July 13, 2007

Charles Murray wants to abolish the SAT

His new article.

Let's be clear that he wants to get rid of the SAT I (the traditional aptitude test) in favor of the SAT II (the optional subject achievement tests):


In theory, the SAT and the achievement tests measure different things. In the College Board’s own words from its website, “The SAT measures students’ verbal reasoning, critical reading, and skills,” while the achievement tests “show colleges their mastery of specific subjects.” In practice, SAT and achievement test scores are so highly correlated that SAT scores tell the admissions office little that it does not learn from the achievement test scores alone. ...

I know how counterintuitive this sounds (I am presenting a conclusion I resisted as long as I could). But the truth about any achievement test, from an AP exam down to a weekly pop quiz, is that the smartest kids tend to get the highest scores. All mental tests are g-loaded to some degree. What was not realized until the UC study was just how high that correlation was for the SAT and the achievement tests.

Before, studies of the relationship had been based on self-selected samples of students who chose to take achievement tests along with the SAT, and there was good reason to think those students were unrepresentative. But by requiring all applicants to take both the SAT and achievement tests, the University of California got rid of this problem—and the correlations were still very high.

After the College Board did all of its statistical corrections in its 2002 study and applied them to test-takers from California, it found, for example, that the correlation between the SAT Verbal and the Literature Achievement test was a very high 0.83 (a correlation of 1.0 represents a perfect direct relationship). The correlation between the SAT Math and the Math IC achievement test was 0.86. So I conclude that bright students who do not go to first-rate high schools will do fine without the SAT.


So, it's a six of one (SAT I), half dozen of another (SAT II) result. Murray recommends:


Suppose, for example, that this fall Harvard and Stanford were jointly to announce that SAT scores will no longer be accepted. Instead, all applicants to Harvard and Stanford will be required to take four of the College Board’s achievement tests, including a math test and excluding any test for a language used at home. [More]


The University of California system started requiring three SAT II achievement tests in order to give Hispanics a leg up after Proposition 209 abolished ethnic preferences in California. Latino kids tend do unsurprisingly well on the Spanish achievement test. Blacks, however, tend to do terribly on Spanish. (Black lack of interest in learning Spanish is quite striking: a top black attorney in LA who used to work for Johnnie Cochran and now makes a nice living both suing the LAPD and defending LAPD officers told me in 2001 that of the 900 black LAPD cops, only four spoke Spanish.) But, blacks are losing political power in California, so hurting blacks to help Latinos was a no-brainer for the University of California.

I suspect that learning a language is the easiest educational skill to simply buy for your kids. If you send your kid (at a young enough age) to Seville for a few summers of Spanish immersion, he'll come back speaking Spanish. In contrast, if you send him to Cambridge to trod the ground where Isaac Newton worked out the calculus, he won't just pick up calculus through immersion in the milieu. So, I'd modify Murray's suggestion to ban foreign language test scores altogether.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting response to Murray, but I'd disagree with "ban[ning] foreign language test scores altogether."

I grew up in Pasadena, and went to Loyola High School (downtown LA--Venice and Normandy, basically). At the time, if I remember right, Loyola was about 50% white, with the remainder pretty evenly divided between Hispanics, blacks, and Asians. (Everyone was Catholic.)

I actually enjoyed studying languages, and got to be pretty good at Spanish (and French). As I recall, native speakers did well on standardized Spanish tests--up to a point. That is to say, if you were testing conversational aptitude, they would *generally* do okay. (But not always: at home, lots of these guys spoke gutter Spanish. It's hard to think of an English-language equivalent to how bad they spoke; maybe antebellum southern hillbillies.)

Once language aptitude tests started entering into more complex grammar--and trust me, Spanish properly spoken has more complex grammar than English--the native speakers lost a good deal of their advantage. They just generally weren't that familiar with, say, subjunctively inflected syntactic compounds. And this is to say nothing of the AP tests in Spanish literature, which demanded an ability to analyze the structure and content of poetry, drama, short stories, and novels.

So too with buying your kid linguistic ability: it may work, to a point.* The lucky bastard might get good enough to order beer or pick up hot Spanish girls, but that isn't really what College Board tests are all about.

