Thursday, September 15, 2005

SAT certainly doesn't measure the capacity for critical thinking

Because of high school grade inflation the SATs became the critical instrument to assess applicants to America's top schools which in turn create our leadership elites.

Given the collapse of the American family, the increasing unaffordability of housing and education, and a national addiction to failed foreign military adventuring, what does SAT actually measure?

That's why I think the SAT is a very sensitive instrument to measure the capacity to accept uncritically whatever is the received wisdom of the day. That's why no one in our political leadership intellectual elites ask "impertinent" questions about policy shibboleths. A good example is the excuse we can't hermetically seal the Mexican border to keep out illegal aliens willing to do menial labor because Americans won't take those jobs.

Americans won't take those jobs because tolerance of illegal aliens drove the blue collar wage structure down to point where most of our children "left behind" in our high tech economy find it easier to loaf around making pocket change working at Mickey D's and/or by selling dope. Housing's so expensive more and more young adults continue to live at home.

Just Adam Smith Econ 101 supply and demand stuff: Seal the Mexican border to illegal workers and wages would rise in real terms so American children "left behind" could afford to marry and raise families.

My dear late father was such a child "left behind". Born into an impoverished immigrant family he left school at 12 or 13 in the Great Depression to become a butcher. But back then a hardworking, ambitious blue collar worker like my dad could make a liveable wage to finance a modest middle class lifestyle. My mother didn't work and eventually my parents bought a pleasant, modest suburban home.

Education back then didn't cost the earth. My $1000 New York Regents College Scholarship paid almost 100% of premed tuition at Hofstra College. Med school tuition at SUNY Brooklyn for low income students like me was $200.

I only got a about a 1000 on the SAT1! Maybe had I been an SAT 1600 smarty pants and gone to Yale I might have been educated OUT of my inherent intellectual gift to ask impertinent questions.

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