Standardized Testing Bias

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Another thing that places students of color at a disadvantage in college admissions is the persisting cultural bias in high-stakes testing. “High-stakes” tests are those that are tied to major consequences, such as admission to college, or even high school graduation. Fair education reform advocates have long been citing an extensive record of standardized testing concerns, many of which relate to racial bias and discrimination. As researcher and author Harold Berlak explains in the journal Rethinking Education:
Standardized testing perpetuates institutionalized racism and contributes to the achievement gap between whites and minorities. For instance, the deeply embedded stereotype that African Americans perform poorly on standardized tests
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Take the SAT for example. Some critics argue that some questions in the SAT verbal section favor white students by using language that is familiar to them and not to non-white students. A Harvard study on this topic that supports this opinion cited reports that black students of equal academic aptitude to white students scored lower on this section. Others believe that it’s not just the SAT questions that are the problem. They argue that the real issue lies with the fact that colleges rely too heavily on the SAT in admission decisions. Scores of studies have shown that the SAT and ACT are poor indicators of students’ future success in college. Despite this, many colleges will still use these tests to weed out students who scored low, students that they predict will perform poorly in college, regardless of their levels of achievement, academic or otherwise, outside of standardized testing. This results in high numbers of students of color, who traditionally score lower on standardized tests, getting left out of the admissions process - because they’re being predicted not to do…show more content…
At least four Supreme Court justices believe that affirmative action is unconstitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts has said that “the way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race”. This viewpoint offers no differentiation between “race consciousness” and “racism”, but is a quite common opinion. This sort of viewpoint is what may drive America towards class-based rather than race-based affirmative action. Because of the disparities in income and wealth, minorities are as likely as whites to benefit under a class-based policy. However, there’s a certain perversion to admission policies like this, policies like UT’s “top 10” program. These policies leverage their racial diversity via neighborhood, and thus public high school, segregation. As Jamelle Bouie write in a Slate article on the
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