UW–Madison’s Wang weighs in on possible new admissions test

Inside Higher Ed utilized the expertise of UW–Madison’s Xueli Wang for a report headlined, “What Could a New Admissions Test Bring?

Xueli Wang

Wang was among a number of experts that Inside Higher Ed asked to weigh in on the University of California’s plan to establish a new admissions test within five years. “If they don’t, UC will cease to use standardized tests in admissions,” explained the report.

“Frankly, I am a bit skeptical of the feasibility of developing or identifying yet another test that is supposed to remedy bias and flaws in standardized tests,” Wang says in the report.

“The bigger question here is: How closely does the new test — or any reform to the admissions process — align with espoused values to advance diversity, equity and inclusion? The suspension of the SAT and ACT is a monumental step toward that, but much is left to be seen with regard to the potential new test.”

Wang continued: “In an ideal world, such a new test should not merely reflect the current content that students have learned in the K-12 system; it should inspire continuous improvement of a curriculum that embraces culturally diverse learning styles, forms of knowledge, and ways in which learning is constructed, among other things. It should be fair, open, and equitably accessible in terms of what it tests and how it is administered, which would discourage or eliminate teaching to the test and test-prepping practices that advantage groups from affluent backgrounds.”

Wang is a professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and author of the recently released book, “On My Own: The Challenge and Promise of Building Equitable STEM Transfer Pathways.”

Read the full Inside Higher Ed report, including Wang’s remarks, here.