Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are Sinking SATs an Education Omen?

If Scholastic Aptitude Test scores are barometers of educational quality, the trends are alarming. Average SAT scores have plummeted 20 points since 2006. Changes in 2005 intended to level the playing field have failed with access to quality education a likely contributor to a racial gap that finds overall average SAT scores of nonwhite students dropping 22 points, compared to 4 points for their white counterparts and a 41-point rise for Asian Americans. Unsurprisingly, family income also correlates with test scores. The trends have disturbing implications for U.S. higher education, as many students arrive on campus ill equipped to succeed.  

Monday, November 04, 2013

Stirring Saxon Words

Every single one of the 100 most frequently used words in the English language is of Anglo-Saxon origin. So are all the following words from Prime Minister Winston Churchill´s 4 June 1940 address to the House of Commons ― save one. Care to hazard a guess which is the sole exception? We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and the streets; we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. To unearth the Norman invader, see English Comes From Holland and Germany.