Last month, The College Board announced that it would supplement students’ SAT results with an “environmental context dashboard.” That dashboard of demographic information will produce what’s been termed an “adversity score” from 1 to 100. Conservative commentators strenuously objected that this new initiative would establish implicit racial preferences and further the institutionalization of identity politics in higher education.
Although colleges would be free to incorporate a student’s adversity score or not, it seems likely that many admissions offices will use the number to systematically privilege students based on their disadvantage. This prospect has parents alarmed; one college admissions officer told the New York Times that he has received e-mails from parents concerned that their children’s hard work “would be completely negated just because we happen to have some means.”
But one major question was left unanswered before the news cycle moved on: if citizens object to the adversity score, what can they do about it?
Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of a new report, Safe and Orderly Schools: Updated Guidance on School Discipline. Follow him on Twitter here
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