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SAT numbers... 8.31.2007 |

I recently did an article about SAT performance in the county. Things have changed since I took the SAT. A new writing section has been added and 1600 is no longer a perfect score. The test, has been criticized as being biased...

Example: A famous example of alleged bias in the SAT I is the oarsman-regatta analogy question.The object of the question was to find the pair of terms that have the relationship most similar to the relationship between "runner" and "marathon". The correct answer was "oarsman" and "regatta".
The question relied upon students knowing the meaning of the two terms, referring to a sport popular with the wealthy. While 53% of white students correctly answered the question, only 22% of black students did. Analogy questions have since been replaced by short reading passages. However, gaps in scoring between black students and white students persist. - Wiki

But one of my favorite parts about the new SAT is the fact that the writing portion is scored not on factual accuracy but on the flow of writing. I could write the earth was flat and as long as I punctated properly, I could get a decent score.

All in all, I think county schools did well. All together they prepared hundreds of students to do well on the SAT. Any student who wanted to take it got to take it, so the numbers reflect an entire population of demographics.

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, our local charter school, had a better average score than any of the high schools -- but hey, they only had to prepare 15 students. And while their scores are impressive...I am more impressed with the fact that so many students from N.C. actually took the test this year. Behind all these averages and numbers are students working hard to do well in school, parents supporting their quest and teachers arming them with the tools they need to get it done.

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First day... 8.27.2007 |

A student eye view of an AFJROTC class at Burn's High School.

8.26.2007 |

Fire at a rug mill on Longbranch Rd. Five departments responded.

But Pa, that one always makes me cry... 8.03.2007 |

There's something about music that can make us soar or dash us against the rocks.

In my family, we have definitely love affair with the sad songs. Folksy or more contemporary, when we gather on Sunday afternoons and the guitars come out, it's on. The sadder the better. Even on Christmas Eve we go through the Silent Night and Away in a Manger and then? Well, after my grandmother requests Margaritaville, we sing Kristofferson, Cash, Jones, Willie, Waylon and the boys and more than a few selections from the Cokesbury Hymnal. Below is a list of some of the songs that always bring a tear to the eye...

In no particular order...
1. Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Really, there's very few songs that have such an ability to move a person so completely.

2. Why Me Lord? (Kris Kristofferson at his best thanking God for blessings during the times he was at his worst.The Gaither Vocal Band always does a moving performance, too.)

3. He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones

4. Taps

5. Danny Boy

6. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Just a sad soldier song. I have a real soft spot for those songs...)

7. Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens (Childhood sweetheart and bone cancer...)

8. O Night Divine (A moving song especially when you think about the tiny little baby it was written for.)

9. Man in Black - Johnny Cash ("'til things are brighter, I'm the man in black...")

10. Hurt - Johnny Cash (His palsied lisp gives the song a much richer quality than NIN's version)

11. Give My Love to Rose - Maybe Johnny should have his own list.

12. Whiskey Lullaby - Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley (Another soldier song...)

I'm sure there are tons of others...what gets you all teary?

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