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dirtyduck Donating Member (274 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:12 PM
Original message
Why Bush's SAT Scores Don't Matter
As a graduate assistant, I worked on research related to intellectual development. I was thinking about it the other day in the context of the Bush administration. I think it explains why we are all so frustrated with the decision making that goes on -- the thought process is literally representative of that of a preschooler. I really struggle to believe that Bush would be rated much higher than a level one or two, which is what fanatical religious beliefs can do to intellectual curiosity. It also illustrates why, regardless of what he got on his SAT (a terrible intellectual predictor, anyway), he is an awful leader. The ultimate irony is that No Child Left Behind encourages children to stay at the lowest levels of development by focusing multiple choice standardized tests, right vs. wrong, expert opinions, and "facts". Getting our children to move to higher levels requires problem solving, committed teachers treated as professionals, real world experience, and assessment that gets very ugly at times. It is certainly not scientific and easily measured. Here are the various levels:

Position 1: The student sees the world in polar terms of we-right-good vs. other-wrong-bad. Right Answers for everything exist in the Absolute, known to Authority whose role is to mediate (teach) them. Knowledge and goodness are perceived as quantitative accretions of discrete rightness to be collected by hard work and obedience (paradigm: a spelling test).

Position 2: The student perceives diversity of opinion, and uncertainty, and accounts for them as unwarranted confusion in poorly qualified Authorities or as mere exercises set by the Authority "so we can learn to find The Answer for ourselves".

Position 3: The student accepts diversity and uncertainty as legitimate but still temporary in areas where Authority "hasn't found The Answer yet." He supposes Authority grades him in these areas on "good expression" but remains puzzled as to the standards.

Position 4: (a) The student perceives legitimate uncertainty (and therefore diversity of opinion) to be extensive and raises it to the status of an unstructured epistemological realm of its own in which "any authority has a right to his opinion," a realm which he sets over against Authority's realm where right-wrong still prevails, or (b) the student discovers the qualitative contextual relativistic reasoning as a special case of "what they want" within Authority's realm.

Position 5: The student perceives all knowledge and values (including Authority's) as contextual and relativistic and subordinates dualistic right-wrong functions to the status of a special case, in context.

Position 6: The student apprehends the necessity of orienting himself in a relativistic world through some form of personal Commitment (as distinct from unquestioned or unconsidered commitment to simple belief in certainty).

Position 7: The student makes an initial commitment in one area.

Position 8: The student experiences the implications of Commitment, and explores the subjective and stylistic issues of responsibility.

Position 9: The student experiences the affirmation of identity among multiple responsibility and realizes Commitment as an ongoing, unfolding activity through which he expresses his life style.

Where do you fall?


More info on the model at:
http://www.learning.ox.ac.uk/iaul/IAUL+1+2+4+main.asp ">Citation for position descriptions
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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. You have no idea how much $ I made taking the SAT and GRE ...
for idiots.

Back in the 60's and 70's, all you needed was a Social Security card (no picture ID).

George W. never took those tests, and he never wrote a research paper. That was for people who couldn't afford to pay others to do it for them.
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. I'm sure you're right.
I remember reading that he got over 600 (was it 650?) on the math section, and my reaction was NO FUCKING WAY.
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aden_nak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. SAT scores don't measure anything.
ETS says they measure which students will perform the best during their first semester of college.

Demographic of students with the highest SAT scores:

Older males



Demographic of students with the highest GPA in their first semester of college:

Younger females

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CityHall Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. Bush also took the Air Force officer qualification test
It might have been harder for him to get away with having someone else take that for him. He did badly (25th percentile) on the pilot aptitude portion (which is more IQ-like, spatial reasoning and so forth), and much better on the "officer quality" portion.

GOP-leaning discussion/source on Bush's scores:
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040114-074349-394...

