Iowa City Noon Rotary

Our Meeting was called to order by President Ryan Bell
The attendees sang “Smile” a cappella
President Ryan Bell announced that 2023-24 invoices are on their way via email and regular mail. Please pay them as soon as possible.
We are also looking for a backup Sargeant in Arms. Please see Ryan, Verne, or Margaret if you are interested in assisting with this important job.
Rtn. John Schneider has been battling health issues and wanted to let the club know that he is going under experimental treatment for lymphoma at Mayo clinic. Please keep him in your thoughts.
You can follow the Flight to End Polio on Facebook or The pilots have encountered some challenges, but are safely in Germany at this time.
Rtn. Barb Thomas is currently Down Under at the Rotary International Convention in Melbourne this week.
Rtn. Usha Balakrishnan introduced Linn-Mar high school student Tejas Guruaja. He sang the National Anthem at the last two Rotary District Conferences and was recently named one of 161 Presidential Scholars in the entire county (only 4 were from Iowa). Tejas plans to attend Northwestern University and double major in Nueroscience and Vocal Performance. Tejas treated our Club to his beautiful rendition of “Imagine” on guitar and received a standing ovation.
Rtn. Brad Baldes and Rtn. Heather Croskrey reminded the Club that the Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament is on June 5th. There is still a need for some golfers and volunteers during the afternoon and evening. Please check out the website to sign up:
Rtn. Kelley Krueger introduced today’s speaker, Janet Godwin, CEO of ACT. Janet started at ACT in 1990 in test development and held several roles before becoming CEO in 2020.
Janet began her program by discussing the term “Test Optional”. Test Optional is a college admissions policy that allows students to choose to send a score as part of their admissions portfolio, but they are not required. The policy does not ignore scores if they’re sent. It started in largely elite schools and small private liberal arts colleges. It was widely adopted during the pandemic and now is here to stay. Only 13% of schools required standardized test scores in 2022, but the vast majority are Test Optional. All Iowa Regents schools are Test Optional.
Even in a Test Optional environment, test scores are still utilized by high education institutions for general admission decisions, course placement, scholarship awards, special academic programs, etc. One benefit for students and parents of Test Optional policies is that it has decreased anxiety about needing a “perfect” test school, but it also causes confusion in the process. An unintended consequence of not taking a test is that colleges cannot recruit students or offer scholarships, which leads to lost opportunities. Admissions and enrollment professionals have less information about the student without test scores and may place students into course they are not ready for. Grade inflation is a very real phenomenon, and many students are not ready for college level courses despite a high GPA – a test score can help identify these readiness gaps.
Janet’s practical advice is to have students take a test and see what the scores tell them. Opt-in to receive information from colleges and scholarship opportunities. Send scores so that colleges have the most information, so the student can be placed appropriately and be supported.
Janet ended by addressing questions about ACT’s role in the community. They are a nonprofit, but they do need to have revenues exceed expenses, which has been difficult to do, particularly since Covid. In the last years, ACT has stabilized, grown their business, and maintained solvency. There is more demand for ACT’s services than ever before and they will continue to adapt to meet the needs. The recent decision to eliminate 100 positions was extremely painful. The skills that are needed to allow ACT to adapt to changing technology are different many of the existing tech jobs. Additionally, the need for an extremely large campus was largely eliminated by Covid work trends of work from home and hybrid options. They simply need less space, but they will continue to be headquartered in Iowa City and committed to the community.
The meeting ended at 1:02pm with President Ryan Bell leading the assembly in reciting The Four Way Test.
Visiting Rotarians: Greg Probst (Iowa City PM); Gary Wicklund (Vale)
Guests: Kyla Bell (Ryan Bell); Becca Boblenz (Ryan Bell); Chloe Prichard (Ryan Bell); Laura Hartson (Ryan Bell); Antonio Marcilino (Ryan Bell); Marilyn Grover (Kelley Krueger); Janet Godwin (Kelley Krueger); John Roff (Cindy Crider); Laura Ebinger (Susan Brennan); Sarah Krieger (Hass Machlab); Paddy Puthige (Usha Balakrishnan); Tejas Gururaja (Usha Balakrishnan)
Program: Devin van Holsteijn; Attendance: Nancy Droll
Please forward any newsworthy items and/or photos to Janice Baldes to include in the weekly slide decks emailed to members prior to each meeting and shown just before Rotary meetings at the Club. You can send information to: Janice Baldes
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