Google+

Testing Creates Yet Another Rift Between Rich and Poor

Testing Creates Yet Another Rift Between Rich and Poor

 ~ Amy Lignor

DeliberateDumbingDownWe laughed about it…hoping it was not real, I suppose. We watched headlines go by that talked about how to basically turn our children into their own type of Transformer robot, with iPads strapped to their baby chairs and screens stuck to the potty chair so they can pass the time on the one screen they will never break away from when they get older. Or, perhaps that’s the wrong thing to say; it is their cell they won’t break away from later.

 

We have spoken about the entire world going digital; how the blessings of technology have helped us so much. And…in some industries they very much have. In others, the world is torn apart, industrialization grows bigger, the air we breathe is more toxic, as well as the seas our marine life swim about in. You name it, there are debates on both sides no matter what the subject in 2014 may be.

 

Here, however, is yet another that needs to be brought to the forefront. Some were thrilled when cursive handwriting was to be pulled from schools because our kids ‘really didn’t need to learn it’. After all, they would be signing digitally for the rest of their lives anyway, so who needed to know how to actually write on paper? Heck…scrolls are out, right? Besides, we have those pictures of the forefathers together signing their names to deeds, resolutions, and that…hmmm…what was that thing again? Oh, yeah, the Constitution. So since we have pictures on the Internet, who needs to learn anything about actual handwriting? If one of your own children become President they can just print their name in bold lettering. Talk about a collector’s item one day.

 

Now the educational realm has decided to go one better. There are millions of articles across the Internet that promote and support this new action. They are screaming about the big changes coming to the SAT, and how wonderful that The College Board is now dropping the writing portion from the exam, bringing the highest total score back to 1600.

 

Not only that, but the Washington Post says that this will not be the only change coming to the test; they will be altering a great many things. They will no longer test a young adult’s knowledge of the fancy vocabulary that, of course, can simply be gotten from the Google dictionary if needed. Common words that are used in everyday life are the ones you should know. And there will be no quarter-point penalties for wrong answers, which means guessing is an available course.

 

The one thing The College Board finally seems to get is that there should be a way for everyone to take the SAT. Free test prep will be an option so that lower income students have just as much of a chance as the wealthy. This levels the playing field, so to speak. But what it really is, is the SAT wanting to bring back the students who have and are still scattering away from them and taking the ACT instead, because more colleges have made that test optional for admission.

 

The College Board states that with these changes they mean to make the test ‘more accessible, straightforward and grounded in what is taught in high school’. Let’s break this down…

 

SAT scores have been tethered to family income, apparently, but here’s the truth: Taking away the right to better oneself on a test, taking away the ability to write in cursive, or understand words more than two syllables long do NOT have any correlation to a person’s pocketbook. Your child’s intelligence should not be treated as a ‘dumbing down’ of society. Nowhere does it state that a lower income child is any less intelligent than one driving a Porsche around town. And saying that it is makes me – a definite lower income person – extremely angry.

 

What exactly does this all mean? I went through High School and College with grades that were not ‘won’ by bribing teachers because I was richer than my other classmates; I received good grades because I studied and learned what I needed to know in order to excel at something. Forgive me, but isn’t that still the point of school? Or, is it now just the fact that if you learn a computer, all is well? If that is the fact, computer terminology is usually longer than two syllables, so…?

 

Allowing students who have no money to take the test and have an even chance of getting into a good school just like higher income children, is great. But when you start taking things away, you are stating in a very quiet voice that lower income students could not possibly understand fancy vocab, or make up flashcards with definitions on them, or even write their own name in cursive.

 

Perhaps if everyone would just treat everyone else the same we’d all have the same chance in this world. (I know, silly isn’t it?) After all, those Founding Fathers of ours never assumed we could be a nation such as that, so what was I thinking?

 

Until Next Time,

Amy

Entertainment

For movies opening September 30, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening September 30, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS   Deepwater Horizon (PG-13 for intense action sequences, disturbing images and brief profanity) Disaster flick recreating the real-life events surrounding the 2010 explosion of the offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico which claimed the lives of 11 crewmen and led to the worst … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights

  Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights By Brad Fenson As an avid bowhunter, I’m always looking for a sight to not only help me acquire a target accurately and quickly but provide adjustability while being lightweight. It might be a lot to ask for but with a wide array of hunting situations, you have to be selective in your equipment to ensure you are always successful in the long run. The Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE™ XS was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane

  Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane by Amy Lignor   Humane. There is a reason why this word and human are basically spelled the same. What needs to happen, however, is for them to mean the same. There are societies out there that talk about just that. From clubs to groups to volunteer organizations that protect all varieties of our animal friends, “humane” is one act that they wish would be considered in any and all … [Read More its Good for You...]