PLATFORM : Test Deficiencies

<i> GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ, a policy analyst at the San Francisco-based Latino Issues Forum, believes the recently revised Scholastic Aptitude Test is still an inadequate gauge of the academic potential of minority students. He told The Times: </i>

Universities and colleges should make the SAT less of a factor in determining enrollment eligibility. SAT scores are not reflective of the capabilities of minorities and low-income people. There was an attempt to add an essay section that would have been an integral part of the test. That (effort) failed because, for example, it would have been unfair to those with limited English-language skills. The essay section will be optional, but universities will decide which sections are important. That’s a matter of concern because some universities could give great weight to essays.

There’s also a debate about the decision to allow test-takers to use calculators. Those who cannot afford calculators will be at a disadvantage (unless) test-taking centers provide a standardized calculator for all students. Also, coaching is still a problem. These preparation tests are very expensive and are an advantage for the privileged class. We have to find a broader, holistic way of determining admissions.