Today in academia: high school seniors aren't good at SAT reading, the biggest cliché dorm posters, and fighting for the right to mock your alma-mater.

  • Remember The College Board? You know, that one company that tells you which college you'll get into by virtue of delivering your SAT scores? Well, they just released the scores for the class of 2011's high school seniors. And they didn't do so well, especially in the critical reading section: "SAT reading scores for the high school class of 2011 were the lowest on record, and combined reading and math scores fell to their lowest point since 1995," the AP reported. And reading scores, as they have since about 1990, are trending a bit below math scores. [Associated Press]
  • The College Board may have even been optimistic about the scores.  In parsing the poor-sounding results, The Washington Post's Answer Sheet is naturally skeptical about the Board's claim that "there are more high-performing students among the class of 2011 than ever before." Most of the dreariest numbers about the SAT scores were at the end of the 13 page press release, the Post finds, such as this tidbit: "critical reading scores in 1972 were 530; today they are 514." [The Washington Post]
  • The meaning behind your taste in cliché college posters.  The website College magazine has a telling guide for all undergrads thinking about to tape a Muhammad Ali, "Keep Calm Carry On," Black and White Manhattan skyline or Jimi Hendrix poster to dorm room walls. If anything, the list can be looked at as a "what not to buy." [College magazine]
  • Fair Use wins: Blogger OK'd to start writing goofy photo captions about alma-mater again. Inside Higher Ed recounts the tale of Alex Christensen, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis who playfully (it seems) mocks the admissions photos the University posts in an occasionally humorous-looking Tumblr account. Christensen was asked to take the Tumblr down not because of snark but because he was ripping the photos he made fun of from the school's website. Eventually, Fair Use won--and now he can start up the blog again. [Inside Higher Ed]
  • A real Huff Post blog item: 'Five best items to steal from the dining hall.' Sure, we know that undergrads routinely take utensils and food from campus dining halls, and it isn't a big deal. But this blog item appearing on The Huffington Post seems ripe to point out, maybe just because an extensive explainer on the subject (at least one that seems so sincere) isn't really necessary. "So long as one does not attempt to steal the waffle maker or an entire tray of grilled chicken, use the dining hall to your advantage," the post entreats. [Huffington Post College]