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SAT test to offer 'adversity score' assessing students' hardships

SAT test to offer 'adversity score' assessing students' hardships

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Students who take the SAT will no longer be tested on just their math and verbal skills. The College Board, the company that administers the exam, is adding another score that will look at the adversity students face in their life. 

The SAT is a tool that shows what a student has learned in reading and math, but the College Board is putting a new score to the test. 

"What it doesn't measure alone is it doesn't measure what you've overcome the situation you achieved that in," David Coleman said on "CBS This Morning," Chief Executive of the College Board. "What we can do with this context data is to see how resourceful you are. Have you done more with less." 

The official name is the Environmental Context Dashboard. Many are calling it an adversity score that will look at 15 factors, including things like the student's family income, family structure, housing in the community and crime. 

The higher the number, the higher the adversity. UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow is not sure this is the right way to look at adversity. 

"I am a little skeptical," Gow said. "I am not sure that is something that can be quantified." 

He says UW-La Crosse wants to accept students based on multiple factors, not just a test score. 

"We make a decision based on their academic achievements, also the quality of the high school, the rigor of the curriculum," Gow said. "Have they been in leadership activities? Do they come from a disadvantaged background? 

He said they don't want to put anyone in a position to fail.

"It would serve no one any purpose in the classroom to admit somebody who couldn't get it done in the classroom," Gow said. 

La Crosse School District officials said only about 10 students take the SAT every year. The ACT is the more popular test and does not currently offer an adversity score. 

A trial version of the adversity score is already being tested by 50 colleges. 

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