November 9, 2011

"A New Book Argues Against the SAT"

From the NYT:
A New Book Argues Against the SAT 
By REBECCA R. RUIZ 
When Wake Forest University announced three years ago that it would make the SAT optional for its undergraduate applicants, among those cheering was Joseph Soares, a sociology professor at the university. Mr. Soares has channeled his enthusiasm for Wake Forest’s decision — as well as for similar policies at several hundred other colleges — into a new book, “SAT Wars,” that argues for looking beyond standardized test scores in college admissions. (The book was published last month by Teachers College Press.) 
“The SAT and ACT are fundamentally discriminatory,”  Mr. Soares said in a phone interview last week. 
Through his own essays in the book, as well as those of contributors that he edited, Mr. Soares seeks to build a case against the SAT. He characterizes it as a test that tends to favor white, male, upper income students with the means to prepare for it.

Because Asians do so badly on the SAT.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny thing about those with the means to prepare for it - they do well even before they prepare.

It's almost like IQ is heritable.

But Mr. Soares probably dropped out of Biology 101 because it was too hard. And the labs, are you kidding me?! Sociology leaves you much more time to do important things like Celebrate Diversity and Not Tolerate Intolerance, things a hard sciences major just can't fit into his schedule.

Jehu said...

Prediction:
Only applicants of the NAM persuasion will not have their applications hurt in practice by the lack of an SAT/ACT score. The desired equilibrium by Wake is to eliminate the documentable disparities between the NAMs that they admit vs Asians and Whites (who will continue to be de facto required to provide an SAT/ACT or equivalent psychometric). So the word will get around that if you're a NAM, don't submit an SAT (unless, by chance, it happens to be really high, like >= the median for that school).

Doug1 said...

The SAT discriminates in favor of smart, high IQ people. Most high IQ high school students have high IQ parents. High IQ in their parents leads them to disproportionately become upper middle class or upper class by the time their kids are seniors in high school.

Euro ancestry whites are much smarter on average than blacks or heavily Amerindian Hispanics in America (less so than white Cubans).

The NE and South Asians we get in this country however do somewhat better than whites on the SAT.

Doug1 said...

Therefore the "discriminating" that the SAT does is entirely a good thing.

Dumber people should be discriminated against in college and elite college admissions.

Anonymous said...

Through his own essays in the book, as well as those of contributors that he edited, Mr. Soares seeks to build a case against the SAT. He characterizes it as a test that tends to favor white, male, upper income students with the means to prepare for it


And as we all know, anything which those wicked racist white males do well at is automatically evil.

DW said...

Diversity uber alles!

It's like they're doing their best to drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator, namely, young black males.

If whites and Asians do better then it means they're smarter. Nobody faults the Dutch for being taller than the Chinese, neither should they fault whites and Asians for being smarter than blacks.

Anonymous said...

The SAT and ACT are fundamentally discriminatory


One would hope. Tests are supposed to be fundamentally discriminatory. They're designed to discriminate between those who can pass them and those who cannot.

You might as well say "The 100 meters sprint is fundamentally discriminatory".

Anonymous said...

'The SAT and ACt are fundamentally discriminatory".

Forgive me,but isn't that the whole point?

Anonymous said...

Would love to see Mr. Soares appear on tv with a guy like you, Steve.

These guys are never made to discuss the issues with anyone except idiots on morning talk shows, people who know nothing of the data.

Catperson said...

Would it make any difference if the SAT was eliminated? Without the SAT colleges would still select the best students from the most competitive schools. And does it really matter who gets into what college? Smart, hard working, well rounded people from rich families are going to do well in life whether they attend expensive Harvard or don't go to college at all. Indeed bill gates, the most successful man of all time, drooped out of harvard. It's all a scam. Save your money.

John M Auston said...

Basketball discriminates on the basis of height.

Maya said...

