ACT & SAT test scores "racist" and "discriminatory"?
Educators Accept Federal
Anti-SAT Bias; Fear Loss of Fed Funds! (07/16/99)
College administrators this week appeared to cave in to the Clinton administration's
unfounded and unilateral charge that standardized test scores are inherently racially
discriminatory. During a meeting of the prestigious Education Commission of the
States, which is very dependent upon federal approval and funding, the Salt Lake Tribune
reported that: "Colleges and universities were urged this week to find an
alternative to using standardized tests in admissions, especially in the wake of attacks
on affirmative-action policies. That recommendation from a panel discussion at the
Education Commission of the States' national conference in Denver marks the first time a
nonpartisan, national body has called for using something other than standardized
tests. However, the discussion didn't offer a clear-cut alternative."
Note: The Educational Commission of the States failed to disclose its dependence
upon racially-targeted federal funding at this meeting. The Salt-Lake Tribune also
failed to report that the Educational Commission of the States is an IRS tax-exempt
organization subject to the whims of the Clinton White House regarding its eligilibity for
tax-deductible contributions in order to fund its operations.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Educational Commission President Frank Newman, seeking
to preserve the Commission's tax-exempt federal funding, stated that "'The student
must be judged on how effective this person is going to be. ... Those SAT
scores don't tell you everything.' The commission is a nonprofit organization working to
develop educational policy. Representatives from the House Fiscal Agency and the
state Department of Education attended the conference."
It can be strongly inferred that the Educational Commission of the States, since it is an
IRS tax exempt organization, subject to Clinton's IRS scrutiny of anti-quota
organizations, is strongly motivated to support Clinton's pro-quota, racially-biased,
anti-test policies. This group is therefore very suspect and is therefore in no way
an objective participant in the debate regarding the Clinton administration's false
"disparate impact" claims regarding standardized academic tests. (Based on
the Salt Lake Tribune story 07/16/99 by Tribune Staff and Wire Reports.)
Test Guidelines Will Coerce
Colleges and Cheat Students (07/02/99)
"The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is circulating draft
guidelines -- which bureaucrats euphemistically call a "resource guide" -- among
college and university admissions offices, putting them on notice that relying on
standardized tests like the SAT and ACT could land them in legal jeopardy.
"The officials at the O.C.R. claim that, if certain racial or ethnic groups don't
score as well as other groups on a standardized test, you can presume that a college that
relies on the test in its admissions process has engaged in illegal discrimination. Never
mind that the test itself is neutral on its face. Nor that the college had no intention of
keeping anyone out because of skin color, ethnicity, or gender.
"Welcome to the world of what civil-rights wonks call "disparate-impact
theory." In this world, the federal government may find a college or university
guilty of civil-rights violations if there are racial, ethnic, or gender imbalances in the
student group that it selects for admission, and if some bureaucrat determines that the
selection device leading to the imbalances is not "educationally necessary." If
the O.C.R. guidelines are adopted, any college that runs afoul of the new policy could
lose federal funds and face a heightened risk of lawsuits.
"The guidelines, called "Nondiscrimination in High-Stakes
Testing," are being hailed by pro-preference civil-rights activists, who see them as
the latest weapon in the fight to insure that quotas for their preferred minority groups
can be maintained in higher education. In fact, as Congress held hearings on the
guidelines in June, those groups began mounting a campaign to pressure college and
university leaders to support the guidelines. They are afraid that educators will
criticize the guidelines for their naked animosity toward intellectual achievement and
(Published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, 07/02/99 issue, by Roger Clegg and Lenore
Ostrowsky. Roger Clegg is general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, in
Washington. Lenore Ostrowsky is a Washington lawyer whose article on dropouts and
standardized testing appears in the spring 1999 issue of Academic Questions.)
U.S. Dept. of Ed.
