SATs and US

Recently we got an email from a puzzled reader not knowing what the following exchange from Tender Is The Bite (between Bernie and a school janitor) was about. A few pages earlier, when he and Chet crossed the state line, Bernie seemed to be musing about the differences between the two states. And so now:

Hector came back outside. “She runs a little place outside of town.” He handed Bernie a scrap of paper. “One other thing. That possible cop fellow? Might have been a redhead. Hard to tell with the cap and all.”

            “You’re an excellent observer,” Bernie said.

            Hector shrugged. “Had nothing else to do for a spell. Eighteen years, seven months, eight days, to put it in numbers. Took the time to educate myself a little bit.”

            Bernie’s eyes got bright. “Then maybe you can help me,” he said. He cleared his throat. “Arizona is to New Mexico as … “

            “Donald Duck is to Daffy Duck,” Hector said, without the slightest pause. He went inside and got back to mopping the floor.

I wrote back saying remember those SAT analogies? Music : Love :: and then would come 5 choices like River : Thirst and Rice : Take-out … etc. But no! The SAT had no meaning for her. She was Australian! Something else I now need to factor into my work. And now I find out the analogies are no longer part of the test. I remember kind of liking them – wacky fun, a bit like Jeopardy.


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This entry was posted on Friday, January 21st, 2022 at 8:08 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to “SATs and US”

  1. Wose-The Small and Meek
    11:04 am on January 21st, 2022


    I thank God every day that when I was in high school the SAT was not required to enter the CUNY!

    Good BooBear day to all!

  2. B. Stover
    12:57 pm on January 21st, 2022

    We used the SATs where I taught.

    Good day to all.

  3. Herd of Hounds
    1:30 pm on January 21st, 2022

    Good day to everyone.
    Remember the SATs and all the “knowledge” we were supposed to know.
    I guess if someone learned outside the box, their knowledge didn’t matter.
    Yes, Wose, happy Boo Bear day!

  4. mlaiuppa
    3:04 pm on January 21st, 2022

    I got the reference and was amused by it. But yes, they no longer use those comparisons.

    The SATs and many standardized tests are geared toward the white upper middle class. Some questions were basically biased. When I was teaching middle school the staff had a discussion regarding some of the questions. They required knowledge of computers and e-mail when most of our population had no computers at home and no e-mail addresses, nor practice in it. That may not be an issue now, but I am sure standardized tests have evolved to find another way to favor a certain demographic population over another. For this reason many universities are no longer requiring SATS for admission.

    In the end, standardized tests don’t really do anything but get politicians re-elected. Even the scores are meaningless. Instead of comparing the fourth graders year after year (which compares a different set of students) they should be tracking those students every subsequent year to see how much progress they have made and how much more they have learned. But that is not how scores are used and in fact, they can’t, especially with a transitory population migrating from school to school and state to state. Add that you can’t follow one student’s progress year after year because they are essentially “anonymous”, testing is very expensive and utterly useless. And it proves nothing.

  5. WTAFP
    4:09 pm on January 21st, 2022

    From my wife’s high school yearbook (she was the yearbook editor):

    Baseball glove is to steak as ravioli is to:
    (a) an Indian elephant
    (b) a Lithuanian dictionary
    (c) a dissipated leprechaun

  6. dawson
    4:55 pm on January 21st, 2022

    WTAFPL: A rumor was to always pick “C” in multiple choice test questions that you didn’t know. Also, I’m related to a dissipated leprechaun. Therefore, the answer is C!

    Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, shovel, shovel, shovel. Not keeping up. The 10 degree above freezing day that was forecast on Sunday has been up-dated to below freezing but only by 1 or 4 degrees and will last for 4 days, or so they say today. Thinking about a small campfire one of those days but that would involve shoveling out to the firepit so we shall see.

  7. mlaiuppa
    6:09 pm on January 21st, 2022

    WTAFP: The answer is A. You can eat an elephant. Neither of the other choices can produce pasta or the filling.

    Dawson. When I was proctoring tests I had one of the, shall we say less likely, students students finish way early. When I went to go check and questioned him he said he didn’t read any of the questions. He just bubbled in a pretty design with the dots on the paper.

    Another reason standardized tests are absolutely worthless.

    Don’t get me started on standards or No Politician Left behind.

    The one thing Obama got blatantly wrong was his choice for Secretary of Education.

  8. Herd of Hounds
    9:04 pm on January 21st, 2022

    Mlaiuppa: did you know that the HOH mom taught middle school for 28 of the 33 years that she taught? The “No child left” attitude took the fun out of teaching lots of things to her. BTW, 28 of those years were in SoCal.

  9. mlaiuppa
    4:55 am on January 22nd, 2022

    No, I didn’t.

    I did 37 in So.Cal until I retired. Not all middle school and not all self-contained.

    I’m glad I retired when I did. I saved my sick days and bought 5 years of service credit so retired on 100% of my salary. I don’t travel or go out much so I get by.

    It’s looking like my “inheritance” is going to cost me money so I’m glad I planned well for my retirement.

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