The much-maligned SATs predict college graduation, writes Peter Salins, a SUNY-Stony Brook political science professor, in the New York Times. Some SUNY campuses decided to rely more heavily on SAT scores in admissions; others continued to rely on high-school grade-point averages. Those that stressed SATs saw gains in graduation rates: Old Westbury doubled its (pathetically low) six-year completion rate of 18 percent. At the GPA-centric campuses, graduation rates declined.
Discriminations asked Salins about socioeconomic factors and received a prompt reply:
…. SUNY campuses have never had many students from either tail of the class/income spectrum…. At Old Westbury, for example, the higher SAT scoring students there today — that are graduating at twice the rate of their counterparts four years ago — have almost exactly the same racial/family income profile of their predecessors — namely predominantly African American and lower middle class.
University of California is considering dropping the SAT subject tests, notes Right on the Left Coast. UC also may consider students with lower grades and those who didn’t take all the required college-prep courses. UC already has a problem getting its weakest students to a degree in six years.