Okay, so I understand how the good professor might have a point about the "upper income" having an unfair advantage, as far as preparation is concerned. I also follow the arguement about the inherent racial descrimination. Oh, I think it's bullshit, but I can, at least, paraphrase it: since the minority races and immigrants have different cultures, they are at an unfair disatvantage when taking the culturally white American SAT. I disagree, but I am able to follow his line of thinking. But how in the world is SAT favoring males over females? Last time I took SAT was a few years shy of a decade ago, but I don't seem to recall any questions about the urinating while standing techniques. Seriously, does the professor explain in what way the SAT is gender biased?

Anonymous said...

Whites are less likely to do test prep than minorities.

What is funny is that tests almost universally overpredict the performance of NAMs, but this is never regarded as a problem. For example, blacks tend to do worse in college than whites with similar SAT scores, thus getting an unfair advantage over whites -- on top of affirmative action. Fairness is a one-way street in racial matters.

Paradoxically, the overprediction seems to result mechanically from the fact that tests like the SAT are unbiased measures of ability for all groups in the sense of "measurement invariance".

Anonymous said...

What's the financial payoff for Wake Forest? How much in federal dollars do they stand to get for greater NAM numbers at that school?

Or do they somehow think the prestige of their beloved school will suddenly be raised?

Seriously, can anyone tell me? Or, are they just simply stupid?

Anonymous said...

Get rid of colleges altogether. They favor those who like to study, the geeks.

Anonymous said...

"The SAT and ACt are fundamentally discriminatory".

Well, yes, of course. The school wished to discriminate between those who will do well and those who won't. That's the purpose of having entrance requirements and tests.

The electrician who wires my house must pass a test in order to be licensed to do so. The test is discriminatory, thank God.

Anonymous said...

Well of course its fundamentally discriminatory. That's the whole point of a test, to allow discriminations between test-takers.

Perhaps its too much to expect a professor to know how to use the English language.

-osvaldo m.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Through his own essays in the book, as well as those of contributors that he edited, Mr. Soares seeks to build a case against the SAT. He characterizes it as a test that tends to favor white, male, upper income students with the means to prepare for it."

Suppose it does. Suppose it is biased in favor of white men. Want to place any bets on who the founders of Wake Forest were, who the vast majority of those who have contributed, professionally or financially, to its growth over the last 2 centuries were?

According to Wikipedia, "Wake Forest University was founded after the North Carolina Baptist State Convention purchased a 600-acre (2.4 km2) plantation from Dr. Calvin Jones in an area north of Raleigh...The new school, designed to teach both Baptist ministers and laymen, opened on February 3, 1834."

When my parents eventually die, hopefully not til several decades hence, they will leave their estate to my siblings and I. The diversity mongers increasingly talk like people who think they're entitled to an equal share of my parents' (small) fortune. They aren't.

fraggins said...

I was actually a student at Wake Forest when that decision went down. I remember that it infuriated a few professors in the Psychology department that admissions had consulted with this Soares character and ignored them (and their presumably greater understanding of cognitive tests) completely. Heh.

Jim Bowery said...

I don't know why they aren't satisfied with the trend established by having already eliminating the most 'g' loaded tests, such as the verbal analogy test.

Hear me out... there is a reason they should prefer this strategy:

If you keep the "SAT" in place you can just change the tests to fit the social "science" theories in, what Dawkins calls, "the moral zeitgeist". (Fascinating how Dawkins goes for theocracy but doesn't even recognize he's actually worse than Jerry Falwell.)

This is superior to getting rid of the SAT altogether. It "captures the culture" through re-definition, sort of the way the government does with "the living document" theory of Constitutional Law, or the "let's let everyone have berets" theory of military morale.

Anonymous said...

If the author's premise is true, it should be possible to create a test that produces better results for whatever group is targeted.

Produce such a test for blacks and Hispanics. That will shut everybody up. If it can't be done, the premise is false and some other cause must be identified.

Anonymous said...

It's more like whites favor SAT than SAT favors whites. Also, what is this stuff about 'white males' when females outnumber males in today's colleges?

Also, you don't need money to prepare for SAT. All you have to do is love to read, write, do math, i.e. spend more time with books and do your math homework.

