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Dartmouth College first Ivy League to reinstate standardized-testing requirement



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Oh how the tides are changing. Dartmouth College, one of the so-called elite Ivy League institutions is reinstating the SAT requirement for admissions beginning with the Class of 2029. The requirement was ended as one of the consequences of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Dartmouth president Sian Beilock wrote an email to the university community that the decision to reimplement the standardized test was made in response to a faculty study which found that “standardized test scores are an important predictor of a student’s success in Dartmouth’s curriculum” regardless of a “student’s background or family income.”

“We’re getting more and more applications from all around the world, and so in order to find high achieving students, test scores turn out to be a really helpful tool,” said one of the professors involved in the review, Bruce Sacerdote. “Our analysis shows that we potentially miss out on some great applicants when we don’t have [test scores].”

Critics of the test requirement claimed it was a handicap for underprivileged students, thwarting their chances to “succeed”. Now, however, the narrative is that rather than a handicap to underprivileged students, the test requirement can help shine a spotlight on achievers from poor areas.

“That’s why testing is so helpful to less advantaged students because when admissions sees, ‘Wow, this student is really excelling in a less than perfect environment,’ that can be a very strong signal for that candidate,” Sacerdote said.

Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Lee Coffin, clarified that grades and extracurriculars are still important on an application, but they proved insufficient for selecting the most promising students as the vast majority of applicants have very high grades and are very involved in extracurriculars.

“Social science has a concept called the ceiling effect,” Coffin told the Dartmouth. “When you plot people in a curve, there’s a cluster at the top of the curve. That’s our applicant pool. Most of the people who apply to Dartmouth are straight A students.”

Even for the last few years of “test-optional,” most of the students who ended up at the college sent in testing results as part of their file, Coffin added. The college suspects that the applicant pool will shrink as a result of the move. But rather than viewing that fact as something that is disenfranchising students, the college sees it also as a mechanism to weed out unserious candidates.

“I would be sad as the Dean of Admissions if people were applying to Dartmouth only because we’re test-optional,” Coffin said.

National Review reports that “amid the pandemic in June 2020, Harvard University temporarily waived its requirement that applicants submit their SAT or ACT standardized test scores. The school then extended the waiver in 2021 and again for the 2022-2026 application cycles. In March 2023, Columbia University ditched its standardized test requirement for incoming undergraduate students. Two years prior, the University of California system eliminated both the SAT and ACT tests from admissions decisions across its ten schools, including Berkeley.”

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Michigan asks residents to house migrants, enroll children in school and help adults find employment



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Michigan is asking its residents to help with the mess its leadership created and house migrants in their own homes. The state Department of Labor and Economic Development said volunteers who participate must commit for at least 90 days as part of the refugee support program.

In addition to opening up their homes, sponsors are expected to support newly arrived refugees by greeting them at the airport, securing and preparing initial housing, enrolling children in school and helping adults find employment.

“Programs like the Welcome Corps advance the Office of Global Michigan’s mission to make Michigan the home for opportunity for our immigrant, refugee and ethnic communities,” said Poppy Hernandez, Global Michigan Director and Michigan’s Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. “Expanded refugee resettlement pathways empower more Michiganders to support our state’s growing refugee population and build a more welcoming and inclusive Michigan for all.”

The migrants will come from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, all points of origin where many have been hoping to apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Fox News reports “cities like New York and Chicago have also dealt with issues related to migrants committing crimes, as well as pushback from residents who have voiced anger and concern over the influx. Migrant shelters in those cities have largely been full, forcing officials to come up with ways to safely house the migrants.”

Last year, Massachusetts officials asked residents to open their doors as migrant shelters were full at the time. “Most importantly, if you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family. Housing and shelter is our most pressing need and become a sponsor family,” said Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.

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