Imposes Coerced "Diversity" (06/12/99 - dead link)
(Washington Post Headline: Coerced Diversity, by Nat Hentoff
06/12/99) -- "The U.S. Department of Education has designed a way to sidestep the
growing number of federal court decisions holding that affirmative action -- as
intensively pursued by the department -- is unconstitutional.
"News of this stratagem was first reported in the authoritative weekly the Chronicle
of Higher Education: "Colleges would be in legal jeopardy if they use SAT (Scholastic
Assessment Test) or ACT (American College Testing) scores as the primary basis for
admissions and financial aid decisions, according to draft guidelines that the U.S.
Education Department's Office for Civil Rights is circulating among college
"The coercive bureaucratic device to keep in mind is "disparate impact."
The department's "Resource Guide: Non-Discrimination in High Stakes Testing"
warns: "The use of any educational test which has a significant disparate
impact on members of any particular race, national origin or sex is discriminatory, and a
violation of Title VI and/or Title IX . . . unless it is educationally necessary and there
is no practicable alternative form of assessment which meets the educational institution's
needs and would have less of a disparate impact."
"A college will have to meet the high burden of proof that it is not discriminating
when members of any of these particular groups score poorly on the SAT or the ACT.
"The U.S. Department of Education -- an ardent advocate of "diversity" --
will be the arbiter of such gossamer terms as "educationally necessary" and a
permissible "alternative." A college failing the department's diversity
test will lose federal funds and also will be subject to accusations of racism, sexism and
other biases." (Washington Post Sat., 06/12/99, page A19, by Nat Hentoff)
|More on Coerced Diversity:
of Ed. Tries to Make Racist SAT / ACT Guidelines More Palatable to Educators
(06/23/99) (Pay / Subscription Site)
Leaders of the U.S. Congress grilled the U.S. Education Department's head civil rights
official on Tuesday, June 23. Under heavy fire, she told Congress that her staff
would try to improve their PR and spin surrounding the Dept. of Education's blatant
assertion that the use of ACT and SAT scores is racist and discriminatory.
Norma V. Cantú, the Dept. of Education's Assistant Secretary for civil rights, hopes to
be able to assuage educators' fears that they will be legally liable for racial
discrimination accusations if they continue to use SAT and ACT scores as a basis for
admission to colleges and universities.
The guidelines, which attempt to discourage colleges and universities from using SAT and
ACT scores, have justifiably stirred up such a firestorm of criticism that, according to
the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a Republican of Michigan,
asked Ms. Cantú to testify before Congress on Tuesday. Members of the House
Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which Mr.
Hoekstra leads, quizzed her on the guidelines and on the impact of the O.C.R.'s
enforcement of gender-equity laws on college sports. ... 'We will make the language clear
to conform to existing law -- we are not trying to create new law,' Ms. Cantú responded.
'So to make it clear, Yes, the language will change.'"
Thus, like any good Clinton quota supporter, Ms. Cantú promised only to change the
language, but NOT the intent, of these egregious, race-driven guidelines. It is also
small comfort to those of us who support color-blind laws that Ms. Cantú promised to
"conform the language to existing law" since existing "law" is so
heavily biased toward government-certified minorities.
"But Linda Chavez, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity and a long-standing
critic of Ms. Cantú, told members of the oversight panel that the draft guidelines
represented a backdoor attempt to replace affirmative action and water down high academic
standards at colleges and schools." (Based on Chronicle of Higher Education 06/23/99
by Patrick Healy)
[link to pay site: http://www.chronicle.com/daily/99/06/99062301n.htm
Quota Supporters Threaten and
Cajole Colleges to Support Guidelines Against Use of ACT / SAT Test Scores (06/25/99)
(Pay / Subscription Site)
In the face of a hostile Congress, so-called civil rights groups have been threatening
college leaders with racial protests and other negative publicity unless the college
leaders support the Department of Education's "guidelines" which stipulate that
the use of ACT and SAT scores for college admissions is racist and discriminatory.
