We can look back and identify any number of individual decisions taken and not taken that made this hurricane such a social disaster. But the larger picture is more than the sum of its parts. It is not a radical conclusion that the dimensions of the Katrina disaster owe in large part not just to the actions of this or that local or federal administration but the operation of a capitalist market more broadly, especially in its neo-liberal garb. The refusal to tackle global warming is rooted in the global power of the petroleum and energy corporations which fear for their profits and which, not coincidentally, represent the social class roots of the Bush administration’s power; the New Orleans population were vulnerable not because of geography but because of long term class and race abandonment – poverty – exacerbated by the dismantling of social welfare by Democratic and Republican administrations alike; the incompetence of FEMA preparations expressed cocooned ruling class comradery, cronyism and privilege rather than any concern for the poor and working class; and the reconstruction looks set to capitalize on these inequalities and deepen them further. Not at any point in the next few decades will African Americans again account for two-thirds of New Orleans’ population.
Because so many students at the top universities have great ACT or SAT scores, I do recommend that students *consider* Subject Tests. You’ll only want to worry about them if you think that they can improve your testing portfolio. In the case of elite schools like Columbia, that means 750+ (or at least 700+). You can try tests from the Official Guide published by College Board. Fewer schools than ever are requiring the Subject Tests — especially with ACT scores. It would be a little challenging to fit them in (including preparing for them) as senior year starts and application season begins, so you may want to just sit tight with your ACT score.