The SAT, which used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test, but is now simply an acronym, was first used as a factor in admissions by Harvard University during the 1930s. The idea was to democratize the college application process. The tests were supposed to be used as a platform for high school students to prove their talents, no matter their prosperity. But over the decades, with educational disparities between low-income schools and with wealthy parents shelling out serious money for SAT-prep programs, the reality of fairness has lessened.
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The College Board, which owns the SAT, admitted fault Tuesday and retracted its initial agreement to allow a group of a few dozen students to attend a pricey SAT-prep course at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
The prep course costs $4,500 for three weeks, and a New York Times editorial lambasted the College Board last week for providing this advantage to well-off students, considering that the original intent of the SAT is to equalize the college admissions process.
The College Board announced that it cannot proceed with the program because it "does not serve out organization's mission of expanding access and equity in education," and "certain aspects of the summer program run counter to our mission as well as our beliefs about SAT preparation and performance."
The College Board says the summer program was going to be a pilot study to see how it might offer the test nationwide during the summer.
The College Board was founded more than a century ago to promote access to and equity in education.