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Harvard Dropping SAT Requirement for Several More Years Enables More Anti-Asian Discrimination

Harvard Dropping SAT Requirement for Several More Years Enables More Anti-Asian Discrimination

Melissa Chen: “In light of the lawsuits, this seems convenient for Harvard. Now they can freely discriminate to achieve desired racial quotas without worrying about any data on file that would make such discrimination obvious to the casual onlooker.”

Harvard University is a defendant in a lawsuit alleging discrimination against Asian applicants. We covered the case at the trial and appeals court levels, where Harvard prevailed. The case now is awaiting word whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case for review.

As detailed previously, one of the primary pieces of evidence demonstrating discrimination was the SAT scores of admitted applicants, as was argued in the Petition for review by SCOTUS:

Harvard uses race at every stage of the admissions process. To begin, Harvard recruits high-school students differently based on race. App.154-56. African-American and Hispanic students with PSAT scores of 1100 and up are invited to apply to Harvard, but white and Asian-American students must score a 1350. JA.577:6-581:20; JA.3741. In some parts of the country, Asian-American applicants must score higher than all other racial groups, including whites, to be recruited by Harvard.

* * *

Harvard’s admissions data revealed astonishing racial disparities in admission rates among similarly qualified applicants. SFFA’s expert testified that applicants with the same “academic index” (a metric created by Harvard based on test scores and GPA) had widely different admission rates by race. App.179-80; JA.6008-09. For example, an Asian American in the fourth-lowest decile has virtually no chance of being admitted to Harvard (0.9%); but an African American in that decile has a higher chance of admission (12.8%) than an Asian American in the top decile (12.7%).

SFFA’s regression analysis showed “substantial” preferences for African-American and Hispanic applicants. JA.2290:22-2291:8; JA.6017. Harvard’s expert, David Card, agreed. If Harvard eliminated racial preferences and adopted no race-neutral alternatives, Card found that the African-American share of the class would fall from 14% to 6% and the Hispanic share would fall from 14% to 9%. App.209-10; JA.6121. In absolute terms, then, race was “determinative” for at least “45% of all admitted African American and Hispanic applicants”—or “nearly 1,000 students” over a four-year period. App.209

SAT scores as evidence of discrimination may be a thing of the past at Harvard, and increasingly elsewhere. In mid-December Harvard announced that because of Covid, it would continue for at least four more years its policy of not requiring standardized tests for admissionts. The NY Times reported:

Harvard will not require SAT or ACT scores for admission through the next four years, extending a policy adopted during the coronavirus pandemic and adding fuel to the movement to permanently eliminate standardized test scores for admission to even the nation’s most selective schools.

Harvard attributed the move, announced on Thursday evening, to the pandemic, which has made it hard for students to get access to testing sites.

But the decision has strong symbolic value, as it telegraphs that Harvard believes it can wade through thousands of applications and admit students without the aid of standardized test scores. It also signals that the university — and perhaps the nation — is one step closer to abolishing test scores from the admissions process altogether.

“Students who do not submit standardized test scores will not be disadvantaged in their application process,” William Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions and financial aid, said in a statement. He encouraged students to submit “whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments in secondary school and their promise for the future.”

Standardized test scores have been a rite of passage for generations of high school students, and a bane of their existence. Supporters say that they provide a uniform way of evaluating students from different schools and different parts of the country.

But critics have long argued that they are racially and culturally biased and do not reflect the true ability of many students, but instead their ability to pay for tutoring. An entire industry of test preparation companies now coaches students through the tests, charging hefty fees.

Harvard’s use of test scores has also been part of a lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against Asian American applicants by holding them to a higher standard than other prospective students. The lawsuit said that as a group, Asian American applicants scored higher than others on measures like standardized tests but were penalized by a subjective “personal” rating.

Why commit to four years now? If Covid really is the reason, why not take it year by year? The obvious answer is that it’s a transition to permanent elimination of standardized testing requirements in order to achieve racial quotas. I explained this in an earlier post:

Harvard University discriminates against students of Asian ethnicity in admissions. That much is beyond doubt.

Harvard is far from alone. Study after study have shown that Asian students need to outperform other students, particularly other non-white minorities, on standardized tests and grades in order to obtain admission.

This is achieved through the use of “soft” factors in admissions decisions similar to those used to cap Jewish enrollment starting in the 1920s. Harvard pioneered the way in limiting Jewish enrollment much as it has pioneered the way in capping Asian enrollment.

The use of these soft factors has been boosted by U.S. Supreme Court decisions upholding discrimination in the service of diversity. The argument is that diversity adds to the educational experience, so some discrimination to achieve that supposed educational end is permitted, as long as it’s not too blatant.

This is part of the war on meritocracy, and it will hurt minorities, as Jason Riley wrote in The Wall Street Journal:

More than four decades later, Harvard is still playing these [affirmative action] games, using race as a decisive factor in admissions while pretending otherwise. Last week the school announced that it was dropping its SAT requirement and cited limited access to testing sites during the pandemic as the reason. Don’t believe it. The real goal is to achieve a predetermined demographic composition on campus, and standardized tests make that more difficult. Harvard has joined a growing list of schools that are giving less weight to objective admissions standards—test scores, grades, extracurricular activities—in favor of subjective “personality” measurements like “kindness,” “courage,” “integrity” and “likability.”

