Peter Sacks, Author and Speaker

"The GRE and Me: Prestige Versus Quality in American Higher Education"

Is the American “testing culture” about maintaining academic standards or something else? In this essay, I suggest there may be more to the story, namely colleges’ and universities’ pursuit of prestige and reputation in the age of U.S. News and World Report, which rates colleges and universities on factors that may have little to do with actual academic quality.

Despite the highly questionable utility of standardized tests to predict academic success, the unmitigated pursuit of prestige and reputation continue to prop up the use of deeply flawed standardized tests in higher education.

The piece includes a narrative section describing my own recent experience with the Graduate Record Exam, and the personal and ethical choices I'm confronted with.

The essay appears in the Spring 2003 issue of "Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice"

Books and Essays by Peter Sacks

Why conservatives should stop listening to anti-government critics on higher education.
Academe Magazine, American Association of University Professors
Essays and Commentary
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 12, 2007
Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice
From the Chronicle Review (Chronicle of Higher Education, July 25, 2003.
Review essay in The Nation, May 5, 2003.
Essay appears in the Spring 2003 issue of Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice
From the Jan. 8, 2003, issue of Education Week
Review essay of In Schools We Trust by Deborah Meier in The Nation, Nov. 18, 2002.
A review essay on the book, Fair Game?, by Rebecca Zwick for The Nation.
The Boston Review, December/January 2001
The Chronicle of Higher Education (Chronicle Review), June 8, 2001.
The School Administrator, Dec. 2000
While we often hear about the growing economic divide between the rich and the poor in America, Tearing Down the Gates locates the fountainhead of these growing economic disparities, our education system, and shows how the widening class divide results in an untold loss of human talent that will derail the American Dream --not just for some, but for us all.
A critical examination of America's 'testing culture' in schools, higher education, and the workplace, and how the American meritocracy can be more fair for all citizens.
An inquiry into "postmodern" American culture and its sometimes corrosive effects on qualilty in higher education.