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Examiner Articles Highlighting SAT/ACT Alternatives

The following are FairTest Examiner articles highlighting the experiences of institutions nationwide that have eliminated or de-emphasized college admissions tests. A list of all Examiner articles from Spring 1995-current is also available.

Summer 2002
Texas Report Shows “Test-Optional” Admission Works

MA Koplik Scholarship

Massachusetts is one state that bases receipt of a "merit-based" scholarship on standardized test scores. According to the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery is part of the Education Reform Law of 1993, designed to reward students who "demonstrate high academic achievement." This "achievement" is measured through a combination of state assessment (MCAS) results and AP/SAT II scores.

Summary Analysis of the Michigan Merit Scholarship Program

 

Donald E. Heller
Assistant Professor of Education
University of Michigan

In the spring of 1999, approximately 124,000 high school students throughout Michigan took the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) High School Tests (HST). The tests were given in four subject areas: mathematics, reading, science, and writing. Students are not required to take the tests.

Letter to Jeb Bush

Governor Jeb Bush
Office of the Governor
The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399

December 5, 2001

Dear Governor Jeb Bush

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) recently uncovered troubling data regarding Florida's Bright Futures scholarship program. Proportionately few African American and Latino high school graduates received a Bright Futures scholarship for the 1999-2000 school year as compared with their White and Asian American peers.

Florida Bright Futures Scholarship

Funded out of state lottery coffers, Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship is the nation's second-largest state-run scholarship program. Nearly $300 million in aid was awarded between 1999 and 2001. Designed to reward "students for their academic achievements during high school by providing funding for them to pursue postsecondary educational and career goals in Florida," the program relies on a narrow definition of "academic achievement" that consists solely of standardized test scores and high school GPA.

Cureton vs. NCAA

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

TAI KWAN CURETON, LEATRICE SHAW, : CIVIL ACTION

ANDREA GARDNER, and :

ALEXANDER WESBY, : NO. 97-131

individually and on behalf of all others :

similarly situated, :

:

Plaintiffs, :

:

v. :

:

NATIONAL COLLEGIATE :

ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, :

:

Defendant. :

O P I N I O N

BUCKWALTER, J. March 8, 1999

University Testing: National Merit

The most prestigious scholarship competition in the U.S., the National Merit Scholarships, use Preliminary SAT (nearly identical to the SAT I) scores as the sole criterion to select semifinalists. The resultant pool has historically been predominantly male because boys score higher on the PSAT even though girls earn higher grades in high school (and college). In 1993, FairTest filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) charging the testmakers with illegally assisting gender bias.

Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit: Executive Summary

Over 815 colleges and universities across the United States admit a substantial number of students without regard to test scores. Read FairTest's report Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit on-line to learn more about test-score optional admissions, or review the Executive Summary below.

Profiles of "Test Optional" Colleges

University Testing: Alternatives

Many university leaders are realizing that the preoccupation with test scores hinders educational equity and has come at the expense of students' other high school experiences. These concerns, along with an awareness that test scores add little to an understanding of a student's capabilities, have led a growing number of colleges and universities to go "test-score optional." Schools that have dropped or sharply restricted their use of standardized admissions tests are widely pleased with the results.

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