Report: Colleges Must Revise Standardized Tests to Foster Equity - Higher Education


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Report: Colleges Must Revise Standardized Tests to Foster Equity

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A new National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) report calls on colleges and universities to examine and revise their standardized testing policies so that “regardless of location and circumstance, such tests foster equity and access for their applicants.”

“This is a year to be as economical as possible in uses of standardized testing,” said John Latting, chair of the task force responsible for the report titled “Ensuring All Students Have Access to Higher Education: The Role of Standardized Testing in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond.”

“It is a year to reexamine any mandatory use of testing as part of enrollment operations, for both practical but also ethical reasons. It is a year to be reminded of appropriate uses, and potential misuses, of standardized tests. It is a year to partner with the College Board and the ACT on test administration and fairness for students and secondary schools the world over.”

The report recommends that, when determining standardized testing policies, universities consider:

  • whether institutional policies and practices enable more students access to higher education.
  • how certain populations—including international applicants—have faced testing barriers for decades “that will remain, or even be exacerbated, if or when testing returns to pre-COVID-19 operations.”
  • historical institutional data for enrolled students to determine the factors that contribute to student success.
  • transparency about why all testing policies and practices are in place.
  • reviewing institutional data on a regular basis to inform testing policy.
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