In unfortunate but unsurprising news today, the University of Chicago, a well renowned American university announced that going forward it will no longer be using the SAT or ACT as a factor when accepting students. This announcement seems to have caught many college alumni off guard, as standardized testing has been a staple of the American academic experience. In most high schools, as more and more students flock to higher education, it has become a rite of passage to decide between the two major standardized tests, do a whole assortment of test prep, and agonize for days and weeks as one awaits their score results. Due to America’s lack of standardization across public and private schools, factors like GPA, class load, and involvement can range wildly, so a universal test that effectively measures IQ has always been seen as an ideal test of merit among universities, both elite and standard. For one of the most selective and high ranking schools in the nation to drop this requirement then raises some questions, although if one was keeping up with reading the tea leaves, this move is actually to be expected.
Race to the Bottom
Taking a cursory look through modern mainstream news and entertainment, there’s actually a surprisingly voluminous amount of negative content out there surrounding standardized testing. Sites like Vox and Mic have taken shots at tests like the SAT and ACT, stating that these tests have “racist origins” and are outdated in the modern educational landscape. Almost all of their reasoning for these negative claims come from the fact that the groups who perform best on these tests are students who are Asian or White, attend private school, come from a two parent or high earning household, and had parents who did well in school themselves. Obviously, these stats go the other way too, and students who are low earning, African American students from split families perform significantly lower on average. What’s fascinating, and very telling, is that these same sites that have strong opinions about the SAT and ACT have failed to go after other standardized IQ tests, most notably, the ASVAB.
The ASVAB of course, is the entrance exam to join the United States Armed Forces. Much like the other standardized tests, students are required to answer a series of logical questions that test basic knowledge and sees where students stack up among their peers. In the most practical sense though, the ASVAB tests whether or not the Armed Forces can actually use the person applying. As much as the military wants as many people as it can get its hands on, and despite the cultural stereotypes that the military is full of brutes and wrench turners, the Armed Forces has long ago determined that it actually has to be fairly selective with its admittance process to make sure that new recruits are beneficial, and not detrimental to the military. What may be surprising to many readers is that studies have come out that as many as 1 in every 3, and definitely at least 1 in every 4 students who apply for the military fail to pass the basic requirements to get in. This is worrying for myriad reasons, but the most abhorrent is that there’s obviously an agenda at play here.
What makes the statistics surrounding the ASVAB relevant is that the test reveals two things. The first is that a worrying amount of students in the U.S. are incapable of passing a basic IQ test, and would literally be incapable of functioning within the Armed Forces, a branch of society with a reputation for being the guaranteed backup plan for much of America’s working and middle class. The second, is that while the U.S. Military has the power to turn folks away, universities might be doing the opposite. We’ve only seen the demand for college to rise in the U.S., and more and more students miraculously manage to get accepted into elite universities, in which they take out heaps of loan money to pay for their troublesome education. Many have expressed before how the American university system has become more of a brainwashing machine that churns out cash for administrators, and removing the standardized test requirements from the admission process seems to be the smoking gun that reveals this worry. Under the guise of “racism” or being “outdated”, academics have managed to eradicate one of the last barriers of merit to the university, and have ruined the last objective measure in admissions.
If you’ve been keeping up so far, this should all make sense, as the university system ultimately relies on a Marxist way of thinking, assuming that everything in society is a conflict, and that our nation and culture are made up of a series of victims and oppressors. Of course with this line of thinking, notions such as “fair, merit-based, and objective assessment” all become outdated and iconoclastic, and instead diversity and forced equality become the only means to the end. In the very near future, most universities will probably remove the standardized testing requirement from their admissions process, and instead of merit being a factor for acceptance, the color of your skin, the religion you practice, and the income and status of your family will be the only things that matter about you. Any attempts to fight against this systematic segregation will fail, as they did when Asian-American students sued the Ivy League schools like Harvard for discrimination that has already been implemented against them. The notion that the American academic system is anything to be proud of is rapidly becoming a punchline and a relic of the past. Obviously, the market will catch up to this reality very soon, and actual work experience and competency will become the new reliable indicators of merit in this strange, new world.