There used to be a joke that you get 200 points for simply bubbling in your name in correctly on the SAT, as that was the lowest score possible on the test. Now the bizarre reality is that a student will get points for the circumstances of his birth.
The College Board, which administers the SAT, announced last week that it will now take into account a student’s social and economic background to produce a separate “adversity score.” The adversity score will use 15 factors, divided into three environments: home, neighborhood and school.
The first, home, will assess things like the marital status of the student’s parents and the family’s income. The second score, neighborhood, will include home prices and crime rates, while the third, academic environment, will assess things like how many advanced-placement classes are offered at the child’s school and how many students get free or reduced-price lunch.
The problem with this is that adversity is something individual to each of us. Instead of allowing colleges to judge each student as an individual human being, the new score adds one more layer of crude standardization to the admissions process. That’s the opposite of social justice.