SAT Copyright Redux

University Testing

The College Board has backed down from its attempt to stop FairTest from posting SAT scores on the web and printing them in this newsletter (see Examiner, Fall 2004). Board spokesperson Chiara Coletti told reporters, “This was an overreaction by someone on our staff who thought she was doing the right thing.” The threat to FairTest had been signed by a College Board assistant director of legal affairs.


A flurry of negative news stories in major media outlets such as the New York Times and Associated Press, opinion columns, talk shows and editorials uniformly had condemned the attack, often using very strong language. For example, nationally syndicated Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson wrote, “The College Board’s skin is getting thin just when the fat wallet of the test industry is bursting open. The board is harassing its critics simply for quoting its SAT scores.”


Jackson continued, “Perhaps the College Board is nervous because it knows the gaps are unchangeable in a nation that refuses to seriously invest in quality schools, opting instead for the far lazier path of testing kids under deteriorating district budgets and then solely blaming their families and their cultures for failure.” He concluded, “The College Board went after FairTest because the hopelessness of a system of testing kids with no resources and the ridiculousness of assessing a human life through a test score has become undeniable.”


FairTest was preparing to take the case to court, if necessary, to defend its right to publish the test score data. Both the Public Citizen Litigation Project and the Electronic Freedom Foundation had generously offered free, pro bono, legal assistance.


Detailed SAT results from the high school graduating class of 2004 — subtotaled by FairTest according to gender, race and family income – remain available on the web at