This trend is not limited to higher education. The attack on academic meritocracy includes efforts to eliminate honor rolls in elementary school, nix gifted-and-talented programs in middle school, and stop selective high schools from using admissions exams. Oregon’s governor signed a bill earlier this year that suspends high school proficiency requirements. Students in the state will no longer have to demonstrate that they can read, write and do math at a high school level to graduate.

Those leading us down this path insist that they are helping minority students who struggle academically, but it would be more accurate to say that they are giving up on these students. Eliminating the test won’t eliminate the racial achievement gap, because the test is not causing the gap, merely exposing it. How do you help students move forward without an honest assessment of where they stand? Harvard is less concerned with black education than it is with protecting its brand, which is enhanced by exhibiting a racially diverse student body whether or not such a focus is in the long-term interests of black students who are admitted with lower standards and ill-prepared to handle the workload….

Liberal elites continue to believe that most blacks can’t compete on a level playing field, and they don’t mind stigmatizing the ones who can. Thankfully, everyday Americans, of all hues, seem to disagree.

Reactions, including mine, were that this was an obvious ploy to hide the evidence of anti-Asian discrimination:


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Well, no need to demonstrate academic competence… because the real goal isn’t education, it’s indoctrination. And if you want to indoctrinate someone, your goal is made that much easier if you don’t have to deal with an individual who is actually able to think critically.

    Pasadena Peabody in reply to nordic_prince. | December 29, 2021 at 11:11 am

    Harvard says Asians are already smart enough. They can read, write and do arithmetic. Our goal is to give a High School education to a certain ethnic group we have preselected to according to certain hidden criteria. After the fact, we run their applications through our Chameleon approval process to make them look legit.

“Four More Years”… of David Hoggs.
🔥 This is fine. 🔥

It would be interesting to see how many of the Asians who were denied entry to prestigious schools like Harvard also voted the straight Communist ticket. There is such a thing as getting what you voted for, even if you hate it.

Dropping SAT requirements to make it easier to hide the SYSTEMIC RACISM of the Ivy League.

See what happens when you check the “wrong” box.

Do they still have a check box for “Native American because my merman told me So”?

Guys don’t miss the Forrest for the tree. If Harvard and other elite institutions which follow their lead choose they could admit both high performing Asians and lower performing Blacks. They don’t choose that path and the question becomes why? Simple. There is a limit to the number of students admitted and accepted and a choice to accept both groups in large numbers would inevitably crowd out the number of slots available to legacy admissions, faculty children, big $ contributor kids and of course the children of the political and economic establishment.

They are willing to tell a high performing Scots/Irish kid from a rural area or an high performing Asian tough luck so that the children of the connected and powerful always have a place at the table. The establishment has no problem pulling up the ladder to deny entry to the gateway of the establishment in order to continue a self selected process. It isn’t truly about race or ethnicity, that’s the distraction they want you to observe while they pick your pocket. It’s about class and power. Ensuring that their children and the children of others like themselves inherit that power in future while coincidently engaging in diversity theater that also serves as an indulgence to assuage their ‘guilt’ and more importantly burnish their woke credentials to keep them safe from the mob.

    They are willing to tell a high performing Scots/Irish kid from a rural area or an high performing Asian tough luck so that the children of the connected and powerful always have a place at the table.

    Exactly. What good is power and privilege if you can’t lord it over the Deplorables?

      Just as they did when high performing Jewish students began to threaten to overwhelm and crowd out the children of the elite establishment. It’s not and has never been about race or ethnicity so much as ensuring that the people selected for admission are the ‘right sort’ of people. Scrappy kids from humble circumstances are not the right sort, especially when it means Skyler from ‘elite/expensive Prep School’ who’s family does/has done y for the University would be excluded as a result.

      The side benefit is retaining the aura of exclusivity and inherent worth of their graduates. It’s much easier to limit other groups access to power when one controls the primary gateway; a diploma from an elite institution. That is a decision based on class and not race or ethnicity when one observes not who loses but who benefits from this scheme. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be fooled by their 3 card monte routine that injects race as a distraction from their true objective; retaining power and prestige.

“Standardized test scores have been a rite of passage for generations of high school students, and a bane of their existence …”

It certainly was not a bane of my existence, it was an opportunity to have something to show other than crappy grades.

My ‘tutor’ was a $10. paperback with sample tests. I’ve yet to see any evidence that this does not work as well as costly in-person prep (although it may require more motivation).

Of course, the College Board has been combing the test endlessly for decades now to remove every hint of bias. And the test unquestionably has predictive value regarding future academic performance.

But, we seem to live in an age when objective evidence is ridiculed even as the subjective (“lived experience”) is glorified. And offering reasoned argument to those who reject reason itself isn’t very productive, is it?