This is just more of the same old song. In the medieval age, one maintained moral authority by invoking the devil for everything wrong with the world--even though the devil had nothing to do with it. Today, you remain relevant by bitching about 'white males' and blaming them for all the ills.
White male devil is the new force for all evil in the world.

And of course, a lot of white males join in this charade. And even those don't speak in such manner act as if white males--at least OTHER white males--must do penance for their sins. Such man was George W. Bush.

Jehu said...

Here are the relevant numbers for Wake Forest


SAT/ACT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SAT (25-75th Percentile)

Total: 1860-2115est
Critical Reading: 610-700
Math: 630-710

% Submitting SAT: 80% ACT (25-75th Percentile)

Composite: 27-31

% Submitting ACT: 20%

Now, imagine if NAMs stop submitting SAT scores. All of the sudden, two things happen:
1. The SAT score disparity 'goes away' for NAMs vs Whites and Asians at Wake. No smoking guns for pesky lawyers for white people trying to prove discrimination against their kind. Also,
2. The SAT averages go up.

I can see tremendous advantages to hiding this information from the perspective of administrators, as long as you still de facto require it from Whites and Asians.

Anonymous said...

In some ways, I welcome this. Many universities are over 90% liberal when it comes to professors. And most students at Harvard and such places are SWPL jerks. So, if more blacks and browns are allowed into academia, the faster the whole thing will crumble. Let liberals destroy their own institutions. GOP destroyed its brand by allowing neocons and Christian Zionist Creationist Evangelicals run loose. I say let libs destroy their institutions by favoring less qualified blacks and browns over 'white males'.

Anonymous said...

Therefore the "discriminating" that the SAT does is entirely a good thing.

Dumber people should be discriminated against in college and elite college admissions.


That's all true, but it's apparently thought to be very bad for 'collective action' and 'social justice,' so it really doesn't matter how true any of it is. Come on, what could possibly be a more important objective than collective action and social justice? Can't let a little thing like "truth" get in the way of such noble goals.

Keep in mind that "Diversity" is just a stepping-stone to collective action and social justice, not an end in itself, despite it being packaged and sold that way (to great effect). That's what "multiculturalism" used to be for, but even though it weathered the storm fairly well, there was just too much meat there for critics, you figure. But "Diversity" is delightfully vague; who could object to a bit of diversity in his life, eh? Only recalcitrant white males.

You've got to hand it to these bastards. They're quite good at what they do, and absolutely relentless.

Suggest tact and strategic thinking to a right-winger (particularly a WN/racialist) and he's as likely to punch your lights out as hear you out.

Silver

Anonymous said...

I demand that Harvard be at least 50% black and Hispanic. That oughta destroy that bastion of SWPL liberalism in no time.

Anonymous said...

Maya,

I disagree, but I am able to follow his line of thinking. But how in the world is SAT favoring males over females?

Do you seriously believe the good professor isn't aware that he's FOS? Do you seriously believe that a Leon Kamin honestly thought there was no basis for racial differences in intelligence, that Hernstein and Murray were just "racists" making it all up to make blacks look bad?

What the hell do you suppose the "long march through the institutions" was all about? Have a think about it.

Silver

Anonymous said...

The desired equilibrium by Wake is to eliminate the documentable disparities between the NAMs that they admit vs Asians and Whites (who will continue to be de facto required to provide an SAT/ACT or equivalent psychometric).

i'd say that the "desired equilibrium by Wake" is to become competitive again with unc & duke in basketball.

there are only so many basketball games you're gonna win with gentleman scholars like brian piccolo or arnold palmer.

ps: just what is tim duncan's ethnicity, anyway? dude looks & acts as though he's 50% to 75% white.

Anonymous said...

"In the medieval age, one maintained moral authority by invoking the devil for everything wrong with the world"

[citation needed]

Q said...

He characterizes it as a test that tends to favor white, male, upper income students with the means to prepare for it.


So if the SAT was unbiased, the female majority in colleges would be even larger than it currently is?

