On June 14, the University of Chicago announced that it would no longer require SAT or ACT scores for applicants starting in 2023, joining a small but growing set of test-optional colleges and universities. If this trend continues across a wide array of institutions, it could not only reduce high school students’ stress during the application process, but also contribute to more diverse and equitable college admissions.
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Privatization of government-run services, from education to infrastructure, has been an ongoing trend in recent decades, and SpaceX continued it by successfully launching a private rocket in 2008. Robert Frost, a NASA instructor and flight controller, aptly explains of the pros and cons of this shift here, and alludes to the tensions between of public good and private profit that are a root cause of many complex challenges.
Oberlin Diaries 5: Innovating Inclusion
I’m the minority here. The high school students in my sustainable business seminar embody far greater diversity than the cohort of professionals with whom I regularly work. I’m deeply invested in the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin program because more of my meetings should resemble the mix represented in this classroom. Making such pivotal educational opportunities more accessible is paramount. Despite good intentions, greater inclusion won’t just happen, it must be cultivated. Solving complex challenges often requires the wisdom of multiple perspectives. I’ve watched our students not just tolerate or overcome their differences, but rather combine, align and build upon them over the last month. Which doesn’t mean that everything always goes smoothly. However, living in close community for two weeks imbues these future leaders from across the country and world with a common experience, trusted bonds, and a sense of urgency that helps them navigate the occasional turbulence of collaboration. I continue to have my assumptions challenged and to learn from these motivated teens from backgrounds very different than my own, profoundly knowing that our success is dependent on theirs.
P.S. Due to robust demand this year, Foresight needs to raise $20K by August to cover the requisite scholarship resources to support the economically and racially diverse student body that is the program’s foundation. I would rather assume this challenge than turn away passionate, engaged and highly qualified students who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend. It only takes a minute to make a one-time, or monthly, tax-deductible donation at: www.foresightprep.org/donate. Is it worth it? I’d invite you to read some of this year's weekly e-postcards posted on the program’s homepage. Each of our students embraced uncertainty, courageously grasping the opportunity to positively inflect their trajectories and, quite possibly, ours.
Many thanks to those who have already contributed and made a difference!
Oberlin Diaries 4: Risk and Its Rewards
You never know. For some, the phrase invokes paralyzing fear. For me, it presents a motivating challenge. When the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College summer program was launched four years ago, part of the fun was seeing if we could do it: Create a best-of-class experiential education program that empowered highly-diverse, sustainability-minded teenage leaders. Participants arrive never completely knowing what to expect; we teachers are never certain what our students will be like. We navigate the unknown together, forging community, knowledge and connections that in many cases far outlast the two-week seminars. Such experiences are essential for a more vibrant and resilient future.