Kwiznos Haagendazs | December 30, 2021 at 6:11 am

Harvard…Enables More Anti-Asian Discrimination

Good. Asian Americans overwhelmingly vote for the party that inflicts racially discriminatory “affirmative action” on college applicants and job seekers. Asian voters do this even though they know that Democrats are responsible for protecting and extending college admissions quotas that harm Asian students. The idea that they should be allowed to support discriminatory Democrats while carving out protection for themselves from the specific policy that harms them is unjust and even nuts.

The way to demolish higher ed discrimination is to remove Democrats and other leftists from power by voting for their opponents. But Asians would rather stay members of the “people of color” coalition than do the obvious, right thing and vote for conservatives who broadly oppose racial discrimination.

(This reminds me a bit of how Congress always seeks to exempt itself from the bad effects of its own laws. Stupidity, especially when it involves virtue signaling, should be self-punishing so that people flinch and change course.)

Seems that the discussions miss a couple of points:

1) Eliminating competence testing means that one of two things will happen. Either a) Harvard will crank out graduates that are I’ll-prepared for life after academe or b) they’ll be flunking a lot of their students.
1a) …in which case any advantage having a diploma from there will
eventually be seen as meaningless;
1b). …in which case there will be a lot fewer grads and the flu kids will
consider H to be discriminating against them by having flunked them.

And 2) the Asian kids are going to attend college and get excellent educations regardless of where they go. Why? Because they’ll tend to go to the same schools and they’ll teach one another. They’re smart, so they can pull this off. The net effect of this alternative concentration of Asians will become a loss of the enormous benefit a lot of Asians in school have on a school’s intellectual atmosphere. And when that begins to happen, a lot fewer will apply to Harvard since it will no longer have the draw.

New York and California screamed when wealthy high-earners left for states with lower state tax burdens. Same thing here. Think about it.

Sorry about the autocorrects:

flunkies, not flu kids

Ill-prepared, not I’ll-prepared

These morons continue to believe that their idiotic ideology actually works. Universities are a business…this will help them reap the consequential pain of their Lefty mentality by shooting their golden goose. Good riddance.

    Kwiznos Haagendazs in reply to Camperfixer. | December 30, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Universities are a business…this will help them reap the consequential pain of their Lefty mentality by shooting their golden goose.

    Harvard has a $53.2 billion endowment. It can easily stay the course for the rest of our lifetimes.

      Yes they do, they also need students. Will enough wealthy parents still send their kids to Harvard after this foot shooting action? Maybe enough will open their eyes and say, Nah.

A few years back my brother got an award from our state’s top MBA school/school of biz for entrepreneur / small biz of the year.

Mom was proud. The company employs a few hundred people during its peak period and its quite a thing.

I commented on whether they considered the irony and messaging of this prestigious business school bestowing this award to someone whose entire college education consisted of 1 quarter of diesel engine training at a votech school at which point he decided any further schooling was a waste of time.

If students with great potential cease attending great schools…they cease to be great. Clarence Thomas assigned the correct value to his diploma, so should future Ivy league students.

civisamericanus | December 30, 2021 at 2:59 pm

“African-American and Hispanic students with PSAT scores of 1100 and up are invited to apply to Harvard, but white and Asian-American students must score a 1350. ”

Two ways to deal with this:
(1) Check off whatever box you feel like checking for your race or ethnicity. If for example you’re a Sephardic Jew, Sephardic means “from Spain” so you’re Hispanic. If your family is from Florida, or the Southwest US, you might well have Spanish ancestry. One Asian Indian claims to have circumvented racial discrimination in admissions by checking off “Black.” (See “Mindy Kaling’s brother: I faked being black to get into medical school.”) Fine with me because race and ethnicity are not legitimate qualifications for any job outside a theatrical role in which an actor must be of a certain race and/or gender.

(2) Even better, apply to a state school whose tuition is less than half of Harvard’s and from which you can get as good an education.

Retired in Chicago | December 31, 2021 at 11:36 am

Exactly, about your race on any application. You have to fight fire with fire . Stand up to discrimination any way you can. That’s how I finally got my covid-19 shot here in Chicago By claiming I was African American. The city admitted in a roundabout cleverly worded release That probably went over a lot of people’s heads that they were giving priority to blacks . That’s discrimination and that’s illegal But that’s what you expect from a liberal-run city Just like from a liberal-run government. And just for the record, I am a high-risk white privileged senior That has paid and is paying an awful lot of taxes every year. The city has no business discriminating against me especially when my very life is at stake. Shame on them and their racism. equal access, equal opportunity for all On a fair and anonymous playing field .

Speaking as a teacher and a life-long student of history, religion, politics, and languages, I think the value of a non-STEM US degree is hyperinflated (even if I have three). The game was up when the feminazis and allies started boohooing about the use of the masculine for the gender ambiguous or neuter (as in pronouns agreeing in number with the antecedent); even if this has been the pattern in Indo-European and Semitic languages. Our liberal arts and social sciences departments are more and more turning into mere indoctirnation centers for activists and grievance mongers.

I’d urge a young man starting out to get into a skilled trade early; then, after some money’s been made, take an occasional course for personal enrichment.