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Opening Arguments

Go ahead, guess the word, it's an easy one

It's been a loooong time since I took the SAT, and I don't really know enough about the way the test has evolved over the years to tell how good or bad the recently announced changes would be. But two things sturck me. One is that all those pesky "hard words" are going away:

And difficult vocabulary will be replaced with words that students are more likely to use in college or in the workplace.

It's hard not to consider this a part of the whole dumbing-down-of-America trend.  Yes, it's necessary to know the words likely to be used in college or the workplace, but can't those be picked up as students go along? And how do you make workplace words a part of the test without being so general as to be pointless? I suppose it would have been helpful to me to learn journalism terms in preparartion for the SAT. It would have saved me, oh, three or four days of stumbling around on the job without knowing them. Learning difficult words is good brain exercise, for goodness sake.

And here's the other:

Another change will include granting students credit for guessing. Currently, points are deducted for incorrect answers.

Credit for guessing. That's not exactly up there with "there are no wrong answers," but it gets close to the same territory.

Posted in: Cudrrent events