When David Coleman took over the College Board, home of the SAT, he did so with an awareness of the many criticisms leveled at their testing programs. He was especially interested in what MIT's Les Perelman had to say about the testing. Prof. Perelman is primary author of the first hypertext technical writing handbook, The Mayfield Guide to Technical and Scientific Writing. He has published articles on technical communication, computers and writing, the history of rhetoric, sociolinguistic theory, and medieval literature. Perelman's article in the LA Times on an earlier version of the SAT, New SAT: Write Long, Badly and Prosper is a must-read.
It's fairly well-known that the SAT meaningfully predicts a student's first-year college grade point average. As one psychologist writes, that is "an astonishing achievement that can't be ignored."
But what few seem to recognize is that SAT scores are as much a reflection of family income as they are of a student's knowledge. The College Board openly shared this chart comparing SAT scores with family income in Sunday's NYTimes Magazine.
Colleges deal with this information in different ways. Some no longer use the SAT. Still others, ...