Another argument against dropping SATs in college admission

Sunday’s LA Times stated that using grades in admissions without SAT test scores could “exacerbate inequities because grade inflation is worse at affluent schools.” Imagine now the pressure on high school teachers to inflate grades. Every teacher has had students pleading to raise a B+ to an A-. As I used to tell my students on the first day of class, “everyone has an A. It’s your responsibility to keep it.”

Dropping the SATs will regrettably lead to more cheating at high schools — not only plagiarizing but cheating on quizzes. After a student in freshman composition submitted an in-class essay quiz that did not address the prompt at all, I questioned him. It was clear he had guessed what the topic would be and had filled in the blue book at home.

I did not want to repeat this experience. From that day forward, I had all students hand in a blue book the week before the quiz. I took these home, thumbed through them making sure there were no crib notes and then signed the cover of each. I distributed these the day of the quiz and stated I would not accept any blue book that did not have my signature on the cover.

The UC system needs to consider the pressure that will be placed on high school teachers both in terms of inflating students’ grades but also students increasingly plagiarizing and cheating on in-class quizzes. Yes, these has been cheating on the SAT and those responsible should be punished. The SAT and ACT administered correctly serve to evaluate students.

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