“National Merit has developed a kind of grandeur that is misguided,” said Lawrence Momo, director of college counseling at the private Trinity School... “The mythology that has been created about it in the public imagination is overblown.”Dropping out of this test-based merit system because of racial/ethic disparities — assuming that's what's going on here — is distinctly different from adopting an affirmative action program to correct for disparities caused by the use of test scores in admissions.
In the Supreme Court case Grutter v. Bollinger, which approved of the University of Michigan Law School's use of race as a "plus factor" in admissions, Justice Clarence Thomas, in dissent, blamed the law school for creating the disparity itself by relying on the standardized test:
[N]o modern law school can claim ignorance of the poor performance of blacks, relatively speaking, on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Nevertheless, law schools continue to use the test and then attempt to “correct” for black underperformance by using racial discrimination in admissions so as to obtain their aesthetic student body... The Law School itself admits that the test is imperfect, as it must, given that it regularly admits students who score at or below 150 (the national median) on the test....Ending reliance on a standardized test is exactly the solution Clarence Thomas suggested. It does not classify individuals by race or ethnicity.
Having decided to use the LSAT, the Law School must accept the constitutional burdens that come with this decision. The Law School may freely continue to employ the LSAT and other allegedly merit-based standards in whatever fashion it likes. What the Equal Protection Clause forbids, but the Court today allows, is the use of these standards hand-in-hand with racial discrimination....