* No guarantees here, either. I've known lots of parents who've tried this, but with very little to show for it. Americans seem to have a remarkable talent for *not* picking up languages when they don't feel like it.

Anonymous said...

If the correlation is so high, the SAT and SAT II indeed may just be redundant. My personal impression (several decades ago) was that the SAT II tests were more challenging and probably produced a better spread at the top. This is probably useful in selecting for true talent in these days of inflated SAT scores, inflated GPAs and too many hypercompetitive students for traditional elite institutions to absorb. However, I suspect the establishment favors the less discriminating SAT over the SAT II to lower the bar and create the illusion of more under-represented minorities which appear “qualified”.

BTW, I’ve seen people abuse their native language advantages in the UC system by taking Spanish I or Japanese I when already fluent. It was disgusting.

Mark Seecof said...

Murray has me convinced, so far as the considerations he discusses can carry his argument...

But he doesn't try to scout down the road he wants us to travel.

Wouldn't anti-meritocratic agitators just transfer their (unfounded, but very politically appealing) animus from a defunct SAT to those achievement tests?

And wouldn't the College Board likely offer additional "achievement" tests so colleges could ask for "any three achievement tests," then select some students with high scores on, say, physics, and others who scored well on, say, "rap music appreciation?"

The greatest benefit of the SAT in recent times (noticeably attenuated, but not completely eliminated by the recent revision and "recentering" to compress top scores) has been the way it provides incontrovertible evidence of deliberate racism by college admissions staff.

By proposing to eliminate the one test which (nearly) all applicants take in order to adopt a flock of somewhat decorrelated tests, Murray is offering colleges a much thicker veil or smokescreen for their misbehavior.

Although he doesn't emphasize it in this article, Murray would be the first to agree that tinkering with admissions tests cannot eliminate (current) racial disparities in performance without destroying those tests' predictive validity.

Abolishing the SAT could not eliminate SAT critics' principal objection to admissions tests of its ilk (that they invariably reveal ethnic differences in intelligence). Doing away with the SAT would merely facilitate obfuscation by admissions officers determined to choose applicants by race rather than other considerations (principally, predicted scholastic performance).

I don't think of Murray as a naïve fellow, but this paper seems a bit wide-eyed; it appears to assume that abolishing the SAT would leave the present "achievement test" battery unchanged.

(And some off-center questions: what about the other way 'round? Would the (older) SAT predict college performance as well as a set of achievement tests? Unless I missed it, Murray didn't answer that obvious question, though he said the SAT doesn't add much to a composite of achievement tests. Also, were achievement tests instituted to tell colleges anything the SAT didn't (statistically), or were they born out of groping for ways to select by ethnicity without leaving tracks, as Steve implies with respect to Spanish for UC applicants?)

Anonymous said...

Murray's article is silly. If you do the regression of Y = first year GPA on X1 = HS GPA, X2 = SAT, and Xn = Achievement tests (for n greater than or equal to 3), then yeah, if you bring in X2 = SAT last it doesn't explain much residual variance.

But then, if you bring in the SAT first, achievement tests don't explain much more. Take a look at table 2 here:

http://senate.ucsc.edu/cafa/SATGPA.htm

Now, there are obvious problems with the use of first year GPA as a measure of academic success. I would bet that income, professional accolades, etc. differentially accrue to the high IQ rather than the conscientious. (And technically speaking, the use of linear regression analysis when these variables have a far from multivariate normal joint distribution is not really advisable nowadays -- the manner in which they code a non ratio scale variable like GPA can impact things a lot.)

The main conclusion for the layman, though, is that Murray is advising that *one* test (the SAT-I) be replaced by two to three SAT-II tests, which as a unit have equal predictive capacity to the SAT-I.

Obviously, though, it takes more time and resources to prep/pay for three tests rather than one tests. And thus we are back to where we came from, with liberals attacking IQ tests (because you can't much improve your scores on them) *and* achievement tests (because you *can*, somewhat, improve your scores on them).

