Well that didn’t take long. The College Board admitted its adversity score was a mistake. Consequently, the adversity score is being shelved. Earlier today, David Coleman, the College Board’s CEO stated, “The idea of a single score was wrong. It was confusing and created the misperception that the indicators are specific to an individual student.”
Instead, starting in the 2020-2021 school year, the College Board will roll out “Landscape,” a tool that provides information about the school’s location, size of the senior class, participation and performance on AP tests at the school, median family income, education levels, crime rates and the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced lunches. the revised tool will provide a series of data points from government sources and the College Board that are seen as affecting education. Finally, this will also improve transparency as the College Board will share this same information with the test takers.
This decision is a big step in the right direction as far as we’re concerned. We had (bad!) visions of wealthy parents gaming the adversity score in similar ways to what some of them were doing with the unfolding college admissions scandal. Additionally, we’re happy the College Board added this level of transparency as well. Of course, we really don’t think the College Board had a viable option other than a pivot like this. The outcry was loud and wasn’t subsiding. Sticking with the universally panned adversity score was destined to cost them market share to the ACT.