There’s a good chance that, if you went to college, you remember taking the SAT. You were forced to waste an entire Saturday, filling in little bubbles as you answered a seemingly endless list of questions. There were sections covering math, reading comprehension, language, and (depending on what year you took it) an essay question or two. A few weeks later, your results came in the mail. If you did well, you might be headed for the ivy league. Bomb, and you were slinging fries at the local Shoney’s.
Either way, you’d done your best. You’d answered the questions, and your responses were either right or wrong. At least… that’s how it used to be.
These days, “wrong” is a concept that’s fallen out of favor. In our brave new world, if you say “two plus two equals five,” progressives want to help you out. Two plus two will never equal five, but maybe they can understand why you think it does. Perhaps you just don’t have enough “privilege” to comprehend basic mathematics.
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So, The College Board (the folks behind the SAT) have decided to include a secret “adversity score” with your test results. It will determine what societal factors may have gone into your score and offer colleges the proper “context” with which they should interpret your results. Does your family have a few bucks in the bank? Do you live in a decent neighborhood? Well… no wonder you did so well.
Yes, it’s just as creepy as it sounds.
Here’s CBS News to explain it:
This new “adversity score” number is calculated by assessing 15 factors that can better help admissions officers determine an individual student’s social and economic background, the Journal reported. These factors are first divided into three categories: neighborhood environment, family environment and high school environment.
Each of the three categories has five sub-indicators that are indexed in calculating each student’s adversity score. Neighborhood environment will take into account crime rate, poverty rate, housing values and vacancy rate. Family environment will assess what the median income is of where the student’s family is from; whether the student is from a single parent household; the educational level of the parents; and whether English is a second language. High school environment will look at factors such as curriculum rigor, free-lunch rate and AP class opportunities. Together these factors will calculate an individual’s adversity score on a scale of one to 100.
According to the Journal, a score of 50 is considered “average.” Anything above 50 proves “hardship” while anything below 50 is considered “privilege.” The College Board did not immediately respond to a CBS News request for more information about the methodology behind its calculation of the adversity score and if other factors are considered.
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The ACT is expected to implement a similar system soon.
The College Board will not say how it arrives at the score, which will be given to every single student who takes the test, nor will it reveal the methodology behind the 15 factors it considers. Officials told the Wall Street Journal only that the score will be based on a combination of public records, like the census, and “proprietary” College Board information.
The scariest part is that you, the test taker, will not have access to your “adversity score.” It will be a secret. Colleges will see it, but you will not. One would assume this means there is no way to challenge it or verify its accuracy, yet it will ultimately be used by the powers that be to impact one of the biggest decisions of your life.
It’s positively Kafkaesque.
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