Murray's being incoherent here. You can't listen to leftist critiques of education because their beef is with reality, not the system per se. They cannot handle the reality that racial differences in cognition exist, and they will attack any system or measurement that reveals that reality -- whether it be the SAT, capitalism, or incarceration rates.

With this farrago of nonsense and "In our hands", seems like Murray's on the lookout for "strange new respect".

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great idea. Students would have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses before entering college. Since one of the biggest complaints blacks make is that the SAT doesn't test specific knowledge of any subject, they'd hardly be able to complain about achievement tests. College freshmen might even make better decisions about which major to pursue having scored better on a math than a history test or vice versa. One of the big problems with grade inflation is that students don't really know how their abilities compare with the population as a whole.

From personal experience, even though I made very similar scores on the math and the verbal sections, I couldn't handle any college math harder than college algebra. Looking at my SAT scores (or even the GRE I took later) would lead someone to believe otherwise. Tests that reveal specific abilities will resolve such mismatches between perceived aptitude and actual competence in a subject area - at least I hope so.

jody said...

ah, but to regain lost power, all black people in los angeles have to do is change their english last names to spanish last names, and according to steve sailer, their race instantly changes.

note the other conventions creeping into even this blog: "white" and "black" are lower case. they are less important people and do not deserve to have their group identity capitalized. however, "Hispanics" and "Asians" are very important indeed, and warrant the upper case treatment.

of course in the real world there are not more than a few thousand actual hispanics in all of california. i did meet a few in pennsylvania, a family from barcelona, and they were OK. too bad america is not getting actual hispanic immigrants.

MensaRefugee said...

In addition, high-ability kids who play the game have usually been reading voraciously—and in the process picked up a great deal of knowledge about history, literature, and culture on their own. This information has been gathered inefficiently, but high-ability students absorb knowledge like a sponge, no matter what schools they attend.
--------------------------------

There is no more inefficient way to learn than school.

The 17-year-old who is at the 40th percentile on the SAT has no other score that lets him say to himself, “Yes, but I’m at the 99th percentile in working with my hands,”
------------------------------

But hes already better than, what, 60% of the population?

I admit I find Murray's idea appealing. But what he is saying reeks of social engineering. And besides - if Murray had his way (and I agree with him) aka libertarianism - then IQ tests will make a soaring comeback to the workplace. The canadian government has the GCT2.
Millions take the Wonderlic.
There will be more- and these are all more or less g loaded SAT type tests that everyone who gets a job will take once PC breaks - which I think it will do within a decade.

Getting rid of the SATs sounds good - but Im afraid of the law of unintended consequences rearing its ugly head - I mean heck, this is just what the liberal PC crowd would want (as mark seecof notes).

Murray is a compassionate yet realistic man - a rare combination. Realism states cognitive differences are real - even on a fine scale distinguishing between the cognitive elite. Also realism states tests will be used because they are goddamn useful.

Compassion states that we shouldnt have to face this reality all the time. I get a gut feeling that this article was a muddled mixture of the two - I cant fault his reasons (heck, Id love to get rid of that parasite coaching industry), but I distrust such a radical change that may play right into the hands of the enemy (liberals).

M said...

So, I'd modify Murray's suggestion to ban foreign language test scores altogether.

Except, I hope, Latin and Ancient Greek? I think it would be wonderful, if there was suddenly a strong incentive to study those two languages; then the kids could read Cicero and Homer.

m, in the original

MensaRefugee said...

Bleh...
I take it all back. Schools already let in as many ethnic minorities who are uncompetitive as they please.

Taken from that viewpoint - only good things can come - in the form of social graces anyway, by abolishing the SAT.

My previous objection was akin to the American Public being against Race Norming - but getting rid of it was counterproductive because at least with race norming we took the best of the best within races.

The perfect should not be the enemy of the good and all that.

And job cognitive tests might not have the same negative impact - college and adult life having differences and all...

:shrugs:

h-man said...

Murray's next article should be about dropping the concept of "g" and replacing it with "f" although there is a legitimate argument for some other letter.

