Ringleader of college admissions scandal now admits he helped over 750 families sneak their way into college


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#106

Yep. And to think that most of the “left” in the U.S. thinks that if we can just get a Democrat in the White House again, everything will be okay. :angry:


#107

It will be a better, and a start. But not just okay.


#108

Here’s a wider rundown that confirm s what you and @Wanderfound are saying:

Lots of Romney and Harris fans there, and lots of bet hedging across both parties.


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#110

In a high school math class my teacher went over bell curves, and then talked about how applying bell curves to class grades was stupid. He plotted out grades from his classes and they were close to a reverse bell curve, although heavily to positive grades. Why?

“If you’re a good teacher teaching a technical subject, students either get it, or they don’t get it.”


#111

Yeah, except he believed his own nonsense and was “hoist on his own petard”. The actual legacy of the SAT was a large increase in the number of minority students attending prestigious schools.


#112

When I took it, (early 80’s) it was clearly designed intentionally or not to skew white and wealthy. How many less privileged kids would know that " a cello is to a violin as a bassoon is to a …" I am led to believe that this bias has been addressed to some extent since then, but yeah, it was a tool of oppression a/o exclusion for quite a long time.


#113

Yeah, there was no symphony in my little town, so how did I know? One of my friends (who of course aced the SAT) used the example of “regatta”. “How many poor, minority students are going to know what a regatta is?” Um, you’re from a small town in central Arkansas, how many regattas did you attend?

Standardized testing is in no way perfect, but it’s so wildly superior to previous methods of “merit” assessment that “legacy admissions” had to be invented to combat it.

I’d say probably the biggest issue with standardized admissions tests are the ones in the cartoon above: unequal access to test prep instruction. Even a little makes a big difference. A high school friend had taken the ACT and been assessed for remedial classes in college. His parents got me to sit with him a couple of times to go over practice tests, and on his second attempt he actually qualified for some minor scholarships, so it makes a huge difference as long as the fundamentals are really there.

The coolest Chinese god:

And of course:


#114

Well, it’s a big issue, but for many people, probably not the biggest one.


#115

“IQ” tests and college entrance tests have very different purposes. One purports to say things about the takers all of which are easily demonstrated to be untrue, the other is attempting to assess college preparedness (are remedial classes necessary, are basics unnecessary) and secondarily for “merit based scholarships” (which we shouldn’t need: free college for all!) and terciarily (at least for normal people like me who were never going to UCB or Harvard) for placement in prestige universities.


#116

Sure. But they’re both culturally/racially biased.


#117

It’s possible, but it’s also possible that the SAT is merely a test that reveals racial/cultural disadvantages in primary education. I think one would have a hard time claiming that the questions in the math section were racially biased, but those scores would easily reveal disparities in educational opportunity.

Verbal is more likely to have a cultural slant, but you still need to find a way to test that. But the (obviously non-math-centric) LSAT is a good example of a biased test because researchers could demonstrate both that it was an uncanny predictor of coming from an upper-middle-class New England (!) family, but also an inferior predictor of academic outcomes.


#118

Unfortunately, what bubble tests predict best is the ability to score well on bubble tests.

https://www.npr.org/about-npr/279174717/npr-news-reports-on-new-findings-about-the-value-of-standardized-testing

tl;dr: The three-year study, “Defining Promise: Optional Standardized Testing Policies in American College and University Admissions,” examined data from more than 123,000 student records at four-year colleges and universities that don’t require SAT or ACT scores for admission. It found virtually no difference in these “test optional” schools in student grades and graduation rates when comparing students who submitted test scores and those who did not.


#119

That doesn’t seem like a very useful study unless you make a lot of assumptions about the people who didn’t submit scores and the parity of these institutions against vastly more common institutions that require them.

Surely a better study would be to track institutions that do require them and then compare test score levels with academic outcomes.

Bad news: guess what half your tests in a standard land-grant college are going to look like…


#120

Nah, dude, I do not have to guess. I am where I am in part because I am really good at bubble tests. I mean really really good. Unfortunately, that does not mean I am any smarter or more proficient than my fellow students who are not so gifted. I saw a fair number of folks who knew their shit at least as well as I did if not better wash out of med school because the were not so good at the bubble tests. There are better ways, we need to make use of them.


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#122

But clearly the SAT and MCAT weren’t impediments to them.

I’m also a good test-taker, but it’s a skill like any other, not some biologically pre-determined appendage. At some point you have to have the ability apply your knowledge in some fashion or it’s useless. Tests may not perfectly represent “the real world”, but the alternatives are an unreasonable requirement for educators, and failing a real-world task in order to be assigned an F is obviously not an option (particular, I’d guess, in civil engineering or, say, medicine).