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History and data indicate that “standardized testing” may just be a misnomer

students throwing graduation caps into the air in front of a college building
students throwing graduation caps into the air in front of a college building
a pre-coronavirus graduation (by vasily koloda)

The booklet lay flat open on my desk, its dark text fading from my frantic erasing. I stared at the question I had been on for the last three minutes, 144 seconds longer than I should have allowed myself, reading it over and over to no avail. “Five minutes left!” the proctor called, and I grimaced as I counted two whole pages remaining.

That day, like thousands of other students across the country, I was subjected to nearly four hours of intense testing with only a small ziplock bag of nuts to provide respite from the grueling exam. Much more…


boone hall plantation (official website)

When most people hear the word “plantation,” horrifying images of the brutal treatment of enslaved people come to mind. For others, however, the idea of a plantation evokes a refined and genteel way of life. Until recently, plantations were even included among venue ideas on wedding-planning websites such as The Knot, Brides, and Zola.

Yes, you read that right. People had their weddings at a place where African Americans had suffered for centuries. Who thought that was a good idea?

Apparently, actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds did. In 2012, the couple got married at the Boone Hall Plantation located…


And How You Can Fix It

black and white image of Wayne LaPierre with various bold colored shapes around him
black and white image of Wayne LaPierre with various bold colored shapes around him
Wayne LaPierre, CEO & Executive VP of that organization that loves its guns more than your kids

On December 14, 2012, a man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed twenty children and six staff members. …


Where do we draw the line to preserve equality and safety for everyone?

via Jenny Marvin on Unsplash

Renee Bach moved to Jinja, Uganda at just 18 years old to found her NGO, Serving His Children (SHC). The young missionary sought to help children battling malnutrition, and, on the surface, her commitment to improving their lives was undoubtedly admirable. Nevertheless, it soon came out that Bach “was actively practicing medicine on children that came to the center.” Bach, whose choice of medical training was none other than video-sharing website Youtube, jeopardized the lives of all the children she treated. …


Source: Unsplash

I’ve always thought that I wasn’t cut out for running. Seeing others posting post-workout pictures on Instagram or recording 30 miles of running per day on Strava was kind of terrifying. It definitely didn’t look like something I could do. But, I realized that, like anything else, if I put my mind to it, becoming a runner would not be too difficult.

My first big goal was running a 5K. I had originally looked at several plans for training to run a 5K online, but most of them were 8–9 weeks long, and that wasn’t the kind of time I…


The Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. March 21, 2016 (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

This trend reveals systemic negligence within our own government

Recently, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pledged to help the residents of Flint with their water crisis. Musk suggested “a weekend in Flint to add filters” to houses that lacked them. However, as pointed out by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, the solution to their problems requires “reestablishing trust, and rebuilding trust,” something that Musk does not take into account. …


Source: NY Daily News

Catcalling is taking its toll on millions of women, yet many people (perhaps even you) don’t care

I remember it almost like it was yesterday.

He whistled and yelled out “Hey there, cutie. Where do ya think you’re going?”

I was only twelve years old, and I didn’t understand this encounter. Who was this man? I didn’t know him. But, I knew that I didn’t like him talking to me.

I was attending summer classes in a new city and had stayed late after class, so I had to walk the few hundred feet to my dorm by myself. The man was sitting on the set of steps I was headed towards, and a few minutes after…


Source: Unsplash

I didn’t start coding until the summer before my freshman year in high school. Computer science didn’t seem like something I would like as I was more interested in humanities subjects. The lines and lines of code fazed me, and I wondered how I could possibly learn to write my own programs.

But, I decided to give it a try anyways. As a Silicon Valley native, I’ve grown up in a place where technology is the center of everything, so it kind of just made sense. I decided that it couldn’t hurt to try it out, so I enrolled in…


Via Unsplash

Why we need the March For Our Lives movement

Houston, we have a problem. And it’s a serious one: guns in America.

In the first three months of the year, America saw 57 mass shootings; that’s more than one shooting every two days. Ones such as the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting prompted outrage across the country, and many gathered to protest the lack of gun control. The March for our Lives is a prominent example with over 800,000 people attending the one that occured in Washington, D.C.

Yet, the government has failed to implement the necessary changes to keep its citizens safe. I mean, really? Arming teachers and…


Explaining the disastrous consequences of the repeal of net neutrality

Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should not block specific content based on user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. Enforced by Obama, it has ensured that Americans are given access to all information and data, regardless of the source.

However, last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed net neutrality, reversing the rules that increased oversight over broadband providers in 2015. …

julia biswas

she/her

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