Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
57° Rockville, MD
The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

Nathan celebrates after breaking the school record for the 3,200 meter race. Used with permission from Nathan Szubin.
Student breaks school record in track race
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • April 21, 2024

When junior Nathan Szubin stepped up to the line of the 3,200 meter race in the Johns Hopkins Invitational Meet on April 19, he had a different...

Arditi Zarouk (second from left) celebrates the 50-year anniversary of Perach with her team at the residence of Israeli President Herzog. Used with permission from Arditi Zarouk.
Former students and staff readjust to Israel in the wake of war
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • April 19, 2024

The Israeli embassy and military send over emissaries every year, and many of these families choose to send their kids to CESJDS. When they go...

A day of matzo meals
A day of matzo meals
Sophie Schwartz, Opinion Editor • April 18, 2024

Many people dread Pesach time, when their beloved chametz (leaven) is replaced with dry, brittle matzo. However, if presented well, matzo does...

Junior Evan Klepper gets ready for his WIS opponent to serve
Lions tennis fall short to WIS
Isaiah Segal-Geetter, Reporter • April 18, 2024

“Twenty four on 3, Mashiach on 6,” junior and tennis captain Evan Klepper said to the varsity boys tennis team before their match against...

Eighth grade visits Capitol Hill
Eighth grade visits Capitol Hill
Jonah Mitre, Reporter • April 17, 2024

To put their learning from government class into perspective, eighth grade students visited Capitol Hill on April 10 for a field trip. Throughout...

At the college fair on April 7, Pitzer College representatives boasted about their Students Justice for Palestine (SJP) club to a Jewish student.
Opinion: Colleges need to support Zionist students
Stella Muzin, Editor-in-Chief • April 16, 2024

On April 7, I attended the Washington Area Independent Schools College Fair, which was co-sponsored by CESJDS along with other schools from the...

Change the standard

Sunny Coxe

As students sit in large, crowded rooms during their standardized testing sessions, waves of worry and anxiety build while they consider the significance of their test scores. Each score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT), a simple number out of 1600 or 36, is often a paramount factor in the college admission process. However, as students, we are so much more than a single number. Standardized tests do not tell the story of each individual, and therefore are not a fair representation of high school students. 

As some universities begin returning to the pre-COVID-19 Test Required status, the higher-education system is moving away from the holistic approach they claim to value. When college admission officers review applications in which each student submits a test score, it will become nearly impossible to ignore the blaring number that appears to represent a student’s academic aptitude.

Even within our own community, CESJDS began moving away from valuing the product over process at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year. Through the implementation of the “Grading for Learning” policy, the JDS administration made it clear that high school students should value the learning process rather than the scored result. However, standardized tests reinforce the opposite idea to millions of students across the world as well as the impressionable JDS student body. 

Additionally, although standardized tests are intended to be the only “fair” way to evaluate two students side-by-side, the advantages offered to wealthier applicants makes this an impossible reality. According to the National Center for Education, one in 10 students receive “high-dosage tutoring” for standardized tests. However, tutoring is an additional expense that only wealthier families can afford. This means that one in every 10 students has an inflated test score that misrepresents their originally learned skills, and not everyone has the same opportunity. 

Test anxiety also plays a very significant role in a student’s performance on standardized testing. The University of California Los Angeles School Mental Health Project reported that between 40-60% of students have test anxiety that significantly interferes with their individual performance. If there are so many students who have such a significant disadvantage since they don’t receive tutoring, how are these scores supposed to present a fair evaluation of each student? 

Furthermore, throughout high school many students participate in extracurricular activities beginning freshman year. They dedicate hours upon hours to their hobbies and passions for up to four years, and spend a mere few hours in a testing session. Personal statements and essays tell the story of each student’s extended experiences, and are therefore a stronger representation of each applicant’s story. 

External factors have changed the landscape of university applications in the United States. Not only have test scores become an inaccurate representation of a student’s academic performance, there are also much more holistic ways to evaluate an applicant. 

Society is evolving to emphasize the importance of the process rather than the result of a given endeavor. The time has come for universities to evolve as well, and understand that standardized test scores are not an accurate representation of high school students.

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