Friday, April 1

SAT Question

Maybe I am a bit sensitive to this because I have two teenage children. Or maybe it's because I am a lover of reality television. Or maybe it's because I just love pop culture. Probably all of the above.

There was a bit of a debate circling in academic circles about a recent question on the SATs. You remember those, right? Still brings chills they're multiplying.

The question centered around reality television and the issue of scripted entertainment. Many flew off the handle. They got all up in arms about the implication that reality tv is worthy of literary commentary or they got upset that we shouldn't be encouraging our children to watch reality tv. What's wrong with a little Snooky (kidding).

C'mon people. First of all, television is a part of pop culture and reality tv has had major influence. Look at Oprah's new network, it's virtually all reality tv. Bravo, case in point. You don't have to watch it or encourage it to know that it's there and to have an opinion.

Secondly, this is pop culture. Our children probably know what's going on in pop culture and they should be able to talk about it. They should be able to write about it. They should be able to pose an argument around it.

The SATs test for analytical skills and deductive reasoning. The fact that the test givers gave the students something relevant and current to analyze is wonderful. Maybe even making the test a bit more contemporary.

I see no difference than asking a question about "Grapes of Wrath" - I'm not comparing the literary merit, just the deductive reasoning. Here's a journalist's take if you'd like to read about it.

What do you think - what's your experience? Jim.

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