Drop the SAT?

UC Task Force Says More Latinos Would Then Be Eligible

A report by UC's Latino Eligibility Task Force calling for the elimination of the Scholastic Aptitude Test in determining the academic eligibility of applicants to UC received strong support at the meeting of the Board of Regents in San Francisco Sept. 18.

Doing away with SAT scores was one among several recommendations from the task force, a group comprised of faculty and administrators from all nine campuses as well as the Office of the President, which has spent five years reviewing literature and conducting independent research on the issue of Latino admissions.

The task force report concludes that failure to make significant changes will systematically reduce the Latino student population at UC at the same time that the state's Latino population surges dramatically.

Eugene Garcia, dean of Berkeley's Graduate School of Education, presented the task force's report to the regents, questioning the ability of SAT scores to predict college success for minority students.

According to the report, there is a strong association between low test scores and levels of parental education and income.

"The only thing (SAT) predicts really well is a person's socio-economic status," said Garcia.

High school grade-point-average coupled with alternative exams that measure the applicant's progress toward concrete educational goals set by California schools would provide a better assessment of academic prowess, said Garcia.

The task force also concluded that UC should expand community college transfers to UC since 45 percent of Latinos who pursue higher education enter through California's community college system.

The report also suggests UC produce admissions and recruitment materials in Spanish as well as English.



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