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Standardizing change in education

Credit to Charlotte Glasser ’25

In this age of constantly increasing academic pressure, the significance of standardized testing is not lost on anyone. As students, we spend so much time preparing for exams like the SAT and the ACT because of the weight they carry in the world of education, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Why should one number have such a large impact on our futures? How can capability be measured with a standardized test if intelligence isn’t standard?

The answer is: it can’t. Any test is a single snapshot of a student, a single hour; imagine how that’s thrown off with a bad night of sleep, a poor breakfast or a fight with a best friend. As high schoolers, we’ve been told millions of times not to worry about just one test—that it’s no big deal—and there’s no reason that notion shouldn’t extend to standardized tests.

When it comes to students, our goal as a society should be to push for success in any way possible. That can’t be done if 12 years of education and hard work are overshadowed by a number between one and 1600. I’ve dedicated so much time and energy to my future, and the thought that one Saturday morning come spring could completely derail that is terrifying to me; I know I’m not alone in this.

Perhaps the one good thing to come of the 2020 pandemic was many colleges’ decision to make standardized test score submission optional. Even as a sophomore, I could feel the relief of last years’ graduating class because of that fact, and I can’t imagine I was the only one. It’s my hope as a student that administrators feel that too—and, more importantly, listen to it.

Living in an affluent community like Grosse Pointe leaves us shielded somewhat from the truths in the educational experience, and the truth is it’s far from standardized. As kids, it is important we understand the variances in educational opportunity, even before college. While, in theory, tests are just about what you know, in practice they’re also about how much time and money you have to put towards tutors, classes and as many retakes as you want to get the perfect score. With so many factors playing into it, how can we truly feel standardized testing is still a necessary practice?

Our generation is the future, and no one’s future should be decided by a test booklet and a pencil. Intelligence is so much more than what you can show in a couple of hours; it’s the person you are over years of growing, changing and learning. Maybe these tests were effective when they were put into practice, but as our society changes with modern times, our educational practices need to keep up with it.

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Glasser '25
Charlotte Glasser '25, Supervising Page Editor
When she’s not baking or watching Gilmore Girls, second year staffer and Supervising Copy Editor Charlotte Glasser ’25 is behind the computer making The Tower newspaper come alive. Glasser takes French through University of Detroit Mercy, her goal is to become fluent; she was inspired this year after her trip to France in July, this past summer.“I think that French is such a beautiful language and I have always wanted to be bilingual,” Glasser said. Both of Glasser’s siblings have been on The Tower in years prior—her sister enjoyed it so much that Glasser decided to follow in her footsteps. She said that one of the reasons she loves Tower is that journalism is its style of writing.“If essay writing or creative writing isn’t your thing, maybe this is and I love how Tower has something for everyone,” said Glasser.

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