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Removing Mandatory SAT's is Working--Kind of

Quote of the Week:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

Fact of the Week:

Just last year, the smallest reptile on the planet was discovered and reported in an issue of Scientific Reports. Found in northern Madagascar, a species of tiny chameleons measures just 1.14 inches long.

However, a small body means a big… well, I’ll let you infer. Its you know what measures “almost 20% of its body length,” according to BestLife.

News Update:

Via The California Aggie

If you graduated high school prior to 2021, the word “SAT” is sure to bring back memories—most of them, likely, unpleasant. You can probably recall this standardized test: the sweltering third floor classroom, the dozens of stressed and anxious faces of your peers, the timer sitting so boldly, so dauntingly at the front of the room, counting down the minutes and seconds until your imminent doom.

And that horror was only for several hours while taking the test. You surely spent endless afternoons and weekends being pestered by your mother to study, those picturesque fall evenings viewed only through a window while you sat at the table and dragged your way through the practice tests.

Yet there is a new generation of students who may never know what that was like. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, it was no longer possible to safely administer standardized tests (the SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests). While there had previously been talk of colleges no longer requiring scores, it now became a nationwide conversation—and a reality. Many universities went test optional, and even more test blind.

Two years later, schools are now analyzing the effects of this change. Many are liking what they find.

According to an NBC News article, “Research on colleges that went test optional years ago shows that students admitted without test scores come from more diverse backgrounds and do about as well in their classes once they arrive as peers who did submit test scores.”

The article closely follows Cornell University, which saw a huge spike in applications—from 50,000 to 71,000—after going test optional. Many of those students were immigrants or students of color or low-income. They did not have access to the same study materials or courses as wealthier students, resulting in lower scores. Because of their lower scores, they did not apply to top universities, essentially “self-rejecting” themselves.

However, other schools are again requiring standardized tests. MIT has already done this. Yale “found that higher scores predicted better academic success, even when researchers controlled for other factors.” They are not yet reverting back mandatory standardized tests but will monitor the results over the next few years to make a decision.

“The organizations that make the SAT and ACT acknowledge that wealthier, whiter students do better on average on the exams than other groups of students,” NBC News stated, “but they say the tests are merely measuring inequality in the nation’s education system — not causing it.”

These groups argue that the SAT is available to all, free to practice, and even free to take for low-income students. If anything, they say, this is the most fair way to judge a student without external factors playing a role.

Ultimately, it will be up to the individual schools to decide whether or not to require standardized tests. But one thing is for certain: the days of old are gone. No longer will every student suffer and grind through the SAT in that sweltering third floor classroom.

NBC News contributed to this article.

Sports Update:

Via The Heartland Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Several weeks ago we wrote about Jocelyn Alo (of Oklahoma University) and her pursuit to break the all-time home run record in NCAA softball. Now she’s done it, and she hasn’t just passed the mark—she’s smashed it. Alo has a career total of 109 homeruns, 14 more than previous record holder Lauren Chamberlain, a Sooner herself from 2012-2015.

However, this isn’t an update just about Alo’s greatness, but about her team. Oklahoma is the number-one ranked team in the country with a perfect 33-0 record. The next fewest losses by any team is four.

Over their last four games OU has outscored its opponents 52-0. In fact, this season they have scored 354 runs while giving up just 27. Their largest victory was their most recent one—a 21-0 win over Texas Tech.

The team has fourteen more games until the Big 12 Championships, which are followed by the College World Series. Their eyes will be on repeating as national champions, but they have the chance to do something very special that no team has ever done before: go undefeated for the entire year. And with the way OU is playing, it’s not just possible—it’s probable.

Want to win a $15 gift card to Last Cup Scaries? DM the correct answer of this riddle to lastcupclothing on Instagram, and if you are the first person to respond correctly, we’ll send you a gift card! Previous winners are excluded.

You have two coins that equal 30 cents, and one of them is not a quarter. Which coins do you have?

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