Finding the next Rhodes scientist in southern Los Angeles
By Caylin Louis Moore, Voices Contributor Friday, 27 September 2019 Facebook Twitter Email Whatsapp Menu Whatsapp Google Reddit Digg Stumbleupon Linkedin Comment Caylin Moore and his wife Paola at Oxford University courtesy of Caylin Moore
I fell asleep during the SAT. In the second part of the test, I had run out of energy. Then I rarely had enough to eat, nor did I eat breakfast that day. I woke up after about 20 minutes and worked furiously to answer everything I could. For financial reasons, repetition of the exam was not allowed.
I grew up in Compton, California, and getting into a good college was my dream that could change my life and help me create a new legacy. No one in my area of influence would have helped me navigate the preparation for college entrance exams. In fact, on the day I fell asleep during the SAT, I had no idea that other students had studied for the exam. Even if I had known, I certainly would not have been able to participate in private tutoring and test preparation, which is projected to reach $ 17.5 billion in the United States by 2020. My lack of SAT instruction was evident in my results.
Many people in my community and beyond saw going to college as a dream for Compton's child. School work is secondary to survival, so many boys like me just wanted to be 18 years old. The result of my SAT could have left my dreams behind. After jumping out of the seemingly impossible pitfalls of childhood, including political decisions beyond my control, I was fortunate to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics while balancing college athletics and part-time work. Today I am a researcher in Rhodes and a graduate of Oxford University in England, wanting to become a university professor.
How does a child from Compton to Oxford? I am still trying to answer this question myself. Our family fought the deprivation, but my mother taught us to fight the racist policies that animated the air. He reminded us that we may live in a hood, but that does not mean that the hood must live in us. Despite my mother's optimism and the fact that she did not measure our value by other standards, the college entrance exam was one of the obstacles to future college opportunities.
Recent scandals have shown that many wealthy parents have mercilessly decided to see their child in a prestigious university. Although these families can afford private tuition, tutoring, and preparation classes, some have also taken bribes. This illegal ploy is not only possible for lower-income families, but also clearly reflects the different values of education.
Parents who cheat on the system do so to ensure the symbolic and social benefits of elite education. They see ivory too degrees as an optional accessory. At the same time, families with limited resources see higher education as one of the few ways out of poverty. And as a 17-year-old with a very humble background, college education meant the opportunity to break the cycles of poverty and the opportunity to make the world a better place in my own individual way.
The meaningless SAT was not the end of my story, nor was poverty. I have met many other students of our beloved people who have decided to stay in school despite the unfavorable circumstances. These young people acquire a variety of life skills at an early age through a positive response to adversity, critical thinking, self-discipline and empathy. These valuable skills cannot be measured by the college entrance examination, but they are crucial to the success and success of the university. If university admissions officers could assess these skills alongside exam results, they could recognize and unleash a generation of world changers. College Board chief executive David Coleman has said low grades should never be a veto on a student's life. I agree. I am living proof that a student's potential cannot be quantified by a single test.
The college board that manages the SAT recently introduced a tool that can provide a complete picture of students living in places like Compton. The Landscape Tool is not a silver dot, but it helps assist host officials who want to look at students' academic achievements in the context of their place of residence and study. Anti-antique efforts, such as this new dashboard, will help balance a test that is rooted in eugenics. I commend all efforts to ensure equality for lower-income students.
Big dreams can be promoted. Education can be democratised and quality and access extended, even to young people living under the hood. I stand by the millions of Americans working for social, economic, and educational improvements that will ensure that more children are dreamed of. I am the first Rhodes scientist from Compton. I want to make sure I'm not the last.
Caylin Louis Moore is the author of "Too Big a Dream: The Story of an Irreparable Journey from Compton to Oxford." Caylin grew up in Compton, California. After graduating from the Christian University of Texas, he became a 2017 Rhodes Scholar. Caylin recently graduated from Oxford University's Jesus College and wants to become a university professor. Moore and his wife Paola have one daughter, Mia.
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