Confound

Con·found
/kənˈfound/
To mix up (something) with something else so that the individual elements become difficult to distinguish.
That's the word I thought of when I read this article about college readiness in the NYTimes this morning.
The argument is that there are more diplomas but the students who obtain them are not ready for college academics.  The issue is that the article implies that the increase in undeserving diplomas is attributable to unprepared minority students. Their evidence? These minority students not doing well on ACTs.
Let's set aside for a minute the great disservice to these students that articles like this do. Where was the reference to the number of studies that demonstrate that performance on these tests is directly correlated to economic class? Put a different way, if you're rich enough to take a test prep course, you do better on these tests.  Which means they don't adequately measure preparedness.  In fact, more evidence shows that grade attainment is a better predictor of success in college than entrance exam scores.
Instead we get an article set in South Carolina that depicts minority students as unsuitable.  How does this help?