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Got Complex Reading?
The AP Broadcast the Story Internationally – SAT Score Drop Biggest in 31 Years!
The New York Times began the story on page 1: Reading and math scores
Parts of the SAT show a significant decline.
In August 2006, the result of the new longer version of the SAT slammed the
American dream. The updated version featured a new writing section, advanced math questions, and more reading comprehension.
Was it fatigue because the new SAT took three hours and 45 minutes, instead
the standard three-hour exam? The College Board – owner of the SAT – denies
1.5 million children fell into little extra 45-minute chunks of ignorance.
The blame game
Some critics argue that the test itself is to blame – that we make our children
neurotic because they have to compete. It’s a question of mental pressure.
Last I looked, we live in the most competitive society on the planet.
We compete on the ball field, for our friends and in our personal careers. Competitive Americans compile statistics on everything, starting with how much toilet paper the average person uses during a given call of nature.
It’s our mindset to want to know the best, the worst and the average. Which city had the most, least, and average number of parking tickets or murders? How tall is the Empire State Building compared to other skyscrapers? Do American babies weigh more than French, German or Australian newborns?
It’s obvious to Americans that bigger is better in skyscrapers, babies and income.
What about the test results?
Results of a 50-year study
We’ve surveyed two million graduates over the years about learning, school and the value of lifelong personal growth. In the primary communication society, where computers and Internet use are beginning to rival car ownership, how does the average college graduate feel about school, learning, and personal growth?
You want the truth, not the shiny version using smoke and mirrors?
Students who attend school – from high school through college – hate, hate and
hate being in school. What percentage? Now remember, no one wants to deviate from our company values - even when answering a survey.
Seventy-three out of a hundred called the education system a total waste of time. The system sucked – that was a no-brainer.
Sixty-four percent of college graduates said they hated the school, their professors, and the program. The professionals – lawyers, doctors, engineers and teachers, spoke roughly with a forked tongue. Decades later, they still hate education, but their children must absorb everything they can to survive in our information economy.
Number 1 on their anger list is the unfairness of the test.
the burning bush
Like it or not, President Bush’s legacy will not be Iraq, the economy or Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans. It will be the No-Child-Left-Behind Act and additional federal testing mandated by Washington in the name of advancing education.
The unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind are keeping the SAT honest,
which is the last thing Americans want to happen. Honest test results inevitably lead
discovering that our students cheat to stay on par; they suck at math
and I hate to read anything other than Playboy.
US News and World Affairs even knows the top ten party colleges in the US
Wait – I thought for $50,000 per academic year – learning was the primary function. It’s time to talk about the Italian economist, Dr. Vilfredo Pareto, who is credited with the 80/20 rule.
The little vital – 20% – and the much useless – 80% – make us a university society. Up to
20% of students in each class will produce 80% of the best test scores.
This applies to our economy – 20% of your working hours are productive and 80% are
chatting, emails and career play.
It makes sense that the underground goal of the university is to choose the best party school for
the 80%. The United States survives thanks to the dedication of the 20% of athletes and competitors. You knew who they were in high school, college, and now in your office.
Okay, there are 1% late bloomers – like you and me.
You’ve never seen this word before, but you instantly know what it means. Quick puzzle
is the secret to tricking your teachers into thinking you’re an A student. It contains the underground strategies for passing your tests and your grades – without studying enough to crack a raw egg with an axe. It requires you to take the prep workshops, buy the crafted thesis, and study only from the textbook summary.
I have personal knowledge that it works because it allowed me to go to college and law school, and still have plenty of time to party.
Would it help the big world of 80% to 3x their reading speed, and 2x their memory? How about having lifelong skills to read and memorize three
books, articles and reports in time that your peers can barely even finish – one?
Did you know that up to 50% of all students entering four-year colleges,
didn’t graduate with their class?
How about the fact that 49% of high school students enter university without
ability to understand complex text? Does this explain the dropout rate – students
who cannot keep up with their daily reading assignments resign or are fired
by the administration?
Is there anything unfair or unethical about learning new skills to be successful in learning?
We recommend that you require your children to take the Kaplan – to ace workshop
their SAT – (we have absolutely nothing to do with them). Have them dedicate themselves to mastering speed-reading and abdicate their crown as Party-Animal
of the year.
Ask them to look around and point out the absence of ditch diggers, elevator operators – and those who used pump gas in your tank to make a living.
Let them know the rules of the knowledge economy – and their lives depend on it
massive processing of information – because winning the Lotto is not an option.
What about Bill Gates, he dropped out of Harvard in his freshman year?
We all have the right to choose our own metaphors – and aiming high is fine too.
Did you know that the US Department of Health reports that one in four
Americans suffer from a form of mental illness. Maybe depression, obsession or compulsion – rules?
Yes really. Look around your four best friends, family members or office associates. If it’s not one of the four, you might want to stop laughing so hard.
Copyright © 2006
H. Bernard Wechsler
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