Just a few months after instituting the adversity score, the College Board removed the controversial score.



High school students who wish to attend college can take either the ACT or the SAT as their college entrance exam. One way the SAT is scored has changed due to backlash. 

The College Board, a New York-based nonprofit that is in charge of overseeing the SAT, created the “adversity score” in May on the exam to reflect students’ family income, environment and educational differences. The score is now being dropped after university officials and parents of those taking the college exam disagreed with it.  

In an interview with National Public Radio, College Board CEO David Coleman said that boiling all of that “complex information down to one number was problematic and the company is now reversing its decision.”

Some worried the score would affect SAT scores when that was never the case, Coleman said.

“The idea of a single score was confusing because it seemed that all of a sudden the College Board was trying to score adversity,” he said. “That’s not the College Board’s mission. The College Board scores achievement, not adversity.”

He said they are launching a tool called Landscape, which will provide admissions counselors with information about a student’s background like average neighborhood income and crime rates, but the data points will not be given a score.

The College Board is letting college officials do their own analysis from the government information it provides alongside SAT scores, according to NPR. 

Piper Davis, Cleburne High School SAT prep teacher, said it’s not possible to capture a student’s entire experience accurately in a single data point.

“Placement tests like the SAT and ACT are one of many measures of a students’ readiness for college coursework, but at [Cleburne ISD] we know there are many reasons why a test taken on a single day may not represent the entire picture of a students’ achievement,” Davis said. “We make a variety of advanced academic options available to all students who are working to achieve higher education goals and to provide supports to students who need them as they challenge themselves academically. 

“We strive to prepare all of our students for post-secondary success and that includes preparing students who are college bound to maximize their potential on college entrance testing, providing them with access to rigorous coursework and supporting them as they research a wide variety of options that may include traditional university, community college, technical certifications or some combination.”

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