The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 June 2003

Same ox, same Gore, as before

The Lone Dissenter, a high-school student within shrieking distance of the San Francisco Bay, steps through the SAT II Writing exams and finds something stuck to her shoes:

There was a passage — a first draft of an essay, and we were meant to answer the questions about what should be changed. Realize — this is an English exam, not history. The first essay was about the electoral college. The first paragraph just wrote about the origins of the e.c.. The second paragraph, however, argued that since America had now become a "national village" (phrase theirs, complete with quotes), where the relationship of the individual to the national government was far more important than the relationship of the individual to the state, it was ridiculous and unbelievable that a candidate could carry a state while getting less than half of the vote. Why, it is even possible for someone to win a national election while getting less than 50% of the national vote! "The only way that we can truly serve our democracy," the last sentence read, "is to eliminate the electoral college".

What should be changed? Why, the person who wrote that part of the test should be replaced, and for the most obvious of reasons:

We aren't being tested on our belief in the idea of the essay, we just have to correct the grammar. But if that isn't subtle brainwashing, I don't know what is.

To the College Board: Boilerplate. Look into it.

Posted at 11:06 AM to Political Science Fiction


The College Board is another disgusting example of Big Business Gone Awry. More than likely it would take the entire armed forces (um, yes, that would be the armed forces led by that guy who got less than 50% of the national vote) to make some sweeping changes at that sorry institution. I agree with Dissenter's opinion that the selected passage is subtle brainwashing. I'd take it one step further; it reeks of psychological blackmail.

Posted by: vickie at 7:29 PM on 9 June 2003