Sunday, December 18, 2011

The ACT recognizes Pacific Islanders. What about the SAT?

Last week we blogged regarding the ACT's recent move to recognize Pacific Islanders as a distinct racial group by reporting Pacific Islander test scores separately from Asians. After reading the post, one of our regular readers asked me a question: what about the SAT?

(As mentioned in the last post, the SAT and ACT are the two leading standardized tests used across the nation to rank college-readiness.)

After a few days of looking, here's what I have to report back to that reader and the rest of our reader community: I found no evidence that the SAT is up to speed with the ACT when it comes to recognizing that Pacific Islanders are a distinct racial group.

Here's the online paper trail; feel free to let us know if you find something we missed!

The national SAT scores are released every fall by the College Board. In 2010, they issued this press release on their scores, and the news coverage included this article. As you'll see from the article, they released the national average, and broke the scores down by minority groups, including Asians, Whites, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Mexican and Mexican American, Latinos (excluding other explicitly mentioned Latino groups), Puerto Ricans, and African Americans.

Pacific Islanders are not mentioned.

Like last year, this fall the College Board released their 2011 national scores. I found no Pacific Islander scores. One graph did break down "2011 College-Bound Seniors by Race/Ethnicity," but Pacific Islanders are not included. The National Center for Education Statistics tracks SAT scores by race and ethnicity, and as you can see here, they report only "Asian/Pacific Islander" results. Lastly, I found this Atlantic article and this data from the National Center for Fair and Open Testing breaking down 2011 SAT scores by race. The Atlantic graph only lists Asians, and the other one groups Asians and Pacific Islanders as one.

In other words, the ACT is ahead of the SAT on this one.

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