A few things have been getting my attention lately (besides the impeachment of the president). One is the large numbers of colleges and universities that are making standardized tests optional or eliminating them all together. By the time March 25th rolls around, there will almost certainly be more, so I won’t even bother to mention the latest to join the club.
The second thing is the Iowa caucuses, which get an awful lot of attention every four years, as we gear up for another presidential election cycle. And when I–a native Iowan, as many know–think of Iowa, I think of the people there. And I often think of one particular Iowan most people have probably never heard of. Go ahead, guess who it is.
It’s this guy. If you don’t know him, you should. He’s been called the greatest human being who ever lived. He won the Nobel Prize and America’s highest honor given to a civilian, The Congressional Gold Medal. Congress actually voted unanimously to honor him. It’s been said he saved the lives of a billion people. He was born in Saude, Iowa, on March 25, 1914. The town is so small you can’t even get Google Street View.
So, how does this tie into test optional day? Here’s a section from the Wikipedia page: When Borlaug applied for admission to the University of Minnesota in 1933, he failed its entrance exam, but was accepted at the school’s newly created two-year General College. After two quarters, he transferred to the College of Agriculture’s forestry program.
The greatest human being who ever lived. And he failed his college entrance exams.
I often think of Norman Borlaug when I talk to people about test-optional admissions. Because I wonder how many people have been kept from college, kept from their dreams, and kept from accomplishing something that might put them in his company.
So I’m going to say March 25th is Test-optional college admissions day. I’ll use #TestOptionalDay on social media, and I hope you will too. This is a story that needs to be told.
Who’s with me?