AACE Strongly Opposes University of California President’s Proposal to Abandon SAT and ACT in Student Admissions

By | May 19, 2020

For Immediate Release

May 19, 2020

Livingston, New Jersey: The University of California (UC) Office of the President submitted a proposal on eliminating standardized testing to the UC Board of Regents for a decision to be made during the board’s May 21st meeting. The Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) fiercely opposes this ideology-driven (rather than science-based) plan by UC President Janet Napolitano, as an egregious assault on meritocracy and equal education rights.

According to the President’s plan, the UC system will go test-optional for the 2021 and 2022 entering classes and then turn to test-blind during the 2023 and 2024 academic years. Starting from 2025, UC may adopt a new test to admit undergraduate students or go completely test-blind if such a test is not available. In other words, UC President Napolitano recommends that the school system abandon SAT and ACT permanently in its admissions process, although the UC Academic Senate cautioned against abolishing standardized tests and argued against the alternative Smarter Balanced Assessment in its February 2020 report.

On January 20, 2020, AACE sent an official letter to the UC Board of Regents to protest the precipitous plan to drop SAT and ACT, as a politicized and misguided attempt to masquerade achievement gaps and perpetuate educational inequities. Not only does the test-blind movement ignore root causes behind deteriorating quality of education in underrepresented communities, it but also undermines the merit-based principle to the detriments of our nation’s technological progress and national security. On an individual level, phasing out objective and transparent measures in college admissions will further deprive disadvantaged students, including too many Asian-American children, of their fair chances to succeed academically.

President Napolitano’s plan will particularly harm Asian-American students who are inappropriately labeled as “overrepresented” at UC, in spite of tremendous within-group socioeconomic and cultural diversities. With standardized tests being dropped, Asian-American children become easy victims of various radical acts of racial balancing, through which some colleges use opaque and subjective admission criteria including racial stereotypes to limit Asian-American admissions.

Mr. Yukong Zhao, the president of AACE said: “Without a fair and transparent process offered by standardized tests, our colleges cannot select and educate the best and brightest to contribute 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 uphold meritocracy, a key element of the American Dream, rather than abandoning proven methods of admissions. In a time when Asian Americans increasingly fall victims to hate crimes, UC should step up to protect our equal rights, rather than implementing measures that could further exacerbate treatment of Asian Americans in California.”

Asian American Coalition for Education

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

Ms. Swann Lee, telephone: (617) 651-1328, 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.