I'd say we've gone too long without a good, old-fashioned disemboweling, wouldn't you?
Today's target comes from Fox News, of all places:
Time to toss the SAT test
Last year, 20 teenagers from five New York high schools were charged in an SAT cheating scandal; five of the students were accused of using fake IDs to take the college entrance exam for others and 15 were accused of paying students $500 to $3,600 to take the tests. Authorities believe as many as 50 students might have been involved.
Now, in an effort to curb cheating, the SAT will require students’ photos be printed on their test admission ticket.
There’s a better solution: Toss the test.
Do my Gentle Readers suspect that Miss Calandra's true motives have nothing to do with the prevalence of cheating on the SAT?
I'm not going to pull the whole moronic article over to Liberty's Torch. Please read the whole thing, then hustle back here for the refutation.
Finished so soon? My, my. I do hope you kept from dying of laughter.
Miss Calandra's argument reduces to the following:
- "Low income" students with deficient English skills are "too poor to cheat."
- The test is time-limited, which disadvantages slower thinkers.
- " The SAT measures proficiency only in writing, reading and math....[It] does not measure the potential success of a student who is a masterful photographer or another who excels at interior design."
- Those aforementioned "low income" students are "judged by their performance on the same standardized test as students with far more privileged backgrounds."
- And last but not least laughable, "Education is a birthright, not a privilege."
This...person makes her living, or part of it, preparing students for the SAT. Do you suppose she thinks that gives her "moral authority" on the subject?
This is so typical a left-liberal screed that it's a wonder it hasn't already attracted belly laughs from a thousand other commentators. Every last objection Miss Calandra posits against the SAT (and by implication, against standardized tests in general), amounts to an ill-disguised claim that it discriminates among students: in part according to their mastery of the fundamental skills required by learning, thought, and expression; in part according to the incomes of their parents. It's founded in its entirety on a radical egalitarian vision that presumes, not merely that "education is a birthright," but that every child should receive the same education, and the same outcome from it, as every other.
Well, here's a hot flash for you, lady: Children are not identical in their capacities for academic achievement. Indeed, they vary greatly, as an hour's exposure to any classroom in America will demonstrate. But that, of course, is utter blasphemy to a radical egalitarian such as Lion Calandra.
The plague of grade inflation in primary and secondary education, coupled to the collapse of actual academic standards in the government-run schools, has made standardized tests more important than ever. Teachers are under so much pressure, from parents and school administrations, to give every child good grades that grade records have become useless in determining who could benefit from further education. A college admissions officer who's determined to uphold a standard above mediocrity would be an idiot to pay more than token attention to a student's high school grades.
Beyond that, one of the problems that besets higher education in our time is the widespread assumption that "everybody ought to go to college." (Including those masterful future photographers and interior designers, no doubt.) That assumption funnels many young persons with neither the capacity to absorb a college education nor any real interest in acquiring one into the halls of ivy, frequently against their own inclinations. Many universities, avid for every dollar of income they can get, have collaborated in the process by grade inflation and the creation of degrees in meaningless subjects. Among the consequences is that a college degree is gradually coming to mean as little to a potential employer as a high school diploma already does.
(In this connection, note that the Left is absolute death on employers' use of proficiency tests of any kind. Why? Because they sort the able from the unable by an objective standard. They make no allowances for race, ethnicity, sex, or a "disadvantaged background." A business that exists specifically to make a profit -- one of the dirtiest words in the English language, by the Left's lights -- cannot afford to hire the unskilled and the inarticulate for any but the most menial jobs. With scholastic and academic institutions at every level systematically corrupting their own standards, businesses must test job applicants, thoroughly and ruthlessly. But you'd take your life into your hands in saying that to such as Lion Calandra.)
Finally: Yes, money, wisely spent and combined with parental oversight and encouragement, plays a part in actualizing a child's capacity for learning, thinking, and expressing himself. That's why so many people are willing to pay more for houses in school districts with good reputations. It's why parents strive to save for their children's higher educations. In fact, it's among the biggest reasons parents strive to earn a decent income: so that their children will have the benefits thereof, and might thus be equipped to do even better than their ancestors. But once again, we tread on egalitarian toes in saying so; how often, after all, have we heard them rant about the unfairness of "income inequality?"
Miss Calandra probably isn't so stupid that she can't grasp the imbecility of her "arguments" for ditching the SAT. That forces me to assume that she's consumed by envy of the more intelligent, the more industrious, and the more materially fortunate, whether in propria persona or vicariously, in place of the students she tutors. And envy, as Ayn Rand has told us, amounts to hatred of the good for being good.
Unfortunately, such persons are everywhere. Their dominance of the schools, and the prevalence of their radical egalitarian doctrines there, constitute a compelling argument for homeschooling your kids. Beware them.