Thursday, March 27, 2014

Just finished Dumbed-Down


THE FAULT, DEAR EDUCATOR, IS NOT IN Our Tests,” by George C. Roche, president of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, was published in the July 5, 1996 issue of Human Events. Dr. Roche’s article underscores the success of the internationalist change agents’ relentless efforts to dumb down our children and, in turn, our nation.The following excerpts are most enlightening:  --  Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

“SAT Scores Rise Strongly after Test Is Overhauled” read a Wall Street Journal
headline.The continuation of the article carried the title “SAT Scores Post Strong Increase.” Good
Hardly. The “higher” scores came from a “dumbed-down” test. Students now have
an extra half hour to complete the “new” Scholastic Aptitude Test. They now use electronic
calculators and answer fewer questions in general and fewer multiple-choice math questions
in particular. Reading passages now ask definitions from context. And the difficult antonym
section (involving knowledge of words that are opposite in meaning), calling for linguistic
and intellectual subtleties long lost, has been dropped entirely.
...Here’s the College Board’s rationale for the changes: “Students taking the SAT in the
1990s are substantially different from those who took the test in the 1940s when the scale
was created. Continuing to force-fit their scores to a scale established for a very different
group of students reduces the interpretive value of the score within the population for the
sake of slavish consistency to the original scale and comparisons over time.”
They’d like you to be persuaded by exaggerations like “force-fit” and “slavish” and
breeze past their statement that today’s students are “substantially different” from those who
took the test in 1940. I’d like you to be persuaded that the College Board just admitted that the
educational system’s “substantially different” students are really “substantially deficient.”
...The history standards of the government’s new Goals 2000 program, drenched in
political correctness, highlight America’s admitted faults and leave out much that is positive.
OBE students going through the Goals 2000 program wouldn’t have much of a chance with
the older, tougher SAT test, but the easier version, plus the “recentering” changes now in
place will help disguise actual deficiencies.
Putting an artificially higher number on actually lower academic performance only
highlights the problems facing American education. You can fiddle with the figures forever,
but as long as education “professionals” refuse to be honest with our citizens, matters can
only get worse."
[Ed. Note: Not only did Dr. Roche vent his frustration with the new SAT,
The New York Times, in an article entitled “Defining Literacy Downward” in its August 28, 1996 issue, stated: “The S.A.T. turns poor performance into a new norm.”]

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