With anti-quota, pro-color-blind Congressional leaders attacking these alleged
"guidelines", the civil-rights groups (Jackson, Mfume, et al) have enlisted one
of Clinton's most vocal pro-quota mouthpieces, Harvard's Christopher Edley, Jr.
Edley advises Mr. Clinton on pro-quota issues, and Edley uses the mantle of his Harvard
professorship to add legitimacy to his one-sided proclamations favoring racial quotas and
Clinton and his allies in Congress hope that Edley's veneer of academic objectivity will
help persuade college officials to acquiesce on the Dept. of Ed's
"guidelines". Failing "friendly persuasion", Edley has engaged
in a shameless campaign of intimidation and threats against college administrators who
oppose dropping the use of SAT and ACT scores.
The beauty of using Edley and Harvard to do Clinton's dirty work is clear: neither
the White House or Congressional Democrats will be tainted with accusations of
intimidation if Edley's efforts turn sour.
At the behest of Congressional and White House pro-quota forces, Harvard's Christopher
Edley has sent a threatening letter to the American Council of Education and to the
Educational Testing Service which strongly implies that these organizations will be
subjected to minority protests and other negative publicity tactics unless they toe the
line and support the DOE "guidelines". According to the Chronicle of
Higher Education, Edley's letter, addressed to Stanley O. Ikenberry of the American
Council on Education, and to Nancy Cole, president of the Educational Testing Service,
said, in part "Let me be clear: Several key people in the civil rights community are
deeply concerned about rumored activities and views of ACE, ETS and some of your
compatriots." (based on Chronicle of Higher Education 06/25/99 by Patrick Healy)
[link to pay site: http://www.chronicle.com/weekly/v45/i42/42a04201.htm
Civil-Rights Panelists Show
Support for Draft Guidelines on Standardized Tests (06/21/99) Restricted / Pay Site
"Members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights came down strongly Friday in favor of
draft federal guidelines on the use of standardized tests, an effort that worries many
college leaders who rely on SAT and ACT scores. [The guidelines] are being prepared
by the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights for release in the fall.
"The commission -- a fact-finding agency that reports to the President and Congress
on discrimination issues -- used its monthly meeting to discuss whether the guidelines
represented an attack on tests or posed a risk to colleges and schools, as some educators
and critics of affirmative action contend.
"Some see the guidelines as a backhanded attempt to give special help to minority
students, who have lower average scores on the SAT than white students.
"The civil-rights commission meeting was a kind of prelude to a Congressional
hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, at which a Republican-led panel is expected to grill
O.C.R. officials about the draft guidelines. Indeed, some commissioners almost seemed to
be giving pointers to the O.C.R. on how to deflect criticism at the Tuesday
hearing." (Chronicle of Higher Education, 06/21/99 - Restricted / Pay Site)
Pamphlet On Testing Goes Too Far (06/12/99)
(NY Times) "The U.S. Department of Education has created a novel policy to close the
racial performance gap on the Scholastic Assessment Test and the American College Testing
exams: make it illegal for colleges to use the results if minority students perform below
white students," wrote Edward Blum and Marc Levin, two opponents of affirmative
action in a recent column published in The Wall Street Journal. The article was headlined,
"Washington's War on Standardized Tests." (New York Times 06/12/99 by
Steven A. Homes)
Pro-Test Candidate (Gov. Bush)
"As the Department of Education launches a new assault on colleges that use
standardized tests such as the SAT in the admissions process, conservatives may find that
they have a powerful ally: Gov. George W. Bush.
"Some say it is racist to test. I strongly say it is racist not to test because by
not testing we don't know and by not knowing we are just moving children through the
system," says Bush, referring to K-12 testing, in Friday's New York
Times." (National Review 05/28/99)
Testing, the Easy Target, by Abigail Thernstrom (NY Times 06/10/99)
LEXINGTON, Mass. -- "In case you missed it, the Federal Department of Education may
have signaled the end of standardized testing, from college boards to elementary school
assessments. This certainly seems the intent of guidelines issued last month by the
department's Office of Civil Rights warning of the potentially discriminatory impact of
"high-stakes testing." If the guidelines are approved, it will be hard to
justify using tests to sort students at any age for any purpose.
