Sorry for the awfully late post. I need to learn time management.
Lani Guinier is an author that wants to change established norms. Guinier wrote a book called “The Tyranny Of Meritocracy” to share her thoughts on how America can revolutionize its higher education system to give the middle class and lower class a fighting chance. A chance at success that is. Guinier describes meritocracy as “rule by merit” (Introduction, xi). Guinier goes on to further explain that she does not wish to destroy the concept of merit, but to change what our nation considers merit to be.(xi)
Meritocracy is a problem because it does not present a fair selection process for higher education to every child. Standardized testing has taken over America putting high levels of emotional, financial and additional educational burden on both the students and his/her family. A family with more wealth can more easily send their child to more elite school than a middle class family who can’t afford tuition.
Guinier shared an interesting example in her book of the Canadian student. She described the application and admission process of Gladwell University where the question wasn’t IF one could get in, but whether they chose to or not (6). Out there, the stressful application has been removed to allow students to breathe more easily and concentrate on what’s actually important, their education.
Another interesting comparison that Guinier made was Marine Corps vs modeling agency (6-7). She explained that the process to apply and be accepted to the Marines was not difficult because they knew that their rigorous boot camp would create the warriors needed by the country where as modeling agencies only higher individuals who are already beautiful. Guinier as well as I found it to very disturbing that our countries higher education recruitment is closer to the recruitment process of a modeling agency.
Standardized testing placed unfair restrictions upon the lower and middle class students by crippling them with impossible financial burdens. A child is not being looked at as an individual, but by the number they carry over their head. This concept removes the value of any single student preventing them from ever having the opportunity to cure cancer all because they didn’t perform well on a standardized exam. Evaluation of a student based on standard exams needs to removed from the education system and they instead need to be evaluated for their true merit. As a country that is built on revolutions, it needs a new one; The Education Revolution.
What was your experience like when preparing for the SATs?
Did the mundane application and prep process bring you unnecessary stress? How did you handle it? Also, did it affect your education in high school?