T.M. Landry is Emblematic of a Larger Issue

by Lucas Humel

The unaccredited Louisiana high school named T.M. Landry, made famous for its viral videos of students opening acceptance letters to elite schools like Harvard and Stanford, has recently been accused of falsifying applications and neglecting students. Most of students’ time is spent preparing for standardized testing and faculty invent stories of troubled home life and non-profit organizations started by students to put on their recommendation letters. Many questions arise from this scandal, but one deserving of an answer is this: if these students at T.M. Landry did not receive a full education and their transcripts and recommendation letters were falsified, how did they get accepted to such prestigious schools?

The story of T.M. Landry indicates that the admittance process is flawed at the very least. Because high schools that submit applications to the best colleges in the country are so varied in difficulty and prestige, standardized tests are the only reliable gauge of academic achievement. The only issue is that the SAT and ACT represent about as much of a student’s mental capabilities as a sheep intestine did in the olden days. The next best measure  is another College Board monstrocity: AP tests, and the last time I gained a meaningful lesson from an AP class I still hadn’t lost all will to live from studying for AP tests. Standardized curriculum sucks, but that is not a dealbreaker to education professionals if it sucks for each student equally. Sounds like communist propaganda to me. But individuality is a small sacrifice for cutting down on administrative costs. The only casualties are the underserved students of T.M. Landry now thrust into elite programs with no experience and light to severe emotional abuse. Indeed only they are negatively affected by nationwide indoctrination into the cult of the College Board.

I truly would be sad about this if I weren’t such a perfect specimen of the AP curriculum. I got a solid 4 on English Language and Composition and I’m absolutely empty inside. The dilapidated status of the modern standardized high school is clear if you look at kids today. They have no personality so they get it from the internet. I’m about one “big mood” away from self-immolation Thích Quảng Đức style.

So, what is the solution? Can there ever be an end to all this malarkey? Do kids still use the word malarkey? Well, it’s simple. Stop. Applying. To Harvard. You will never get in. What are you going to do at Harvard anyway? The first brick in the road to AP testing was the notion that it would get students into the best colleges, but that can’t happen if everyone takes them. It becomes impossible to distinguish yourself in a sea of T.M. Landry graduates with newly ironed-on valedictorian badges and inexplicably perfect ACT scores. For now, just be thankful you’ve been spared living in Louisiana.

WC: 973

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