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Published: Sunday, 4/1/2001

College community debates the merits of standardized tests

Who needs the SAT? A growing number of colleges and universities across the country are beginning to wonder.

Standardized college admission tests have long been used as a uniform method of comparing students, but some schools are dropping the exams, calling them unfair and distorted. Last month, University of California President Richard Atkinson grabbed headlines when he recommended the university system stop using the SAT.

The Blade asked two higher education officials to sound off on the necessity of such standardized college entrance exams.

Dr. Kendall L. Baker, president of Ohio Northern University in Ada, argues that the test helps officials compare students from different backgrounds and assist in placing them in courses.

Dr. Richard H. Owens, president of Heidelberg College in Tiffin, says students need to be evaluated in their entirety and that tests like the SAT should take a backseat to indicators such as high school grades.

Both Ohio Northern and Heidelberg require students to take either the SAT or ACT for admission.

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