But the question assumes a lot more intelligence and good faith in the allegation than it actually deserves. Soares is blasting rich white males because that's the thing everyone does in academia, not because he has thought long and thoughtfully about the matter. In the faculty lounge, everybody nods approvingly when you make dismissive remarks about the rich white male power elite.

eh said...

I did the same -- didn't really wanna take it. On a Saturday an' all.

Anonymous said...

harvard undergrad is less than 10% white christian male.. one wonders how much lower it will have to go until liberals stop banging this drum?

fraggins said...

Some of you have asked about the payoff to Wake. One that is less nefarious than boosting minority enrollment without lowering ostensible SAT scores is this: increasing the total number of applicants.

If more people apply to Wake, more people can be rejected, which means a higher US News college ranking-- 'percent admitted' is part of their ranking formula.

Wake has risen a couple of places since this change went into effect. It may cause long-term harm, but it's hard to argue with the short term results. If people think your school is better, ironically, it actually will get better as it attracts better applicants.

SF said...

I wonder whether the white/NAM disparity has increased since test prep classes came into vogue. In my day they just told us to get a good night's sleep the night before.

Anonymous said...

I keep expecting NYT articles like this to have a punch line...

Georgia Resident said...

"He characterizes it as a test that tends to favor white, male, upper income students with the means to prepare for it."

Should read "favors high-IQ students with a strong work ethnic, such as white males and East Asians".

Anonymous said...

"they are at an unfair disatvantage"

Can we dispense with "unfair" coupled with "disadvantage"?

The disadvantage is neither fair nor unfair. Nor can it be removed. Such is life.

Anonymous said...

"if more blacks and browns are allowed into academia, the faster the whole thing will crumble. Let liberals destroy their own institutions."

Yeah, lordy, let them see what the public schools have become.

Anonymous said...

"The desired equilibrium by Wake is to eliminate the documentable disparities between the NAMs that they admit vs Asians and Whites (who will continue to be de facto required to provide an SAT/ACT or equivalent psychometric)."

Would be wonderful if whites gave them an little bit more than what they want--an all NAM school.

Be nice if a website popped up urging bright whites, all whites and Asians too, to simply no longer apply to Wake Forest. Let's see the profs stay quiet when the ave IQ of their classes plummets.

Anonymous said...

Catperson, your comment about our obsession with credentials is interesting. It is a symptom of decay. I hired a 'refugee' from the Soviet Union twenty years ago, and the poor guy demonstrated this phenomenon precisely.

"I am graduate of Blahblah Engineering Academy in Beograd."
"Yes, Dragan, that's nice, but what are you going to do for my next year?"
"I am graduate of Blahblah...."

He didn't last long. He probably bores his passengers about his elite education these days.
Gilbert P.

Otis McWrong said...

A deal: colleges drop the SAT/ACT if they also drop horses**t majors such as sociology and African studies. My Dad (explaining why I had to major in math, engineering, computer science, chemistry, etc rather than history if he was going to pay for my college) said "people spend 5 years studying something like sociology. They graduate and are unemployable and five years later they're a communist. You need to learn something useful and can still read history books the rest of your life". Soares is Exhibit A for the decline of the universities: An effete'leftist twit spewing nonsense.

Anon @ 1150: "let liberals destroy their own institutions"...I agree with your sentiment but have to point out liberals do not build institutions, only destroy them. Thus they're destroying institutions their betters built. Liberals should be purged and the institutions saved.

Harvard was not founded in 1636 by liberals. Wake Forest was founded in 1834 by Baptists, not by liberals.

Anonymous said...

When universities decrease emphasis on grades and SATs, Asians tend to be the hardest hit. There are studies that show Asians need higher SAT scores than NAMs and even whites to get into selective universities. If admissions became purely meritocratic, Asians would take up almost all the spots currently given to NAMs.

Taking shots at "white, male, upper income students" is easy because they have no group unity, but Asians are the real target of universities. Universities can't come out and say "hey, too many boring/grind parent-programmed Asian drones!", but they can adopt a holistic admission system and justify it on the grounds that it hurts straight white upper income males.