Reminded of the brilliant Japanese engineer who changed "smuck" to 350z.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Murray's intent here -- amazingly, since I'm one of these "alienated" who, in a school for gifted kids, has rejected every attempt at education is suffering the very painful consequences (all his life).

Murray has previously emphasized the observation "IQ will put you in your place." What he has not clearly stated is what in concrete terms this means. If you're like me -- capable of dealing with say a technical paper on information theory dealing with Huffman coding but due to his lack of achievement is pushed towards the middle of the barrel, and has to rub elbows with the "mediocre" fellows everyday -- then you really are put in your place: you realize that if you don't live up to the demands of your mental gifts, life will become a long drawn out torture. Believe me, it is truly, literally a HUMBLING experience.

Which means "achievement" -- as in committing yourself to a job; something that requires more than being a self-satisfied "I'm smart"-jerk -- is the thing that will put IQ back in its place.

The observation at the end is important: people don't remember their achievement test scores, but they are forever hooked on their SAT scores.

The more IQ has become valorized as a tool to turn traditional (conservative) societal order upside down and dethrone its natural elite to replace it with the
"social climbers" (which, in the US, has become the baby boomers in the last 4 decades), the worse and worse things have got. Obviously, something is very wrong with this.

The natural elite of societies are not necessarily those with the highest IQ. Rather they are mostly the eldest with the highest experience, regarded -- throught their life-long conduct within their community -- as reliable role-models by the community, and with the longest vision for their community -- not the "you live only once" after-me-the-delugism.

The new IQ-freak elites MUST be kicked out of their privilege positions in which they invent every scheme to rig the system in their favor and entrench and fortify themselves forever in that status. If IQ is dumb luck, then you can neither take credit for having it, nor despise those who don't. Rather, in the harsh reality of survival where Darwinian laws apply ruthlessly, you must realize that it is species, societies, communities that have any chance of survival through mutual support and division of labor. And that the fact that you got lucky by falling into the 99.9th percentile means only one thing: that you must learn to employ that gift to the benefit of the whole community, not youself, and you must own up to those who were not as luck as you when they were born. Otherwise, in the long run, you're only sawing off the branch (your community) you're sitting on.

Anthropologists are now realizing that even so-called "alpha" persons (male or female) need a whole bunch of henchmen and a strict social hierarchy to practice their alpha-ness. None of your commands will mean anything if it is not efficiently communicated throughuot a power network by the collaboration of others.

People still childishly think power is something you can have. Wrong! You can only BE HAD BY power since power is a network, a whole community.

Our childish elites, however, the forever self-adulating Boomers, really believe that they have achieved whatever they have "individually." Somebody must kick them out of their parasitic elite positions.

Dumping IQ as the greatest value of all might be the first step.


JD

PS. Please don't lecture me on the crime rates of those less gifted. By that logic, crocodiles, turtles, eagles, and a gazillion other species must all be wiped off the face of the earth due to high crime rates. High crime is a result of break down of "conservative" order, a rather long name for "natural" order. Every society can create an orderly existence for itself if its traditional order is not fucked with. (Watch that documentary about that "white camel" shot among the community of a handful of Mongolian nomads living in Asian steppes. Try to calculate their high crime rate. Mongolians aren't renowned for their discoveries in physics, etc.)

IQ is a very overrated regulator of societal welfare. The day traditional order was replaced with "brains and individualism" in the West started the fall of the West.

Drawbacks said...

"English! I want my son to speak English. Bad enough we had to call him Hector."
Spike Lee to his Puerto Rican mother-in-law in Do The Right Thing

Anonymous said...

The 17-year-old who is at the 40th percentile on the SAT ...

But hes already better than, what, 60% of the population?


Uh, nope. What do you think "percentile" means?

"MensaRefugee" indeed.

Anonymous said...

As you note, it is important to have a math test, but the SAT 2 is so easy for the best students that it does not discriminate at the top. (The median Math 2 score at Caltech is 800). Thus, requiring achievement tests will further devalue mathematics as a criterion and further advantage richer kids while hurting east Asians -- who will nonetheless find a way to do well on the remaining tests.

Of course, this will only accelerate the trend of using the elite schools as preparatory liberal arts for getting an MBA or JD.

