— Donnie J. Sackey (@Donnie J. Sackey)1558007855.0
Even after all those parents got caught in Operation Varsity Blues, people still believe that the only thing that h… https://t.co/tdZKhahuZW— Donnie J. Sackey (@Donnie J. Sackey)1558007855.0
Some instead are concerned about the quality of the scale, with the absence of race, as well as the potential skew for disadvantaged students who are in wealthier neighborhoods or better schools.
How in the world do you (a) create a formula to determine how much “adversity” a 17-year-old has faced, (b) using… https://t.co/NAFRZI3Jt3— Joshua Benton (@Joshua Benton)1558009199.0
Research actually shows that racism is a top type of adversity so this is 100% wrong: ”The adversity score, by cont… https://t.co/7xvZ2ZNhyZ— The Husband (@The Husband)1558009445.0
Using broader community data means that the richest white kid and the poorest black/Hispanic kid in a given high sc… https://t.co/RMQsdS079R— Joshua Benton (@Joshua Benton)1558009316.0
@edmundlee The fascinating problem here is that it penalizes the family that sacrifices to put a child in a better-… https://t.co/tdxIQaLOTl— Jon Fortt (@Jon Fortt)1558011199.0
Others, however, see the chance for improvement and inclusion with the incorporation of this new scale, some in this group even reflecting on how their education may have been impacted had their SAT scores included the scale.
I support this both because an adversity score might have gotten me into Harvard and because anything that damages… https://t.co/qCnrNk7KHj— Daniel Foster (@Daniel Foster)1558009830.0
Like any other test or educational tool, it will take time to see how effective this new Adversity Scale actually is, and how it may help or hinder the population it aims to assist.
Whichever direction this development goes, there inevitably will be further questions and discussion about race, proper socioeconomic measurements, and the withholding of such information from the student.