In reality, universities like upper income white males (particularly Jews) because they often embody the well-rounded, independent-thinker scholar/athlete ethic that universities like. Many go on to take on leadership positions in business and finance after they finish their degree. They also tend to have rich, generous, and influential parents. Asians, especially Asian men, have the whole nerd/geek vibe and don't donate much anyway as alumni or parents of alumni.

Universities don't much like whites from non upper-income backgrounds either and generally, if the school is prestigious, doesn't admit them much. If you want to feel sorry for someone, feel sorry for the bright working class white kids from Omaha whose parents don't know how to work the system. Harvard admission officers aren't going to give that kid anything. Don't cry for the children of wealthy, well connected WASPs and Jews. Trust me, they'll be okay.

Mitch said...

"When universities decrease emphasis on grades and SATs, Asians tend to be the hardest hit."

THey never decrease the emphasis on grades. They can't, not if they want to be able to accept URMs.

That's the usual pattern: do away with affirmative action, schools count grades more than test scores. This helps URMs a little--as much as can be done--and helps Asians a *lot*, because Asians get much better grades than whites.

The UC system is trying to balance this out somehow. They still want to practice affirmative action (against the law) but they want to cut the number of Asians. That's why they are cutting the Subject tests--where choice and language gives Asians a huge advantage--while still keeping the GPA requirements high.

Anonymous said...

I'm continually perplexed by this phrasing of a "whites and Asians" linkage on these topics, as if "whites and Asians" both had an equal hand in conceiving and building this country.

Whites built this country, Asians come here to mooch. Instead of SAT scores, let Asians submit proofs of honorable discharge from our military, if they want to benefit from the colleges and universities built by whites.

As for blacks and mestizos, let them attend all those glorious colleges built by Asians. Then they'll never have to experience white racism ever again.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why they aren't satisfied with the trend established by having already eliminating the most 'g' loaded tests, such as the verbal analogy test.


Okay here is my question. Asians do better on Math SAT than whites and not as well on Reading SAT. Makes sense, more Asians than whites are not native English speakers. However, Asians do better than whites on Writing? Huh, come again. Are the graders really unbiased? When someone writes decent essay but leaves out words like "the" or leaves off the third person 's' at too high a rate for it to be just haste, it kind of screams Asian. Has anyone been a grader for the SAT writing section? How subjective is it and got any insight on Asians doing better at verbal expression than verbal comprehension? That just seems pretty backwards.

Anyway, Asians would barely be above whites on SAT were it not for their higher English writing scores.

Big Bill said...

There are enough Asians in American culture now that the Oriental>White>Black hierarchy is impossible to ignore.

Yet noticing that obvious fact would be admitting that Rushton was correct.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

I've got an idea: why doesn't the Gates Foundation peel off a few million and put it towards proving that good SAT scores can be bought through well-funded test prep? Take a group of average kids and buy them ivy-worthy scores.

While I'm at, it another one: why not have some statisticians figure out how much income inflates test scores (meaning that the scores overpredict academic success) and adjust accordingly? The schools have all the data they need: the SAT scores, the parents' incomes, and a history of grades.

I think the emperor is streaking through the quad.

Anonymous said...

@Maya: There's some evidence of differential predictive validity of the SAT in a way that's biased against women. It's not very big in the scheme of things. But it's at least in the direction that people who want to discredit the SAT would say it is, unlike with race and class where when there are differential prediction issues they actually hurt higher-scoring groups (rich kids, white kids).

bbartlog said...

A prediction for the future: Colleges will ultimately (in pursuit of marketshare and PC) debase the currency of the bachelor's degree so much that a stint of military service will be a stronger credential. After all, the military has an intellectual cutoff for entrants, too, and while much of the training is not terribly workplace-applicable, you can say the same about university studies.
This will also follow a well-known sociological pattern where fields that become female-dominated suffer status devaluation.
As a result, some employers will start asking for '*either* bachelor's degree or 4+ years military service'. Learning to interpret a military resume will become a valuable HR skill. Ultimately, maybe some places will stop asking for degrees entirely...

