It looks like Delaware Department of Education did not reach out to Delaware colleges before making their announcement about SAT scores. DE DOE recently announced that the SAT will replace the 11th grade Smarter Balanced state assessment starting this school year. In a recent Delaware Online article Gov. Jack Markell and DOE stated that Smarter Balanced gives a deeper, more nuanced picture of a student’s academic skills than previous exams., others may disagree with that statement.
I received information that the University of Delaware Admissions Guidelines Committee has made recommendations. The University of Delaware’s Faculty Senate will vote on whether or not to approve a resolution making the SAT/ACT optional as a criterion for admitting Delaware residents starting the class of Fall, 2017. Many colleges are making submission of test scores optional for students when applying. Higher test scores, skeptics note, are closely associated with socio-economic status, making it harder for low-income kids to get into a good school (and hopefully move up the economic ladder), and easier for high-income students to take the test prep classes that can improve their numbers.
The committee’s conclusion that SAT is not a unique indicator of student success raises important concerns. There is a positive correlation between socio-economic status (SES) and SAT scores, and, in the state of Delaware and broadly across the region, less affluent students are often disproportionately students of color (Civil Rights Project: UCLA, 2014). The reliance on SAT scores as an indicator of academic potential may increase the risk of discouraging less affluent students and those from historically underrepresented groups from applying to UD. This runs counter to the mission and strategic direction of the University.
Last year, the Delaware Department of Education announced that colleges would use Smarter Balanced scores as evidence that students are ready for entry-level, credit-bearing courses and may be exempted from remedial courses.
College readiness indicators keep changing here in the first state.