Stupid in America

Thomas Matiska tom.matiska at ATT.NET
Sat Jan 14 07:35:45 MST 2006

Navigate the "Jersey: Good News" to the College Board (SAT)lnk, then to my home state of PA.  The second and third pages introduce the reader to "re-centered scores"  and "scaled scores that have been converted from raw data"

How bad is the "good news" that they grade it on a curve?  Wouldn't it be interesting to administer an SAT test from a few decades ago and make a straight comparison of today to yesterday?


------------- Original message from John B Hammes <economic56 at EARTHLINK.NET>: -------------- 

After watching the 20/20 program, (By the way, did anyone watch it besides me?) I went to Google and looked up “Stupid in America” in the exact phrase slot of Advanced Search.  I found among the first few items, a web page ( devoted to bashing the 20/20 program and calling it “school bashing”.  It had several places to go to get ammo against people who “bash schools”.  I went to this one first; ( there were two links, so I clicked on the one that said “Public Education Progress by State”.  That took me to another webpage ( …there were only three links there, and one was no longer in existence.  The one that I visited was the Oregon School Boards Association web page (clicked on “Oregon: Good News”).
On the Oregon School Boards Association web page ( there was a link about challenging misinformation about schools ( On that page, I found something which I don’t think I’d be so proud of if I were looking for an example of how “great” public schooling is nowadays.  Can anyone find that mistake that makes me feel that way?  Take a look and see if you can find it.
In case you can’t, I’ve pasted it below.  The sentence in BOLD letters has something wrong with it.  I pasted one word in that sentence in BOLD and underlined it.  This is how the sentence read on the page, as evidenced by the link above.  I’m amazed that the people who teach the kids in Oregon could offer this as an example of what public education can do for YOU!
“Four school shooting incidents in 1997-98 that resulted in 11 deaths put questions about school violence and safety on the top of parents’ and community members’ concerns about schools. While not child’s death is acceptable, critics need to realize that every two days in America 11 children die from family violence, abuse or neglect. They need to know that the likelihood of violent death in schools is far less than in the workplace where each year almost a million people are victims of violent crime. Most of all, your community needs to know what you are doing at your schools to make sure kids are safe and violence stops at the schoolhouse door.”
For those who happen to live in Rio Linda, CA, the BOLD word above should be “no” instead of  “not” to be grammatically correct.  A simple typo, yes, but still, whoever wrote that page would not be a good poster boy/girl for how “great” our public school system is.
P.S.   I didn’t bother to go to any of the other links.
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