Anonymous said...

I just took the GCT2 test that mensarefugee linked to and got 88.88%.

Is some sort of conversion to an IQ score possible or is the GCT2 a bit simplistic for that?

zorgon the malevolent said...

Someone who writes about alleged IQ (the mythical Spearman's g) and standardized testing may want to become familiar with the English language before doing so.

In contrast, if you send him to Cambridge to trod the ground where Isaac Newton worked out the calculus, he won't just pick up calculus through immersion in the milieu.

You'll want to learn the difference between the present tense "tread" and the past tense "trod." Then you can lecture us on the alleged importance of the supposed correlation twixt IQ and standardized tests.

Of course, you'll still have to find a way to explain away the fact that 2 of the students excluded from Terman's high-IQ group by their low standardized test scores went on to win Nobel prizes in the sciences, while none of his high-IQ group did.
www.geocities.com/ultrahiiq/Terman_Summary.html

But to the ideologue, brute facts remain, in Ronald Reagan's immortal words, "stupid things."

Anonymous said...

I was talking to someone who directs aaalanguage schol in sevilla, and he says it is much harder for the kids to absorb spanish now with the easy access to the internet. This is something relatively new (5-7 years).

The kids can read news in english, talk to their friends on skype etc.

They are not forced to learn spanish in the same way.

He thinks you are better off sending to a smaller town, but even that will change.

tommy said...

You'll want to learn the difference between the present tense "tread" and the past tense "trod." Then you can lecture us on the alleged importance of the supposed correlation twixt IQ and standardized tests.

Someone who chooses to engage in holier-than-thou bitching about a minor grammatical error might wish to determine first whether their larger point (assuming they have a point) is logically coherent before doing so. Ad hominem attacks were still invalid last I checked.

Of course, you'll still have to find a way to explain away the fact that 2 of the students excluded from Terman's high-IQ group by their low standardized test scores went on to win Nobel prizes in the sciences, while none of his high-IQ group did.

An extremely high IQ is no guarantee of winning a Nobel Prize. (Yes, "Prize" is actually capitalized in the term "Nobel Prize," believe it or not.) Furthermore, those excluded from Terman's group may not have had the highest IQ scores, but that hardly means they were unexceptional. Presumably, the pool of somewhat less intelligent children would have been quite large compared to those who made the cut. Sheer numbers and probability might explain the distribution of Nobel Prizes. Finally, your own link mentions the author's suspicion that the study failed to include a lot of children in the 130-150 range.

Of course, those who choose to label IQ "mythical" or "meaningless" will still have to come up with a nuclear physicist with an IQ of 85.

But to the ideologue, brute facts remain, in Ronald Reagan's immortal words, "stupid things."

Well, obviously, sir, you are no ideologue - a grammar Nazi, perhaps, but not an ideologue.

Anonymous said...

Zorgon - I read the article you linked to. Seems like there were some question marks over the conduct of the study.

Anonymous said...

Zorgon:

As I recall the two who didn't make the cut for Terman still had very high IQs -- just below the threshold.

IQ might be positively correlated with winning a Nobel, but it's certainly no guarantee. If you think that the example you gave undermines the utility of IQ as a psychometric, by all means explain your statistical analysis...

MensaRefugee said...

I just took the GCT2 test that mensarefugee linked to and got 88.88%.

Is some sort of conversion to an IQ score possible or is the GCT2 a bit simplistic for that?
---------------------------------

Not as far as I know, its not an off the shelf test. But the Wonderlic is, and if youre in Canada, apply for one of the jobs at the Canada Revenue Agency (about 50% of jobs there require the Wonderlic, the others the GCT2 or 1)(Here) and youll get an IQ convertable score.

They test literally everyone that applies. But the politics start after that :/

Ed said...

