After years of defending itself against charges of racism and bias, the College Board which devises and administers the SAT, has caved into the cultural warriors of diversity. The racial preference lobby has strong-armed the College Board and they have capitulated by establishing the Adversity Index which will take into account the crime and poverty rates in one’s zip code, among other factors. This index is then weighted against the actual score on the test to, essentially, give those with lower scores who happen to live in bad areas a leg up in college admission.
Advocates of the index claim this is not about race at all and that is pure, unadulterated BS. This is simply yet another attempt to overcome one huge problem for the purveyors of racial politics: the racial achievement gap. If no such gap existed, there would be no concerns over diversity in admissions. The average score by a white student is 177 points higher than the average black student. This discrepancy is not explained by socioeconomic factors, which the Adversity Index claims to consider. White students from homes with less than $10,000 in income score higher than black students from homes with greater than $80,000 in income.
Inevitably, we will hear the accusations of “white privilege.” They will tell us that of course the poor white kid is going to score higher than the rich black kid because of that “privilege.” They will say that even poor white schools get better resources than rich black or integrated schools. There is one problem with that line of thinking: Asians. Asians score, on average, 100 points higher than whites and 277 points higher than blacks. It is not the socioeconomic status of the Asian student that causes these results; it is their emphasis on scholarly effort and self-discipline.
The solution to the achievement gap lies at the feet of black parents. There must be a change in the culture of the black community when it comes to education. They can start by monitoring and ensuring attendance, checking and helping with homework, stop stigmatizing academic achievement as “acting white,” and having a stable two-parent household where the proper norms of socialization are taught so that classrooms are not scenes of violence or chaos.
In essence, the “scientifically-derived” Adversity Index is yet another half-baked manifestation of affirmative action which is itself a half-baked, legally condoned form of racism. Perhaps a better idea when it comes to college admissions would be the Likability Index. They can just say they like Jamil, who is black, more than Joe who is white. Sue is black and a lesbian, so she moves ahead of Jamil on the Likability Index. Jane, who wrote something on social media sometime ago about being pro-life, moves to the bottom on the Likability Index. All aspiring college entrants need do is send a photo and tell how progressive you are and the Likability algorithm does the rest.
All joking aside, there is the third dirty little secret, the first two being (1) the achievement gap, and (2) Asians. That third secret is the fact that 60% of black college students fail to graduate within six years of enrollment. This is a sad consequence of a system that jettisons merit for diversity. Social justice advocates see merit as an obstacle to inclusivity. By being inclusive and diverse, they set up individuals having no business attending college for failure. Of course, they can always get a job at the local Gap with their Grievance Studies degree.
By becoming suddenly woke, the College Board secures their place in the multi-billion dollar test taking and prep industry. Unsurprisingly, some of the factors take into account what can be considered racial or ethnic stereotypes, as if all minority students live in high poverty or high crime areas. It is sad that the SAT- the greatest determinant of college academic success- has sunk to such depths. Of course, a lawsuit against Harvard by Asian and white students may have been a motivating factor here, but I digress.
Racism to solve the legacy of racism (if it even exists) is no solution. It is past time for many within the black community to look in the mirror and solve the inherent problems they have. Decades of a hand up or a hand on the scale have achieved nothing except frustration and money not well spent. The Adversity Index proves that we are a long way from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “dream” of a colorblind society. Conservative solutions- school choice, charter schools, respect for authority and a healthy work ethic when it comes to school- is the only true solution to achieving that dream.