published Friday, March 14th, 2014

Let's do The math; Water wars, and hospitals

Let's do The math

The new SAT has eliminated "the extra penalty for wrong answers." The SAT penalty score for guessing had been in place not to penalize students but to mitigate any unearned advantage of students who randomly guess over others. The scoring system was based upon the number of questions answered correctly, minus the number answered incorrectly, the latter divided by one less than the number of possible choices for an individual question. For a 20-question math test with five possible answers for each question, randomly choosing choice "C" for each question would yield an average of four correct and 16 incorrect answers -- a final score of 0, i.e.[4 - 16/(5-1)] with the previous penalty guessing adjustment and a score of four now without the adjustment. Eliminating the penalty guessing adjustment is, therefore, merely another attempt to artificially raise the SAT scores of our children, making it appear their preparatory school education has improved. No matter how many possible answers a question may have had, it had always been advantageous to guess if one could eliminate at least one possible choice. Some of today's students, however, may not be able to eliminate even a single choice. Even with the new SAT scoring system, they will have the opportunity to apparently score higher. Do the math.

MICHAEL J. ZEMA, Chattanooga


Water wars, and hospitals

When one thinks of single-party states run by corrupt oligarchies that rigorously suppress labor unions, Russia (Soviet and Putin's), China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and now Tennessee come to mind. Sen. Bob Corker says allowing the UAW into VW in Chattanooga will lower the standard of living of people in the state. By "people" he must mean oligarchs. Then there is state Sen. Todd Gardenhire and his indictment of the UAW and, presumably, its supporters as un-American. How does his military service record compare to that of the veterans who belong to and support the efforts of the UAW in Chattanooga? Regarding other matters, since it pleases the state of Tennessee to consistently short Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee when funding public hospitals and public education relative to other cities in the state, perhaps we should be seeking alternative sources of support. Erlanger provides much uncompensated indigent care to North Georgians, and we have something Georgians want. What is access to the Tennessee River worth to our neighbors to the south vs. what is it worth to our current fellow citizens and potential neighbors to the north to continue to deny it?

FRANK WHITE

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