The fact is that not all students, regardless of their race and ethnicity, are created equal, and only equals *ARE EQUAL* to equals, contrary to popular beliefs, no matter what these standardized tests measure, including the SAT I Test. One could extend this argument to the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) or the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) which have a direct straight line correlation with performance in med/law school and more importantly, the passing of the USMLE and the State Bar Exams. The MCAT has a *DIRECT STRAIGHT LINE CORRELATION* with the passing of the US Medical Licensing Exam. There is no argument with this. The higher your MCAT score, the higher your chances of passing the USMLE, a so called *HIGH STAKES EXAM*, which requires a passing grade or a specified level of achievement in order to pass. The State Bar Exam is another *HIGH STAKES EXAM* with a required cutoff passing grade. One either passes or fails, and there are no in betweens, unlike the SAT I Test. *THE BUCK STOPS WITH THESE EXAMS*. Unfortunately the black passage rate for the USMLE Part I is less than 50% versus the 90% passage rate for whites/Asians nationally, on the average. The pass rate for the State Bar Exams for blacks is about 40% versus the 80% to 90% for whites/Asians. So what is one to do? Eliminate the USMLE/Bar Exams???



99 out of every 100 black students taking an AP exam nation wide fail, and score lower than a 3

Click on this from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/26/AR2007062602339_pf.html.



So what are educators supposed to do? Eliminate standardized testing of all kinds??



The problem with the *BLACK-WHITE/ASIAN TEST SCORE GAP* is not with the tests themselves. This *GAP* exists in most of testing and is independent of socio-economic status (SES). Blacks from the highest income levels from families with over $100k income per year, score lower on the SAT I composite test than whites/Asians from the lowest income levels of $30k or less per year, on the average. Also, blacks from parents with a college degree or more, score lower than whites/Asians from parents with only a high school diploma or less, on the average. These facts are compiled and verified by the College Board year after year, but these facts are politically incorrect and therefore, are not widely publicized due to political correctness. The racial *GAP* in test scores exists *INDEPENDENTLY OF SOCIAL ECONOMIC STATUS* and *PARENTAL EDUCATION*. More research is needed to identify the causes for the *GAP* and to find the ways to close this *GAP*, if it can be closed at all. Are the causes based on cultural differences between the races, such as the black family unit or lack of it, or the level of respect for education and the high level of crime amongst blacks? Is the racial *GAP* in test scores caused by Prof. Steele's "stereotype threat". In any case, if one is to mention cultural differences and ask for a change in black culture, one will most certainly be accused of racism. One certainly cannot even mention innate differences between individuals, as well as groups due to political correctness, but many have not ruled these differences out.

It is obvious that there is a *GAP* in scoring on the SAT due to one's SES. The lower one's SES and one's *PARENTAL EDUCATION*, the lower one's score on the SAT I, but when the scores are disaggregated by race, there is an independent *RACIAL GAP*, corrected for *SES* and *PARENTAL EDUCATION*. This is the crux of the problem.

Ed

Ed said...

The fact is that not all students, regardless of their race and ethnicity, are created equal, and only equals *ARE EQUAL* to equals, contrary to popular beliefs, no matter what these standardized tests measure, including the SAT I Test. One could extend this argument to the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) or the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) which have a direct straight line correlation with performance in med/law school and more importantly, the passing of the USMLE and the State Bar Exams. The MCAT has a *DIRECT STRAIGHT LINE CORRELATION* with the passing of the US Medical Licensing Exam. There is no argument with this. The higher your MCAT score, the higher your chances of passing the USMLE, a so called *HIGH STAKES EXAM*, which requires a passing grade or a specified level of achievement in order to pass. The State Bar Exam is another *HIGH STAKES EXAM* with a required cutoff passing grade. One either passes or fails, and there are no in betweens, unlike the SAT I Test. *THE BUCK STOPS WITH THESE EXAMS*. Unfortunately the black passage rate for the USMLE Part I is less than 50% versus the 90% passage rate for whites/Asians nationally, on the average. The pass rate for the State Bar Exams for blacks is about 40% versus the 80% to 90% for whites/Asians. So what is one to do? Eliminate the USMLE/Bar Exams???



99 out of every 100 black students taking an AP exam nation wide fail, and score lower than a 3

Click on this from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/26/AR2007062602339_pf.html.



So what are educators supposed to do? Eliminate standardized testing of all kinds??



