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The SAT has been accused of bias itself (to get the analogy runner:marathon::oarsman:regatta, you need to know what a regatta is -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT#Bias ) and this is pretty well-known. That's why it's a small part of an entire applicant's college submission.

To correlate against the SAT is an implicit bias.

I would like to see the critics of the SAT present actual bivariate plots ("scatterplots") of all the SAT scores found at each self-reported family income band for SAT test-takers. As it is, looking closely at the charts shown in the same link kindly shared above


suggests a rather disturbing issue about what preparation students bring into the testing room when they take the SAT. The lines on the charts (you can click on them to see them at a more readable size) by ethnic group are from a College Board report that was apparently only issued in that format once, so disturbing are the implications of the differences among test-takers shown there. College Board gathers that information every year, but it's not presented in such convenient visual form in the official College Board reports.

The repetition of the "runner:marathon::oarsman:regatta" question item (which is based on a whole question type that has not been on the SAT for years now) as an example is suspect too. When I took the SAT, far inland, I had certainly never seen a regatta, because I had never seen a coast. But I had read about a lot of things I had never seen. (I had never seen a marathon either, but I knew what one was from reading.) In general, why should a college actively prefer a student who scores lower rather than higher on the SAT?

But maybe this kind of serious discussion of issues is just what the submitted article was NOT meant to elicit. Some of the comments seem to be missing the evidently humorous point of the man mentioned in the submitted article. He's having fun with ideas that people get very worked up about.

When I worked in college admissions we'd get a report from one of the standardized testing companies every year that basically showed that black and hispanic people scored lower than whites and asians across the board, everywhere. You hear about this stuff on the news and assume it's true. But then you see graph after graph after graph displaying the gulf and it's a still a shocker. We'd probably not have standardized tests anymore if the average Joe was able to see at a glance how much worse blacks and hispanics do on them in every part of the country and under every possible set of testing conditions.

That said, I'm white, and I also learned about regattas by reading about them in a book somewhere. I was bummed out when they got rid of analogies on the SAT. I studied hard to learn new words so i could do well on that part, which I found difficult.

Preliminary experiments, but there's something some people are called the Obama Effect. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/education/23gap.html?_r=1&...

I heard about it on a podcast..I think it's either "How stuff works--stuff you should know" or "RadioLab", and they cited a study where they had a golf test for blacks and whites. The only variable was in telling them what it measured. When the experimenters told them it measured athletic intelligence, the blacks did worse, and the whites did better. When the experimenters told them it measured natural talent, then the vice versa happened.

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