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22 September 2008

Report of the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admission, National Association for College Admission Counseling (PDF)

Among many other interesting points, here's a shocker:

The Commission takes issue with bond ratings that use standardized admission tests in their institutional analyses for two primary reasons. First, the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, as well as the guidelines for use of the SAT and ACT, maintain clear restrictions against using admission test scores for purposes other than those for which the test is designed. Neither SAT nor ACT has ever claimed that admission test scores are reliable indicators of institutional financial health. While there is undoubtedly a correlation between institutional financial resources and test scores, the Commission believes that the use of such scores confuses correlation with causation, and as such, comprises an inappropriate use of test scores. Second, the Commission believes that the continued use of admission test scores as bond rating criteria creates undue pressure on admission offices to pursue increasingly high test scores. While ratings firms may suggest that higher scores indicate more flexibility in times of scarcity, there is little evidence to suggest that institutions lower their test scores in such instances.

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