Anonymous said...

There's some evidence of differential predictive validity of the SAT in a way that's biased against women.


I think you could rephrase that to "Women in college are graded more gently than their male fellows".

Ideally all college work would be blind graded, which would make it impossible for professors to take students color, sex, etc into consideration when awarding grades.

Anonymous said...

An argument could be made that the SAT skews the priorities of universities, lets unis think they don't have to impose any rigor on their recruits. Their admission is the only vital datum about 90% of U.S. college grads.

But then, having a law school skews them too. I won't even touch the subject of football programs

Reg Cæsar said...

In my day they just told us to get a good night's sleep the night before. --SF

I am Goulash.

I got about three hours sleep the night before my SAT, and did just fine-- that score got me into Mensa.

But I didn't get into my first-choice school, but my second. So, would a full-night's sleep have added 10 or 15 points, and placed me better?

And no, I wasn't fretting, and wasn't "studying". I was up listening to records. Yes, vinyl ones. That was back when the test still meant something.

I am Goulash...

(...in the pot, nine days old.)

Anonymous said...

Who cares? Wake is a TTT anyway.

Reg Cæsar said...

Back in 1984, a Canadian grad student asked me why Americans placed so much weight on the SAT and ACT. I asked him what they looked at when you applied to college-- excuse me, to university-- in his country. He said, "Your marks."

I told him that wouldn't work in our country because of too much diversity among schools. Not within schools, among them. And that didn't refer to racial diversity.

By ninth grade I'd attended ten schools in seven communities in five states in four (or five or six) sections of the U.S. Seven of those schools were lily-white, and the others were thoroughly assimilated Asian-American, or effectively the same as lily-white.

Yet there were huge differences in standards, practices and average levels of ability. Fifth grade in Appalachia was actually easier than fourth in suburban DC, and finishing fifth in the brainiest college town in the Midwest just gave me the bends, or acrophobia, or whatever.

Thirty years ago Canadian schools must have been homogeneous in more ways than merely the ethnic, if they were only looking at "your marks".

sarcastica said...

"That's the usual pattern: do away with affirmative action, schools count grades more than test scores. This helps URMs a little--as much as can be done--and helps Asians a *lot*, because Asians get much better grades than whites."

Mitch again with his usual bs. It's kinda hard to get much better grades than anyone in a public high school.

Asians aren't all geniuses and hard work will only get you so far especially if you aren't focusing on your true weaknesses.

I'm sick of you people insisting that they've earned the majority of the spots in elite universities. I've yet to run across even a handful of asians demonstrating such erudition let alone hordes of them.

While I don't at all agree that the SAT is a measure of upper middle class whiteness, I do believe there is an overemphasis on the score as a measure of ability. I've followed your pro-Asian PR on this blog before. You've obviously got a personal interest at stake by creating this distortion.

I seriously doubt an emphasis on subject tests or requiring some kind of portfolio of schoolwork would give Asians even more of an advantage. In fact, I'm pretty sure people with relatively higher verbal IQs (including women and hispanics) would make the most gains. The SAT score was never intended to be standalone in college admissions at any level. A slightly lower SAT combined with a excellent high school project or two and or some subject tests has to be a much better indicator of ability and would probably give the advantage to WOMEN of any background.

Good luck getting that date with the asian squatty though.

Anonymous said...

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/11/09/war-against-boys-continues-apace-in-academia/

Robert in Arabia

Gilbert Ratchet said...

Thirty years ago Canadian schools must have been homogeneous in more ways than merely the ethnic, if they were only looking at "your marks".

Not really. The same disparities in grading you see in the US were also to be seen in Canada, or at least Ontario. My high school (private, and genuinely harder than your average public school) actually formulated "recommendation marks," i.e. inflated grades, that they submitted to the central university admissions office in Guelph, to "level the playing field" for their students.

