Education: Test

Those who contend that U.S. education has thrown the three Rs out the window were rubbing their hands last week. In a New York City high school, 36 students were asked to spell "thermometer." Nineteen got it right; the 17 who got it wrong misspelled it 16 different ways—therometer, thermomitor, thrmometer, termometer, themoneter, thermomiter, tenmometer, thermonter, theometer, themometer, themoeter, termonter, thermoter, thermomter, theremothr, thirommeter.

It was, wrote Teacher Wera Mitchell in the monthly High Points, more a test of the school system that had "taught" them than of the students themselves.

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