May 16, 2019

SAT to add "adversity score" to address socioeconomic disparities

A practice SAT. Photo: Alex Garcia/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The College Board will soon include adversity scores for any student who takes the college placement SAT test in an effort to better understand students' social and economic standings, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The new metric piles onto an already controversial debate over whether race and class should be considered in college admission.

Higher education has been thrust under the microscope more than ever. A nationwide college admissions scandal uncovered bribes and phony SAT scores paid for by wealthy parents. An ongoing lawsuit accuses Harvard University of unfavorable admissions practices toward Asian-Americans.

How it works: The SAT's new metric will take into account 15 factors that evaluate family income, social environments and educational disparities.

  • 50 colleges used the score last year as a test. It will be applied to 150 institutions in the fall and be more broadly adopted the following year.
  • Students won't be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.

The big picture: Colleges have been struggling how to diversify their student bodies for years.

  • Numerous schools, including the University of Chicago, University of Denver and Bucknell, have joined a growing movement to drop testing mandates for admissions altogether in order to bolster minority admissions.
  • The College Board is recognizing its test needs to be more racially-neutral, which historically hasn't been the case.
  • "We can't sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT," David Coleman, CEO of the College Board, told WSJ.

Yes, but: Public perception of standardized testing for college admission is ultimately positive, further fueling debate of demographic consideration.

  • 73% of people, including most Hispanics, black people and Asians, say colleges and universities should not consider race or ethnicity when making decisions about student admissions, the Pew Research Center reported in March.
  • 47% say standardized tests should play a major role in admissions, while an additional 41% say it should play a minor one.

What to watch: The ACT, the SAT's rival college admissions test, plans to announce its own similar score later this year.

Go deeper

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 33 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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