Eye of the Tiger

College Board stunts success

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(SINO OULAD DAOUD/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(SINO OULAD DAOUD/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(SINO OULAD DAOUD/EYE OF THE TIGER)

SINO OULAD DAOUD

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To exploit American students, one must slow the progress of American education as much as possible.

The best way to do this would be to place education in the hands of one organization that squeezes every penny out of students, yet uses none of it to benefit society. Some sort of monopoly would establish standards which American schools will accept, corrupting the nation’s education, while convincing the public that education is progressing. This task seems impossible, but so long as there are those who want to abuse the students of America, it can be done.

First, the company must establish basic standards for all high school students. They must be low, as students must not become skillful or intelligent. An aptitude test might contain remedial mathematics and grammar questions, but demand lightning speed and unreasonable accuracy. They would spend hours studying concepts they learned years ago, and eventually master this exam while learning nothing, as one might master spinning a pencil around their thumb.

The company would need a convincing face. It could be named something official, like “The College Council,” or “The University Board” and call itself a “nonprofit” organization so that Americans think the company aims to benefit society, not monopolize education. The company could settle a profitable agreement with American universities to legitimize, and even to require their exam as the key to admission.

The company could use these college-entrance exams to penny-pinch America’s children, charging them some $40 to $50 to mail their school an exam in bulk and send their score to one college, and charge them yet again for every additional college they hope to attend. Better still: the organization could send a few scores for free on the condition that the student send the scores without seeing them, and for no rational purpose take two weeks to send them electronically.

They should birth an entire curriculum – a supposedly more sophisticated one – based on scoring well on another exam, and call it something like “Advanced Selection.” Schools could introduce these courses, force teachers to adhere to its standards, and award additional weight for completion of each course. Gullible students would then have further incentive to take them, and the most gullible might take some solely for the weighted grade boost.

In reality, the courses would be 100% theoretical – science classes would “design” labs rather than do them, mathematics students would write more words and solve fewer problems, and all other courses would lead students to fantasize about careers rather than experience them. Americans would be left with consistently mediocre students entering the job market, and yet be convinced that this curriculum is somehow better than that of the past or even those belonging to other countries (though statistics would probably show the contrary).

The above mentioned “Advanced Selection” exams should prove difficult, be administered in a cluster once a year, and cost double the price of the college-entrance exam. Students could take any exam they wanted any time, for they must not be denied the opportunity to spend more money even if their school fails to offer a course. Regardless of whether colleges accept the scores as transferable credit, students would take the exams to satisfy their own academic egos and receive a number—a vague score out of 5 to remind them how little they understood the subject.
The “high-achieving” students would provide the greatest revenue, for they pay hundreds of dollars on tests and study materials to perfect their college-entrance exam. Some will hire tutors for tips on taking the once-in-a-lifetime exam! Other students meeting the National Lunch Act criteria might qualify for exam fee waivers and, annoyingly, be charged a fair price of around $5 for each exam. But this is alright, since one regular-price exam can pay to produce some 10 others.

If done correctly, this corporation could halt, and ideally reverse American education. Statistics centered on the company’s exam pass rates would define the quality of teachers and schools, and ultimately represent the progress of American education. As a result, the “Advanced Selection” classes will proliferate, teachers will become slaves to the exams, and eventually, students will solely learn the company’s curriculum.

Any governmental attempts to reform education would be ineffective, so long as the company controls the American high school curriculum. Students will spend hundreds of dollars and hours and learn nothing of worth; and the “nonprofit” company’s owners will keep the surplus money for themselves. It’s foolproof.

Well, not entirely. Hopefully they continue believing college is the only doorway to happiness. They won’t change though, so long as they continue to believe their education is safe in the “free market.”

About the Writer
SINO OULAD DAOUD, Reporter, Online Co-editor

[email protected]

Description

Sino Oulad Daoud worked as the News Editor; he has since moved on into freelance writing for EOT, managing the EOT website, and providing photos and cartoons for other stories.

Activities

Art Club, President. In his spare time, Sino enjoys painting, playing the piano, programming, or reading.

Career Aspirations

Software engineer

Favorite Artist

Frederic Chopin, The Beetles

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