CollegeSpring’s Commitment to Antiracism
CollegeSpring has historically focused on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work and workplace. We have come to realize, however, that this approach is insufficient for addressing years of systemic racism in education. Rather, we must work to be antiracist in our beliefs, actions, and policies. Doing so means identifying how racism, both past and present, affects our work with students, teachers, and each other—and taking concrete steps to advance racial equity in our education system, our society, and our workplace.
How Racism Affects our Work
This understanding of racism in our education system shapes our learning and guides us in our decision-making as an organization:
- Our society’s educational funding, policy, and practice systematically deny students of color a high-quality K-12 education, the chance to graduate from college, and the funding to pay for college. Therefore, we cannot adopt a race-neutral approach in our work to address racial inequity in our education system.
- While the SAT has evolved since its links to eugenics research and intelligence testing in the early twentieth century, the test has racist origins and was not created to benefit students of color. Currently, Black students score an average 177 points lower than white students, and Latinx students score an average 135 points lower than white students. We believe these score disparities reflect an inequitable distribution of resources across our K-12 system that is driven by deeply rooted systemic racism. When colleges and universities use test scores as a high-stakes assessment to distribute admissions slots and financial aid without consideration of this racist context, they replicate these racial inequities in our higher education system.
- Our country’s current college admissions system gives preference to students who can pay full tuition; produce high SAT and ACT scores; and have access to AP classes, advanced coursework, extracurricular achievements, and letters of recommendation. This system advantages white students and wealthy students.
Our Vision for Advancing Racial Equity
While we recognize that our work takes place within an unfair, racist system, we believe we can mitigate the negative effects of this system by investing in public schools and nonprofit organizations in the following ways:
- We focus on SAT and ACT prep as a lever of opportunity because we believe that embedding test prep into the school day and existing college preparation programs increases students’ chances of getting into, paying for, and graduating from college, regardless of their race or financial background.
- We build our education system’s capacity by investing in instructors’ professional development and helping our partners use data to build strong college readiness programs.
- We are committed to building an antiracist workplace for all CollegeSpring team members by regularly identifying, discussing, challenging, and addressing racism as it relates to our policies, systems, culture, and people. We seek to dismantle systems of oppression in our organization to open up paths of opportunity and to create a safe, just, and inclusive environment for BIPOC employees.