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Spring 2008 Contents

•CSI President Morales Gets Pay Raise, CSI Students May Pay More

•CUNY Chancellor Raises SAT Math Admission Scores to CSI & CUNY

•Look Who USED To Teach at CSI!

•Mayor Bloomberg’s Budget Cuts CUNY

•CUNY Trustee Randy Mastro Dropped

•Is CUNY Going Green?


•American Apartheid

•Phony Soldiers?

•Comrade X: The Fourth Estate & Revolution

•Rush Limbaugh for OxyContin

•CSI Peace Week

•Iraq War Index

•What's the #1 cause of global warming?




•Love Poem

•Tainted Love

•a poem

•Sin Is Only Skin Deep


•A Weeknight Out on the Town for Booze & Brains


•CSI Peace Week

•Look Who USED To Teach at CSI!

•Dark Prague


•a poem

•What's the #1 cause of global warming?



•Letters to the Editors

•Submit or Die!

•Third Rail Bullpen

•Join Third Rail

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CUNY Chancellor Raises SAT Math Admission Scores to CSI & CUNY

CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein has unilaterally raised the SAT math admission score without the consent of CUNY faculty.

City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Matthew Goldstein has recently announced plans to raise the minimum SAT score for freshmen entrance to CUNY senior colleges (including CSI) to between 480 and 510 on the math section. This plan is to go into effect in the Fall of 2008, according to Goldstein.

Many experts fear the increase in SAT score minimums at CUNY schools would exclude many African Americans from the opportunity to pursue an education at a CUNY senior college. The average math SAT score for African Americans in New York is 431. Experts point out that lower SAT scores for African Americans are not surprising when one takes into consideration that the SAT is a better predictor of household income than college success. One major reason for this is that SAT preparatory courses (like The Princeton Review or Kaplan) increase student’s scores by 150 points (on average), but the courses cost around $800. The companies that design and teach SAT preparatory classes earn about $300 million a year.
The SAT consistently over-predicts the performance of white males in college and constantly under-predicts the performance of minorities and women in collegiate environments. For example, high school girls score 33 points lower than boys on the math section of the SAT (on average), but earn higher math grades in their freshman year of college. The College Board admits that high school grades and courses taken in high school provide a better forecast of future college performance than does the SAT.

The Educational Testing Services (ETS), a private, not-for-profit company, develops and administers the SAT, but the College Board, a not-for-profit consortium of member colleges sponsors the test and decides how it will be constructed, administered and used. The College Board collects more than $150 million annually from student test fees.

The SAT design is based on the model of the early U.S. Army examination. The Army examination was the brainchild of Lewis Terman and Robert Yerkes, both of whom were executives in the American Eugenics Movement. They designed the Army examination in an attempt to exclude blacks and immigrants from the army.

Critics argue that CUNY Chancellor Goldstein’s plan misuses the SAT according to the recommendations put forward by both ETS and The College Board, both of whom contend that the test should never be utilized as cutoff scores, especially for high stakes decisions. According to the test designers, any use of the SAT that treats scores as precise measures are seriously flawed. The test-makers admit two students’ scores must differ by at least 125 points before they can reliably be said to be different, due to measurement rather than error.

Critics of Goldstein’s plan cite the startling statistic that since the end of remediation in 1999, the number of African American students attending the top five CUNY senior colleges had fallen from 20 to 14 percent, with African American enrollments at City College dropping by a full 12 percent.

Critics also charge that there are alternatives to the SAT: 740 accredited, bachelor-degree granting colleges do not use the SAT to make admissions decisions for a substantial number of their applicants. This includes highly competitive institutions such as Bates College.

The SAT is a three hour multiple choice and essay test that purports to measure verbal and mathematical knowledge and skills. Colleges have implemented it as part of the admissions process for close to a century. Just shy of 3 million students take the test annually.


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