The College Board reacted to outcry about the proposed “adversity score” by replacing it with “Landscape.” The question: How different is this new metric from the pilot program that 50 colleges and universities used over the last couple of years?
According to the statement posted on the College Board website: “Landscape is only used in conjunction with an application to provide additional context about an applicant’s high school and neighborhood.” It neither alters the test score nor replaces information on an application. It simply helps admissions officers give more students from more places a fair look. This alteration will include essentially the same information, but it won’t provide a single score. Instead, it will try to capture a student’s social and economic background in a broad array of data points. While the adversity score would not have been available to students, the Landscape program will provide both colleges and students information about the student’s high school and neighborhood. College Board CEO David Coleman agreed, saying in a statement Tuesday that “the idea of a single score was wrong.”
The ACT still seems the more consistent college entrance exam. The SAT has had too many missteps and alterations in the last 15 years. And the ACT does not provide information about a student’s neighborhood. Test scores, which represent only one part of the admissions criteria, should not include non-academic data.