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.
Curious. As an employer of many out-of-state students I’m always intrigued by how low the SAT scores are. I always thought that out-of-state students would have higher SATs than in-state students. That said, I also always thought colleges used a variety of factors when they admit students. I would think the balance of each factor might be different for different sets of students, but eliminating one standard seems odd to me. Low SATs are not the reason students of color are not going to top schools like the Ivies. That’s legacy. If your dad and granddad and great-granddad went there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to apply and get in. Different from UD- Low SATs are not the reason students of color are not going to UD. They can’t afford it and UD doesn’t reach out to them to get in. Come on. Look at Del State. How many potential UD Delaware seniors are told Del State would love to have them? and if you’re a young kid, black or hispanic and the first one in your family to go to college, where would you feel more comfortable? UD has to stand up and say- We want you. We know you can succeed here. They have not done so.
I don’t think eliminating SAT test results is going to change how U of D selects their students. My son has an 1800+ SAT score (without the benefit of SAT test prep) and has heard from several of the out of state schools he applied to, but not from U of D. UD doesn’t seem to want in-state students period regardless of race unless they know your parents can make a significant monetary contribution to the school. He has several friends who have applied as well – none have heard from them. They seem to want as many out of state students as they can get and then they back fill openings with in state students. His 1st choice was Delaware because of the Engineering program there, but these other schools have deadlines for him to accept scholarships before the end of February, so he’s going to need to accept admission to one of them to lock in the scholarship money.
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