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Re: eliminate public education



Victor,

I of course also find it interesting that both you and George Sheridan find
the need to regale us about how smart your are as measured by standardized
tests before criticizing me for mentioning how people tend to do this.

I don't think it is done to bolster the argument as much as it is done to
proclaim to the world how smart you are. I guess there aren't that many
opportunities to tell others about your test scores.

Hey, you don't have to convince me. I think you are both (and Ken) pretty
smart. What you apparently need to do is convince yourselves so that you
don't require this approbation from others.

George K. Cunningham

University of Louisville
----- Original Message -----
From: "Victor Steinbok" <Victor.Steinbok@VERIZON.NET>
To: <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 12:44 AM
Subject: Re: eliminate public education


> At 11:18 PM -0500 2/5/02, George Cunningham wrote:
> >Ken,
> >
> >I find it interesting how people who criticize standardized tests always
> >have to preface the discussion by proclaiming how well they, themselves
do
> >on such tests. If these tests are so awful, why do they go to such
lengths
> >to tell us what a wonderful reader, test taker, intelligent person they
are.
> >Isn't this all meaningless if the test are no good?
> >
> >George K. Cunningham
> >University of Louisville
>
> George,
>
> I find it quite amusing how you always find something to complain
> about even when you have nothing substantive to discuss on the issue.
> But, alright, I'll bite and explain to you why this is done (I'm
> sure, Ken can do a great job answering the question, but I would not
> want to miss the pleasure).
>
> Here's one possible answer.
>
> Had people who only do poorly on test complained that tests were
> unfair or meaningless, one could justifiably ask if they are not just
> complaining BECAUSE they don't do well. Anticipating this remark,
> some of the people who DO WELL on test and still object to them are
> eager to point out that they dislike the tests DESPITE their own
> proficiency in taking them.
>
> In fact, some of them (us?) point out that being proficient
> test-takers makes them (us) better qualified and more alert to find
> problems with these tests.
>
> I am quite certain that most colleges would have looked at my initial
> SAT verbal score (390--not even judged sufficient for most NCAA
> scholarships) and immediately put my application in the reject
> pile... had they not noticed two other features of my
> application--the math score (double the verbal) and the fact that I
> had been in the country for less than a year when taking the SAT.
> Note that the math score was high DESPITE the test format although it
> was not perfect BECAUSE of it--there was no question on that test
> that I could not have answered in grade 4, but the format was
> completely unfamiliar to me (and I still finished it in under 15
> minutes). After I completed the test, the high-school counselor who
> proctored the test pulled me aside and suggested several improvements
> in my test-taking technique--I don't recall them all, but one was to
> stop filling in the bubbles so carefully. In this particular case, I
> immediately understood that the test had nothing to do with
> knowledge--it's about how many bubbles you can fill correctly in a
> given time.
>
> As it is, I was not rejected by most colleges I applied to (Princeton
> and Chicago were two that I turned down). Perhaps you think I should
> have been.
>
> VS-)
>
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