Kicker: Letter to the editor
Headline: UC test requirements
This past Tuesday, January 20th the ASUCD Academic Affairs commission reviewed ASUCD Senator Jack Zwald’s resolution to uphold UC admissions Standards. For those of you who have not heard of the issue facing the UC system today here is some background. The UC Regents have proposed to lower UC admission standards across the board. The proposition up for a vote in early February threatens to eliminate the SAT Subject Tests as a requirement and bring down the number of top high school students guaranteed admission to at least one UC from 12 percent to 9 percent.
By lowering standards the UC Regents are opening the UCs to a larger pool of hopefuls. In past years between 45 and 55 percent of UC applicants have been turned away. By increasing the number of candidates and taking away a tool to assess academic ability it is likely that less capable students will be admitted to the UC system. Once the Regents have lowered standards for admissions, academic standards must follow, resources must be directed away from standard classes to remediation, or failure rates must increase. None of those options is beneficial to current students, faculty, the UC system or the state of California.
Further, fewer competent students in the UC system will have adverse effects on the entire community. As outlined above, the quality of education must degrade, diminishing the value of degrees provided by UC schools. The Regents and people supporting these changes want us to believe that the lower standards will raise the chances for those at a socio-economic disadvantage to get into college. We are inclined to agree with this in so far as it is an indictment of the failed K-12 system, but that is a matter for another time. It is also simply false; the SAT Subject Tests have proven to be fair and do not favor students based on their ethnicity or lifestyle.
It is up to the UC Regents to maintain the integrity of the UC system. I urge students to contact members of ASUCD to encourage them to pass the resolution, letting The Regents know that students want a quality education.
Sophomore Political Science major