Letters to the Editor: Education is unfair long before the SAT and college

A jogger runs past Royce Hall at UCLA in 2020.
The UC system no longer considers the SAT or ACT for freshman admission. Above, a jogger runs past Royce Hall at UCLA in 2020.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: You can fight the college admission process until you are blue in the face, but you need to recognize that the unfairness inherent in it is only one in a long line of inequities that affects economically disadvantaged individuals — and it starts at birth, or even before. (“What’s less fair than the SAT? You might be surprised,” editorial, Feb. 21)

The time to scratch our heads about what to do should not start at the college level; by that time the only recourse you have is affirmative action, and we know how controversial that has been.

Start with prenatal care, pre-kindergarten care, housing, teachers and subpar schools — the list goes on and on.


Sabina Dym, Newport Beach


To the editor: For many years, I served as a reader for the College Board Advanced Placement English Language essay exam in various sites across the country.

Imagine a huge arena crammed with hundreds of English teachers reading hundreds of essays in a week. We established clear criteria, kept checking our scores with sample responses and ultimately assigned a score to every exam.

While this was mind-numbing work, often I read touching responses from very worried candidates.

Some states paid for every student to take the exam, ready or not. Those who showed up with little or no in-class preparation doodled or wrote sad notes to me, for I was the College Board for that day. They said, “I cannot do this,” or just filled up the space by writing stories about their dogs.

Broader opportunities for in-class writing may be the ticket in admissions. Narratives about beloved dogs could hold more cachet than pompous paragraphs on lofty goals.


Nan Cano, Westlake Village