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Let’s Have Better Debates About Standardized Tests


Standardized tests debate needs fair representation of opposing views. Misrepresentation, as seen in Akil Bello’s piece advocating test-optional policies, hinders productive discussion. Standardized tests provide common measure, account for grade inflation, and despite being influenced by societal inequality, are less subjective than essays and recommendations. Critics argue tests are unfair, irrelevant, and magnify social inequality. Test-optional policies dilute difference between good and bad scores, and create uncertainty about score submission. Bello’s false dichotomy of tests creating winners and losers, and his questioning of critics’ priorities, are misleading. Removing tests increases influence of grades and other application aspects, potentially leading to uninspiring high school extensions and unethical treadmills. Ignoring evidence of students

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