What is the best predictor of college success? Not SAT or ACT scores says Cliff Adelman of the US Dept. of Ed. Research Office. He adds that neither are those other numbers used in college admission like HS GPA and rank in H. S. graduating class very good predictors for their sharpness has been dulled by years of grade inflation. Although, SAT scores do a pretty good job or predicting first semester grades, but politicians and institutions and the public are more interested in graduation rates. Yet SAT scores get almost all of the media attention. Curriculum beats all other measures in predicting who will graduate from college and as Adelman points out, it is the only factor that educators can do anything about. He reports that "72 percent of Afro- American students who got beyond Algebra II, took Advanced Placement Courses and attended four year colleges or universities earned bachelor's degrees. For Latinos, the graduation figure was 79%. " Adelman adds that the media feeding frenzy following every annual report of institutional rankings on the SAT gives the SAT a powerful symbolism that it does not deserve (and I might add makes ETS richer). It is implied that the US as a nation will stand or fall on the SAT. He cites evidence that the propaganda about racial differences on the SAT causes many minority students to freeze up on the test. In truth, although 70 per cent of students entering college take the SAT, the scores are considered for admissions purposes in only about 200 of the 1800 four year colleges. Certainly, none of the 1200 two- year colleges consider SATs in admitting students. Martha Maxwell Ref: Adelman, Clifford. "Why Can't We Stop Talking About the SAT?" (Nov. 5, 1999). Chronicle of Higher Education, B4-5.