If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?

The COVID-19 pandemic probably won’t kill the SAT, but will no doubt leave it in a badly weakened condition. Both the SAT (and its close competitor, the ACT) have had to cancel administration of their tests for the last few months and, according to this Washington Post story, universities have decided that they will make … Continue reading “If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?”



GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One 

At a time when only 41 percent of college students graduate in four years—and only 56 percent in five years—colleges and universities across the country are phasing out the only truly objective measure of academic excellence and student success in the application process: standardized tests. Next month, for example, the University of North Carolina Board … Continue reading “GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One “


It’s Time to Abolish Letters of Recommendation

Every year, professors around the world write millions of letters of recommendation. They write letters for admission to graduate schools, law schools, and medical schools. They write letters for tenure cases to help colleagues with their promotions. They write letters for students who wish to study abroad. They write letters for fellowships and scholarships. They … Continue reading “It’s Time to Abolish Letters of Recommendation”


Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School

Few factors affect the long-term direction of students’ lives more than the quality of their K-12 education. For students who decide to attend a four-year university, their ability to keep up with college-level work is closely linked to how well their high school prepared them. Additionally, high school is the ideal time to consider what … Continue reading “Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School”


Fixing a Liberal Arts Education Requires a Standardized Curriculum

In higher education, the value of a liberal arts education has been frequently debated. Defenders on the left argue that it exposes students to coursework and teaches critical thinking skills they would otherwise miss. Critics on the right, however, have argued that the liberal arts can be a vehicle for leftist indoctrination and provide minimal … Continue reading “Fixing a Liberal Arts Education Requires a Standardized Curriculum”



The Evidence for Standardized Tests Already Exists

Making college admissions “test-optional” has been steadily gaining steam among elite and liberal arts American colleges. In late September, Colby College and Rosemont College joined the hundreds of other institutions that do not require their applicants to submit standardized test scores to be admitted to the school. Other schools that have “test-optional” policies include Bowdoin … Continue reading “The Evidence for Standardized Tests Already Exists”


The Goucher College video app is a terrible idea

Back in the early 1990s, while I was in the middle of a long business career, I recall reading that the University of Pennsylvania had decided to add an unusual essay requirement for their undergraduate applicants. Specifically, the students were asked to submit “Page 217” of their 300-page autobiography. Remember now, these budding autobiographers were all of 17 years old.