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SATs It looks like this year’s SAT results dipped significantly from last year’s.  Here’s an AP story on preliminary findings, which come from university admissions offices.  A full picture won’t appear for a few weeks, but some schools report a serious decline in the cumulative numbers.  The UC system, for instance, tallied… Mark Bauerlein 05/28/06 5 06/01/06
Comp Work Here are some papers that were delivered at the annual CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication). With so many college students graduating without the ability to compose a coherent paragraph, one might assume the focus of the convention would fall upon writing skills and rhetorical structures. But for a fair… Mark Bauerlein 03/26/06 70 03/31/06
Job Announcement Here is a job posting for a “Literature Specialist.” It is at the National Endowment for the Arts, currently chaired by renowned poet/critic Dana Gioia. Mark Bauerlein 03/09/06 11 03/12/06
Announcements The Core Knowledge Foundation held its annual conference in San Antonio this week, and a highlight was the release of founder E. D. Hirsch’s new book, “The Knowledge Deficit” (Houghton Mifflin). The book nicely encapsulates the rationale for the core knowledge curriculum, especially in the area of reading skills.  The premise… Mark Bauerlein 02/26/06 4 02/27/06
Core Curriculum Anybody wondering why students graduate with so little knowledge of history, civics, literature, the arts, and foreign languages might look at the Report of the Committee on General Education at Harvard.  Comprised of faculty from across the university, the Committee was formed to examine the Core Curriculum and make recommendations for… Mark Bauerlein 01/10/06 11 03/22/06
Boys and Girls The lengthy comments following the post on the “masculine space” of The Valve posed many questions about gender preferences and the tone of Valve threads. We should add to those speculations some of the empirical data on gender difference and literary/academic performance. 1. Ever since the advent of a broad reading… Mark Bauerlein 11/19/05 7 02/06/08
Literature in Public With the recent discussion here and elsewhere on the decline of literature departments, we might add some information about literature and books in public life. From 1982 to 2002, the percentage of 18-24-year-olds reading literature fell 17 percentage points, from 60 percent to 43 percent.  From 1992 to 2002, the percentage… Mark Bauerlein 07/06/05 28 07/08/05
Politics, Again This may be a dead issue, but a few weeks ago, another blog raised questions about the backing of The Valve by the ALSC, and the latter’s backing by Bradley Foundation. In such cases, it is important to have all the facts in place before judging the compromises that such connections… Mark Bauerlein 04/30/05 7 05/02/05
literary down, information up A lot of college English teachers complain about their students being poor readers of literature.  Undergrads might know some of the technical terms of analysis (metaphor. etc.), but they can’t put them together into a comprehensive, coherent interpretation of a literary work.  Added to that, teachers note, they just don’t see… Mark Bauerlein 04/10/05 7 03/30/07