DFL bill pushes to ‘prohibit’ SAT and ACT test scores in admissions process

House DFLers want to prohibit Minnesota State Colleges and Universities from requiring, requesting, accepting, or considering a student’s ACT or SAT test score for any purpose — including admissions, scholarships, and course credit.

H.F. 3034, authored by Reps. Keller (04A), Hanson (56A), Agbaje (59B), Thompson (67A) and Frazier (45A), would regulate the use of ACT and SAT test scores for

(1) granting admission to or allowing enrollment in the institution or any of its courses or programs; (2) awarding loans, grants, scholarships, or other forms of need-based or merit-based financial benefits funded by general fund appropriations; and (3) awarding course credits, assigning students to courses or programs, or making other curricular determinations.

Additionally, the bill would prevent the scores from being used to opt students out of remedial courses.

A state college or university must not require an individual to take a remedial, noncredit course in a subject area if the individual has received a college ready ACT or SAT score or met a career and college ready Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment benchmark in that subject area. Only the ACT and SAT scores an individual received and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment benchmarks an individual met in the previous five years are valid for purposes of this section. 

Shortchanging students

The push to abandon ACT and SAT scores in a college’s admissions process is part of a “test-blind” movement that a growing number of U.S. schools have joined in the name of “equity.”

But it comes “at the expense of merit, objectivity, and competitiveness,” and unfortunately “does nothing to alleviate observed disparities misconstrued as ‘racism,'” writes founding president of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation Frank Xu.

Proposing the structural demise of merit, Xu continues, is being used to “cover up the collective, decades-long failures of the system to provide adequate education to all American school-aged children, especially from underprivileged backgrounds.”

Graduation requirements were watered down in 2013 by DFLers, which has led to students who don’t demonstrate proficiency still graduating. Pair that with weakened school accountability, prohibiting any use of ACT or SAT test scores in the admissions process is not how we ensure students are set up for long-term success.