"Here's the problem: At the moment, standardized tests have a disparate racial and
ethnic impact. White and Asian students score, on average, markedly higher than their
black and Hispanic peers. This is true for fourth-grade tests, college entrance exams and
every other assessment on the books. If a racial gap is evidence of discrimination, then
ALL tests discriminate."
Ed. Sec. Riley: Clinton promotes reverse discrimination in education
(05/17/99 - dead link)
WASHINGTON (AP) "The Clinton administration will propose that school districts
receiving federal funds for "poor" [mostly minority] students must ensure all
their schools have the same class-size ratios, qualified teaching staff, course offerings
and facilities, Education Secretary Richard W. Riley said Monday.
"In a speech delivered on the 45th anniversary of a landmark school desegregation
ruling, Riley said the plan among others to be announced Wednesday will
narrow gaps between the rich [presumably white] and poor [presumably minority] students.
"The proposals would impact the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a 34-year-old
comprehensive law that governs most federal education programs for students in
kindergarten through 12th grade. Congress is expected to renew the act later this year.
Education Secretary Riley said "It is incumbent upon us to build upon the legacy of
Brown,'' referring to the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education of
Topeka, Kan. The ruling ended deliberate racial division of the nation's schools.
[Editors Note: Brown is widely regarded by the judiciary -- from district courts all
the way up to the Supreme Court -- as no longer legally relevant or applicable to
educational institutions in the 1990s.]
"On Monday, anniversary commemorations included Riley's speech at the Charles Sumner
School Museum and Archives in Washington, and the White House launch of "Winning
Together: Don't Erase the Progress,'' a civil rights campaign to bolster [reverse
discrimination-oriented, racial quota] programs on college campuses.
"Although schools with high poverty and minority student populations had made some
strides, those schools also offer fewer classes that help prepare its students for
college, Riley said." (Associated Press, via FoxNews, 05/17/99, by Anjetta
Dept. of Ed. Office of Civil
Rights Investigating Monroe, SC Schools (03/15/99)
MONROE - "The city last year commissioned the Masonboro Report, which faulted the
school system for not doing enough to help students and faculty at several lower-income
schools in Monroe, Wingate and Marshville [South Carolina]. The school system
rejected most of the report's findings, saying research methods in the study were faulty
and test scores at low-income schools were on the rise.
According to the report "The system's 33 schools vary widely in their percentages of
low-income and minority enrollments, with low-income enrollments, for example, ranging
from more than 80 percent at some schools to less than 4 percent."
"Three months later, the mayors of Monroe, Wingate and Marshville -- as well as a
group of parents -- filed complaints with the Office of Civil Rights. The complaint
included allegations that too few African American students were in honors courses, too
many were in special education classes, and a disproportionate number are severely
"School officials have declined to comment on the specifics of the complaint, but
they have said in the past that their policies are not discriminatory.
"The U.S. Office of Civil Rights will hold a public meeting in Monroe on Wednesday to
discuss allegations of racial discrimination in the school district." Roger
Murphy, a spokesman for the Dept. of Educations Office of Civil Rights said 'The
complaint is complicated and covers a lot of ground.'
School officials were unable to comment on the meeting because the Dept. of Education had
not bothered to inform them of the meeting.
"The federal office scheduled the meeting as part of its investigation into a
complaint filed by three Union County mayors last August, which alleges that school system
policies contribute to low student test scores, discipline troubles and teacher morale
problems in low income schools."
Investigators were scheduled to arrive in Monroe earlier this week "and will spend
the week gathering information, inspecting records and interviewing, Murphy said. He
expects the office will complete its investigation by summer. If investigators find fault
with the school system, they can order changes ranging from policy revisions to new school
attendance zones." (The Charlotte Observer, 03/15/99, by Michelle Crouch)
END of Dept. of Education News Page.