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"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"