AACE Opposes University of California’s Plan to Drop SAT and ACT in Its Admissions

By | January 21, 2020

For Immediate Release

January 21, 2020

Livingston, New Jersey: On January 20, 2020, AACE President Mr. Yukong Zhao sent an official letter to the University of California Board of Regents, asking the Board to consider the various negative consequences of eliminating standardized testing in UC’s college admissions and to consult the Asian-American community as a key stakeholder. The Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) strongly opposes top UC officials’ precipitous plan to drop SAT and ACT in admissions, as a politicized and misguided attempt to masquerade achievement gaps and perpetuate educational inequities.

First, this inflammatory and skewed proposal irresponsibly disregards complex realities of the American education system, especially the underlying problems behind deteriorating quality of education in underrepresented communities. This proposal is prompted by a December 2019 lawsuit against the school system regarding its consideration of standardized test scores in the admissions process. As a result, many top UC administrators including UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and UC Provost Michael Brown have recently recommended removing SAT and ACT as a requirement for admissions. Both the lawsuit and a slew of UC officials argue falsely that standardized test performance is directly correlated with a student’s socioeconomic background, which is subsequently linked to race.

Moreover, replacing standardized testing with more subjective school-level factors and less rigorous methods such as the Smarter Balance Assessment will undermine American meritocracy, hinder our nation’s technological progress, and jeopardize our national security. Specifically, this change will exacerbate “grade inflation” while deprive underrepresented students of their fair opportunities to succeed through participating in objective and empirically measured tests. Worst of all, this policy change will create further burdens on our education system with confusions and opacity and without any meaningful attempts to address root problems of testing inequalities.

University of California must faithfully engage and consult the Asian-American community in its decision making regarding this policy proposal. Within the school system, Asian Americans make up 29.48% of the undergraduate students body, 18.3% of its graduate students and 15% of its faculty members. Nationwide, Asian Americans contribute tremendously to American education: many are educators such as K-12 teachers, college professors and school administrators. We are also the fastest growing minority group in the United States, with an impressive level of cultural and socioeconomic diversities. In places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, in spite of historically high poverty, insufficient public support and limited English proficiency, Asian-American students have consistently succeeded academically and relied on the merit-based principle to advance their American dream.

Mr. Yukong Zhao, the president of AACE said: “Abolishing standardized testing is a dangerous assault on American meritocracy by radical progressives. Without a fair and transparent process offered by standardized tests, our colleges cannot select and educate the best and brightest to make critical contributions to our economic prosperity, technological leadership and national security! As the world’s most comprehensive higher education system with over 200,000 applicants annually, the University of California must advance educational access through sustainable policies rather than doing away with proven methods of admissions. In the meantime, the Asian-American community requests full participation in a process of prior consultation before UC makes a decision regarding standardized testing in its admissions!”

Asian American Coalition for Education

Dr. Wenyuan Wu
, telephone: (786) 393-8028, email: admin@asianamericanforeducation.org.

Ms. Swann Lee, telephone: (617) 906-6380, email: swanleeca@gmail.com.

About the AACE:  www.asianamericanforeducation.org

Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights. On May 15, 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. As the largest joint action taken by Asian-American communities over the last few decades, this complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community.