By focusing the conversation—indeed, scapegoating—standardized exams, testing critics distract from the broader conversation about what needs to be done to ensure every student has access to quality schools, teachers, and curriculum.
The SAT, when coupled with high school GPA, serves as the strongest predictor of college success—stronger than either element alone. The SAT also helps mitigate the effect of high school grade inflation by providing admission officers with a standardized measure by which to compare applicants, the majority of whom are likely to be "A" students.
Admissions counselors are often tasked with evaluating hundreds of applications that on the surface may look all too similar. By choosing not to require the SAT of all students, test-optional institutions are bypassing a valid and reliable measure of college readiness that research demonstrates adds value to the college admission process.