The education emperor in the United States is losing his clothes, and few are willing to confront him with the fact. The Post reported, “Scores on SAT extend slide” [front page, Sept. 25] and hit a four-decade low. But Race to the Top as well as No Child Left Behind appear to make the public believe that educational achievement by U.S. high school students is improving. What is going on when objective data belie the public trumpeting?  

We keep expanding the base of university and college admissions, but the base is coming in with weaker and weaker potential for achievement. Colleges and universities are excoriated for high dropout rates and poor four- or six-year graduation rates. The linkage between poor SAT performance of high school graduates and the continuing problem with college retention and graduation rates is clear, but we do not wish to publicly state that only a limited proportion of high school graduates really is prepared for college education and that proportion is not increasing.

Mark Stern, Shepherdstown, W.Va.