The Growing Correlation Between Race and SAT Scores: New Findings From California

The Growing Correlation Between Race and SAT Scores: New Findings From California

First Aired: 2/1/2016

Length: 58 minutes


Race is strongest predictor of SAT scores.
 
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A new study by Saul Geiser, published by the Center For Studies in Higher Education, looks at the population of California residents who applied for admission to the University of California from 1994 through 2011, a sample of over 1.1 million students. The UC data show that socioeconomic background factors – family income, parental education, and race/ethnicity – account for a large and growing share of the variance in students’ SAT scores over the past twenty years. More than a third of the variance in SAT scores can now be predicted by factors known at students’ birth, up from a quarter of the variance in 1994. Of those factors, moreover, race has become the strongest predictor. Rather than declining in salience, race and ethnicity are now more important than either family income or parental education in accounting for test score differences.
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