The regatta is over An

The regatta is over
An LA Times story on the demise of analogies on the SAT is annoying.

1. To illustrate the elitism of analogies, it cites a discarded question that required knowledge of “regatta.” The question was dropped decades ago, yet it comes up again and again as the example of elitism. Is it the only one in 20 years? If so, the SAT writers are doing a great job.

2. It implies that the analogy questions measure the ability to memorize vocabulary words and nothing else. Not so. A test-taker has to think about relationships.

3. A critic says students should spend their time reading Dickens, not learning the meaning of “lummox.” What’s the point of reading Dickens if you don’t have the vocabulary to understand his writing? Dickens uses a lot of words not in the standard 21st century American teen-ager’s vocabulary. Those not willing to learn new words will be flummoxed.

The new analogy-free SAT will require students to write an essay. Expect complaints that the writing requirement penalizes students who speak English as a second language and low-income students with less exposure to standard English.

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