Through the Education Lens

Saying No to Standardized Testing for College?

CJ Westerberg, November 3, 2011 8:26 AM


Colleges & Universities Jump On Board the "Test Optional" Movement:
 VIDEO BELOW:  One Student's Journey & Lawrence University Shares Views

by C.J. Westerberg

I was immediately hooked within the first twenty seconds of the video below when Steve Syverson talked about the process of taking the SAT test in his day, which essentially meant getting a good night's sleep, practicing a few problems, taking the test once, and "that was it".   I remember those days . . . and while long gone, one wonders is education really better for it?

Syverson, VP for Enrollment & Dean of Admissions at Lawrence University -  clocking in at $43,719. for tuition plus room and board - continued the conversation by juxtaposing today's reality of test-prep as a billion dollar industry with questions as to the efficacy and fairness of the tests.  (See Fairtest  for further resources and research).

Enter Silvie Baldwin, high school senior, who will be applying to "test-optional" colleges, such as Lawrence, as well as traditional colleges, as both an experiment and a statement.  Via Inside Higher Ed

"Sylvie Baldwin is trying to apply the idea of being a "conscientious objector" to the world of admissions testing.

With a growing number of colleges ending SAT or ACT requirements, students who don't want to submit test scores have the option these days of seeking only such institutions -- and it's increasingly possible for those seeking liberal arts colleges to do so while having a wide range of prestigious institutions to pick from. But Baldwin doesn't think that goes far enough to challenge the primacy of the testing industry. So the high school student is planning to apply to a range of colleges -- test-optional and those still requiring the ACT or SAT -- but she will refuse to take another standardized test ever again.

She is going public with her plan by, together with Lawrence University, posting a video about her views on YouTube:

See 4:47 Video Below.
Let us know what you think -

We highly recommend checking out and joining the conversation:   Wake Forest University's "Rethinking Admissions: Continuing the Conversation".

For related stories from The Daily Riff:
Three Great Reads about Standardized Testing
Stephen Colbert in The Colbert Report:  "How To Ace The SAT's"  (humor)
Famous Failures Who "Didn't Make The Grade"
The Underground Guide:  Outsmarting the SAT's

H/t to Jim Horne
Published The Daily Riff 10/2010
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