TO THE EDITOR:
I was especially concerned with the DTH’s recent coverage of Mary Willingham, and your strict portrayal of her as an embattled crusader fighting for the rights of student-athletes. While I do believe that Willingham truly believes in her cause, she has come under criticism for a simple reason — because her “research” was wrong.
Willingham used the Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults, a 10-minute reading vocabulary subtest that has essentially nothing to do with reading comprehension.
SATA always recommends testing reading comprehension separately. From the examiner’s manual: “Any standardized test purporting to provide a comprehensive measure of reading that does not assess sentence or passage comprehension should be considered inadequate.”
Willingham then misinterpreted this already incorrect data. The SATA results can be expressed as raw scores, standard scores, percentiles or grade equivalents. Willingham’s data was in standard scores, but she reported them as if they were grade equivalents.