To the original poster: The list seems infused with a humanities bias calculated to undermine any claim the harder sciences make to a higher level of objectivity. The URL you gave raises the possibility of a different trajectory in the sciences, and I think it should go even further: this looks a lot like the "education of a ___" emails that circulate in a lot of fields. In this case, of a humanities PhD candidate. I think it's simplistic to suppose that people who reject the "all truth is relative" dogma of the arts and "read more science courses" are somehow dropping out or freezing their intellectuial development.
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dirtyduck Donating Member (274 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. it has been used successfully in a lot of fields...
however, I do agree with some of what you say. i certainly don't think the model is necessarily correct, I just think the descriptions of the earlier positions are interesting.

not to engage in "out there" academic discourse, but isn't science pretty relative too? don't the "absolute truths" change as our understanding of the world changes? aren't they all just accepted truths "in progress"?
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CityHall Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Thanks for the reply
I think there is more a difference in preference and presentation between how science and humanities people approach truth, than in ultimate beliefs. There are some extremists in both camps, but I think the major difference is that in humanities and soft sciences, persuasive individuals can get undue influence based mainly on their style of presentation. Freud comes to mind.

In fields where the accuracy of your theories can be confirmed more rapidly, there's a greater emphasis on truth as something to be discovered than on something to form a consensus around. I attribute the higher status of "natural philosophy" (physics) today than in Aristotle's day to the fact that it's become a field where predictions can be made and tested in a short enough time where accuracy affects people's careers.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Who said they did matter? ???
:shrug:
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. I don't know about SAT scores,
I don't know about *'s intelligence or curiosity. I don't care, either.

But I am very interested in Position 5. Position 5: The student perceives all knowledge and values (including Authority's) as contextual and relativistic and subordinates dualistic right-wrong functions to the status of a special case, in context.

So, what authority prevents murder? Suppose that I badly needed $500K for a cancer operation for my wife? Suppose somebody offered me that to off you? Would I, or would I not, be justified in killing you? If not, why not? Your opinion doesn't count, as I don't know you, and in any event I would still need the money. I could, I suppose, off * in revenge for not supplying free medical care to the nation. Would that be justified? Suppose it was President Kerry? But in any event, that still wouldn't get me the money, and here's this nice lovely offer on the table. Did you ever read Hitman by Anonymous? It should be easy, according to this book (I have no idea how accurate it is, but let's suppose that I believe every word) to kill someone whom I didn't know and get away with it. Why am I not justified in this act?

No, I have a lot a problems with position 5, and so, in my opinion, should you, unless you can answer the questions. But educate me; I'm willing to learn differently.
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dirtyduck Donating Member (274 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. i agree the model gets a little squirly up there
but I do think that is what he is getting at... you move to where you derive your own set of truths. and civilized society represents the majority of those personal truths. the majority does not feel it is correct to murder someone. but different societies do have different beliefs, right?

i'm not in a position (nor would i want) to defend the entire model, i just thought it was interesting fodder for discussion.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. That's why I'm
discussing it. Still, in that case, is the majority the "Authority"? You are not really answering the questions that I asked. Let me reiterate:

1. I need money to save my wife's life.
2. I can easily obtain this money by killing you.
3. I don't know you, I don't care about you, I do love my wife.
4. I sincerely believe that I can get away with it.

So, the question is, if I am "questioning Authority" along the lines that you have, what is to prevent this? Evading the question simply means that your logic is faulty. If this is what you believe, say so. If you believe that it is not, then really, you have no logical choice except to admit that I would be justified in what I was going to do. Except 'justification' would have no meaning, either.

Nor would any other moral position.

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LiberalBushFan Donating Member (831 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. I don't think anyone believes he's an all-around genius.
Everyone who isn't aware that he's one-hundred percent stupid thinks he's some kind of idiot savant. They see him talk and act stupidly and think if he was that dumb the media and other top Republicans wouldn't support him, so he must have some hidden genius that they can't understand, that will allow him to outsmart the terraists.
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. it's not a "where do you fall?" kind of model
Edited on Tue Oct-26-04 04:54 PM by foo_bar
The nine positions appear to be written by someone who was recently dumped by her boyfriend.

and realizes Commitment as an ongoing, unfolding activity through which he expresses his life style
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