Standardized Test to Add ‘Adversity Score’ to Results

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm May 16, 2019

The Wall Street Journal reports today (May 16) that The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT standardized test will attempt to address racism and classism with a new scoring system. According to WSJ, the organization will create an “adversity score” for every student who takes the test that takes into account several factors, including: crime rate, housing values, poverty rate, vacancy rate (neighborhood environment); education level, English as a second language, median income, single parent (family environment); advance placement opportunity, curricular rigor, free lunch rate and undermatching (high school environment).

The measure is meant to provide context for scores, which the organization reports vary by race. From WSJ:


The College Board, the New York-based nonprofit that oversees the SAT, said it has worried about income inequality influencing test results for years. White students scored an average of 177 points higher than Black students and 133 points higher than [Latinx] students in 2018 results. Asian students scored 100 points higher than White students. The children of wealthy and college-educated parents outperformed their classmates.

“There are a number of amazing students who may have scored less [on the SAT] but have accomplished more,” David Coleman, chief executive of the College Board told WSJ. “We can’t sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT.”

The outlet reports that The College Board ran a beta test of the scoring strategy in 50 schools last year, and it aims to implement it at 150 institutions this fall and roll it out nationwide in 2020. Under the new guidelines, college admissions officials, not students, will see the scores.

Read the full WSJ article here.