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Rich kids shouldn't get extra chances to take the SAT

June 7, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
The College Board is giving rich kids a chance to retake the SAT in August – provided the kids are considered "gifted and talented" and that their parents shell out $4,200 to enroll their special snowflakes at a special summer program at Amherst College.

Normally the college entrance test is supposed to be given only during the academic year and is supposed to be open to all students. Not surprisingly, various groups, including the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, are calling this so-called special pilot program unfair and are calling on the College Board. the company that owns and administers the SAT, to cancel the program altogether.

Most kids in North Dakota take the ACT and not the SAT and most attend state or regional colleges. However, there are some gifted students every year from North Dakota who aim to attend an Ivy League school and who do take the SAT. Students who attend colleges like Harvard have a clear advantage over students who attend a state university, most obviously in the people they meet and the job opportunities that are open to them following graduation. Rich kids already have a clear advantage over students from less privileged backgrounds as their parents can afford to send them to better schools or to pay for test prep that will let them do better on the SAT. A high SAT score can get a student chosen for admission over numerous other applicants. This expensive summer program appears to just one more of those advantages that the rich are able to give their children. However, the difference is that it has been offered by the College Board itself and it shuts out kids whose parents can't afford to pay for it. That's not fair and it will undermine the confidence that students and colleges have in the quality of the SAT.

I hope the outrage will make the College Board cancel this program and have more caution in the future.


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