I always wondered why there wasn't some standardized test to act as a control on this sort of thing, but the centralized "grade thirteen finals" that my parents took in the '50s had been abolished by the time I was in HS because... well, I never really understood why, but I recall teachers saying that they didn't like having to teach to them, and the headmaster calling them "cruel and unusual punishment."

I suppose any attempt at implementing a standardized test now would be condemned for being "American," and nothing will shut down debate in Canada faster than that epithet.

IHTG said...

In reality, universities like upper income white males (particularly Jews) because they often embody the well-rounded, independent-thinker scholar/athlete ethic that universities like.

America, what have you done to the Jews?!

Gringo said...

He characterizes it as a test that tends to favor white, male, upper income students with the means to prepare for it.

I am a white male with parents who had graduate degrees. I did well on the SAT without preparing for it, other than taking the PSAT. It might be said that I did prepare for the SAT by doing a lot of reading not required in school and by doing my math homework. I suppose that reading on my own was an unfair advantage over people who didn't crack a book outside of school. I apologize to the good professor for having done so much reading on my own, which unfairly cranked up my SAT score.

David said...

Life discriminates in favor of clever and strong people. Life is unfair!!

Anonymous said...

I recall teachers saying that they didn't like having to teach to them, and the headmaster calling them "cruel and unusual punishment.

Yeah, no kidding. Actually teaching content is real work. As for the headmaster, let me translate, the headmaster didn't have high marks on his exams.

Anonymous said...

I told him that wouldn't work in our country because of too much diversity among schools. Not within schools, among them. And that didn't refer to racial diversity.


By ninth grade I'd attended ten schools in seven communities in five states in four (or five or six) sections of the U.S. Seven of those schools were lily-white, and the others were thoroughly assimilated Asian-American, or effectively the same as lily-white.


I found that exactly the same thing occurred in college. (In the US) The standards were whatever the professor teaching each class wanted them to be. It also depended on the ability of the collection of students you happened to be taking the class with. This was in math and science, mind you, not art history and English lit.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1984, a Canadian grad student asked me why Americans placed so much weight on the SAT and ACT. I asked him what they looked at when you applied to college-- excuse me, to university-- in his country. He said, "Your marks."



If Canadian high schools/secondary schools work like the British ones, then your "marks" are not awarded by your high school teachers. All exam papers are sent away to be blind graded. So you don't have the situation which you find in America where an "A" in math in a certain high school is the same as an "F" in math in some other high school. An A is an A is an A.

Anonymous said...

I want to hate this Soares person, and indeed I may yet do so, but I notice that amid the usual lefty nonsense he does make a good, iSteve-friendly point:

"Just as race-sensitive admissions at very selective colleges helped to bring diversity into America's political elites ... , a first-generation-sensitive admission policy may accomplish something similar for Americans from modest to low social class backgrounds."

If Soares is not dissembling here -- if this policy really is about class and not merely race -- then this is precisely the sort of scheme Steve has long advocated: that the low-hanging fruit for higher education is to be found among poor Whites.

Possible proof of his bona fides: he's an Air Force brat, and a first-generation college graduate himself.

There just might be something here that we can work with...

Gopher

C. Blackwell said...

The capacity of some social "scientists" for self-delusion and dissimulation never ceases to astonish me.

David said...

>"Yes, Dragan, that's nice, but what are you going to do for my next year?"<

Isn't it your job to determine that?

Not only does an applicant have to possess the knowledge and aptitude to work well in the field. According to you, he also has to make your business plan for you.

Are you merely in HR or something? Or is this another baleful instance of parasitical management at its most arrogant?

Anonymous said...

The "I hope universities crumble because I hate hate hate liberals" mentality perplexes me to no end. Perhaps if I went a university, I would understand it.

Penn State rioter said...

Well, do go by one some time, they're all pretty absurd.

Charlotte said...

(Goulash...in the pot, nine days old.)

according to a phd in nursery rhymes, that was pease porridge in the pot 9 days old. Goulash that old would be toxic. Saw it on my SAT subject test.