The problem with the *BLACK-WHITE/ASIAN TEST SCORE GAP* is not with the tests themselves. This *GAP* exists in most of testing and is independent of socio-economic status (SES). Blacks from the highest income levels from families with over $100k income per year, score lower on the SAT I composite test than whites/Asians from the lowest income levels of $30k or less per year, on the average. Also, blacks from parents with a college degree or more, score lower than whites/Asians from parents with only a high school diploma or less, on the average. These facts are compiled and verified by the College Board year after year, but these facts are politically incorrect and therefore, are not widely publicized due to political correctness. The racial *GAP* in test scores exists *INDEPENDENTLY OF SOCIAL ECONOMIC STATUS* and *PARENTAL EDUCATION*. More research is needed to identify the causes for the *GAP* and to find the ways to close this *GAP*, if it can be closed at all. Are the causes based on cultural differences between the races, such as the black family unit or lack of it, or the level of respect for education and the high level of crime amongst blacks? Is the racial *GAP* in test scores caused by Prof. Steele's "stereotype threat". In any case, if one is to mention cultural differences and ask for a change in black culture, one will most certainly be accused of racism. One certainly cannot even mention innate differences between individuals, as well as groups due to political correctness, but many have not ruled these differences out.

It is obvious that there is a *GAP* in scoring on the SAT due to one's SES. The lower one's SES and one's *PARENTAL EDUCATION*, the lower one's score on the SAT I, but when the scores are disaggregated by race, there is an independent *RACIAL GAP*, corrected for *SES* and *PARENTAL EDUCATION*. This is the crux of the problem.

Ed

Ed said...

How does one explain the facts with 1995 SAT data, which showed that black students from families earning more than $70,000 in 1995 dollars scored lower than white students from families earning less than $10,000 and barely scored higher than Asian students from families earning less than $10,000?

Do these poverty-level whites and Asians have access to educational opportunities that the upper middle class blacks do not?

It is obvious that there is a *GAP* in scoring on the SAT due to one's SES. The lower one's SES and one's *PARENTAL EDUCATION*, the lower one's score on the SAT I, but when the scores are disaggregated by race, there is an independent *RACIAL GAP*, corrected for *SES* and *PARENTAL EDUCATION* at each level.

The problem of black under achievement will never be corrected unless this test score GAP is narrowed or eliminated. This may be an impossible or unattainable task, but we must try and not pretend that this racial GAP does not even exists. This would be tragic with unmentionable societal consequences . In fact, this GAP has become even wider over recent years according to the College Board.

This is the Black- White/Asian Test Score *GAP* which is *INDEPENDENT OF SES AND PARENTAL EDUCATION* in SAT testing and most of standardizing test.

Anonymous said...

http://www.jbhe.com/features/49_college_admissions-test.html


Explaining the Black-White SAT Gap

There are a number of reasons that are being advanced to explain the continuing and growing black-white SAT scoring gap. Sharp differences in family incomes are a major factor. Always there has been a direct correlation between family income and SAT scores. For both blacks and whites, as income goes up, so do test scores. In 2005, 28 percent of all black SAT test takers were from families with annual incomes below $20,000. Only 5 percent of white test takers were from families with incomes below $20,000. At the other extreme, 7 percent of all black test takers were from families with incomes of more than $100,000. The comparable figure for white test takers is 27 percent.

But there is a major flaw in the thesis that income differences explain the racial gap. Consider these three observable facts from The College Board's 2005 data on the SAT:

• Whites from families with incomes of less than $10,000 had a mean SAT score of 993. This is 129 points higher than the national mean for all blacks.

• Whites from families with incomes below $10,000 had a mean SAT test score that was 61 points higher than blacks whose families had incomes of between $80,000 and $100,000.

• Blacks from families with incomes of more than $100,000 had a mean SAT score that was 85 points below the mean score for whites from all income levels, 139 points below the mean score of whites from families at the same income level, and 10 points below the average score of white students from families whose income was less than $10,000.

This is the Black-White/Asian Test Score *GAP* which is *INDEPENDENT OF SES AND PARENTAL EDUCATION* in SAT testing and most of standardizing test.