Social-justice organizations last week threatened the University of California with a lawsuit unless it halts the use of standardized testing in admissions, claiming the tests discriminate against minorities. Who knows what success they may have before a sympathetic judge. But the issue may be settled sooner as the political mood in the UC moves against testing. This shift could have baleful nationwide consequences.
Standardized tests have been a target of the left for decades, but in 2018 something changed. Dozens of colleges, most significantly the University of Chicago, have been dropping their standardized-test requirements. The number of students who take the SAT and ACT has been holding steady because enough schools still use them. Yet the UC is by far the largest university system in the country, and if it throws out testing the admissions landscape would fundamentally change.
Several UC regents are on record criticizing the test as unfair to the underprivileged. Governor Gavin Newsom, who appoints most regents, said last month that tests exacerbate “the inequities for underrepresented students.” A UC faculty task force will give recommendations early next year.