J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

The SATs Are NOT For The Stupid

There has recently been some controversy about a question appearing on the Scholastic Aptitude Test this year. It’s an essay question that asks the test taker this question about reality shows, “Do people benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called reality, or are such forms of entertainment harmful?” Of course, the question goes into detail about what reality shows are and how they use the word “reality” very loosely. Many students are saying that this question is unfair because they have never seen any reality TV programming.

These students are fucking stupid!

As one of the VPs at The College Board points out, the purpose of an essay question is to have students form a persuasive verbal argument. Regardless of the subject matter and which side of the issue you take, the question can be answered with successfully without using specific details in order to prove your point. Quoting another VP at The College Board, “everything you need to write the essay is in the essay prompt.”

What about the essay question that asks, “Is patience a virtue?” Considering that most high school students live in a world where everything is immediate, wouldn’t this question be unfair as well? Almost every high school age student is familiar with Twitter, Facebook and other outlets that enable him or her to immediately give and receive information. Whether it’s a quick dinner or the results of a pregnancy test, patience is something that is rarely required in the daily life of today’s young hipster.

What really bothers me about this outcry is that it clearly stems from the bias that people automatically have (or pretend to have) against reality television.

We can all agree that certain reality shows are worthless and barely even qualify as mindless fun,  but to lump them all together as a waste of time is as wrong as painting all sitcoms with the same brush. Do people consider Cheers and The Cosby Show garbage television just because they share the label of “sitcom” with Small Wonder and The Mike O’ Malley Show?

The other issue I see behind this controversy is the prevailing opinion of today’s young person that unless something involves them, it doesn’t matter. This attitude is usually expressed with the phrase, “I wasn’t even born yet.” (As if anything that happens before your birth should be of no importance to you.)

I find it delightfully ironic that these kids who are complaining are smart enough to know that an understanding of history is important to be a well-educated individual, but they are too stupid to realize that television, all television, is as much a part of history as any other media.

In other words, these students are fucking stupid!

Hear more from the King of TV on The Paul Goebel Show podcast and at his website, www.TheKingofTV.com. You can also follow Paul on Twitter @PaulGoebelShow.

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