Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain On The Liberal Arts Tradition

Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain On The Liberal Arts Tradition

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Sean-Michael Pigeon, Young Voices Contributor and Yale University student, joins Jeremy to discuss his recent USA Today op-ed, “Don’t Blame the Tests: Getting Rid of Standardized Testing Means Punishing the Poor.” He discusses studies over the past decade which examined score disparities in relation to socio-economic status and led to public questions concerning higher education access—ultimately, the current social moment deems standardized tests as a driver of systemic unfairness. Sean-Michael discusses this movement as promoting equity by attacking “academic sorting.” He notes that school districts across the country are eliminating advanced learning classes and traditional A-F grading systems in an effort to reduce unequal outcomes, but are in effect eliminating opportunities for marginalized communities to showcase their talent. He argues that this approach will only exacerbate the ability of the wealthy and well-connected to dominate academic systems.

Host Jeremy Tate @JeremyTate41

Guest Sean-Michael Pigeon @pigeon_sean

USA Today: Don’t Blame The Tests


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Episode Transcript

On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammelled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains. But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?