Organizational Partner: 
Opportunity Newtwork
May 23, 2019
New York Times

Letter to the Editor Regarding SAT "Adversity Score"

To the Editor:

Let me get this straight: We’ll rely on stereotypes that stigmatize students by assigning them a score based not on their own experiences, but on contextless, aggregated data about crime and poverty based solely on location? We’ll make gross assumptions across race, class and community in evaluating a student, an actual human, regardless of personal experience to determine a score they will never even see?

If so, we tether deep structural inequities — underfunded schools, income inequality, institutional racism — to the student, rather than the systematic factors responsible for causing them. It not only diverts our attention from an unjust system but also perpetuates it.

For the same investment it took all these stakeholders to get here, why wouldn’t they have addressed the real inequities, like fixing the SAT’s inherent biases or addressing a test-prep industry that institutionalizes the opportunity gap?

Jessica Pliska
New York
The writer is the founder and chief executive of The Opportunity Network, which works with students from underrepresented communities on their paths to college and career.