The tests do, in fact, discriminate against low-income students
A recent letter to the editor in the Davis Enterprise decried the move to drop the SAT and ACT as part of the college application process. The letter writer states that to get rid of these standardized tests would be to “dumb down” the educational process, suggesting that people need to accept that not everyone’s abilities are the same and that some students just need to work harder. The letter writer rejects out of hand the suggestion that the tests “discriminate against minorities and the poor.”
Letters like this remind me that there are a number of facts about these standardized tests that are not well known. So, in the interests of education (yes, a double meaning here), I thought it would be helpful to rehearse some of them. I will focus on the SAT because that is the test I am more familiar with.