Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Obviously, we need more fluff courses

smitty_one_each (243267) writes | 1 year,21 days

User Journal 21

A Devastating Affirmative-Action Failure
If the school wasn't so raaaaacist, they would just have more classes in Applied Fairness and stuff. Because even those who just simply aren't prepared to be there deserve good grades, right?A Devastating Affirmative-Action Failure
If the school wasn't so raaaaacist, they would just have more classes in Applied Fairness and stuff. Because even those who just simply aren't prepared to be there deserve good grades, right?

cancel ×

21 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,21 days | (#44694967)

âoeMaybe he didnâ(TM)t have to be the straight-A kid heâ(TM)d been in high school anymore,â

He was a straight A student in high school. He was academically qualified. Likely his high school set him up for this failure. Most of the college admissions process is based on the high school GPA, with a little bit of influence coming from standardized test scores as well.

Unless you can point to straight-A white kids who applied for the same entering class and were denied entry, you really don't have good support for the claim that he was admitted on the basis of being black.

I will openly concede that there are a lot of high schools that are guilty of grade inflation, and hence the high school GPA isn't nearly as valuable as college admissions offices often believe. However much like the education and past work experience descriptions on a job application it makes for a very easy filter when sorting out applicants from a very large pile.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | 1 year,21 days | (#44695061)

His SAT scores had to be a part of his package and it's my guess that they are much more indicative of where he is at academically.

But I do think that you are correct in that the failure is not affirmative action, it is an education system so rotten that kids like this are screwed a long time before they are old enough to apply to any university.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,21 days | (#44695407)

He was a straight A student in high school. He was academically qualified.

*cough*Grade inflation?*cough*
No, that doesn't happen, and I'm the bad guy for even suggesting it.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,21 days | (#44696135)

He was a straight A student in high school. He was academically qualified.

*cough*Grade inflation?*cough*
No, that doesn't happen, and I'm the bad guy for even suggesting it.

Come on smitty, I explicitly mentioned grade inflation in my comment [slashdot.org] :

I will openly concede that there are a lot of high schools that are guilty of grade inflation, and hence the high school GPA isn't nearly as valuable as college admissions offices often believe

However the GPA is a number that colleges use to filter out kids who are qualified from those who are not. He was a 4.0; it's not like he was a D high school student who was admitted to the university.

So no, you're not a bad person for pointing out that grade inflation happens - or if you are, then I am too - but it appears you may be trying to claim that this kid was admitted simply for being black and that is not the case. On paper he was academically qualified. The fault here likely has more to do with a combination of his parents and his high school than anyone else for allowing him to get through high school with high marks like this. Interesting that the article said nothing at all about the high school that gave him straight As.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,21 days | (#44697353)

Fair enough. But, while this case may be egregious, I don't think it atypical. Transcripts and academic work are so meaningless these days that, unless you're running as a Republican, you really needn't produce them at all. So much for meritocracy.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,21 days | (#44703373)

I would like to point out though that the single best predictor of college GPA is high school GPA. While the high school GPA is undoubtedly flawed in many cases it does a far better job than any standardized test at predicting which students will do well in college and which will not. Being as colleges make far more revenue from graduates than they do from dropouts, it is in their best interest to try to find students who are likely to graduate. If there was a better metric to predict which students are likely to do well, they would love to hear about it.

Transcripts and academic work are so meaningless these days that, unless you're running as a Republican, you really needn't produce them at all

So are you saying then that only republicans need to provide their academic transcripts and only democrats need to provide their military service records?

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,21 days | (#44704595)

Nicely played.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,20 days | (#44706083)

If you want to pull back the curtain you should address everything behind it, not just the bits that you want to call attention to.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,20 days | (#44706543)

"Everything" is somewhat inclusive. The sequence of approaching the challenge is key.
I'll buy off that Affirmative Action may have helped to get the pendulum swinging a different direction, but I submit that, like an immune system run amok, it's doing far more harm than good at this point.
More generally still, such is always the nature of bureaucratic solutions. Political parties are subject to the same observation.
So I don't think this is solvable, and there for may not be a problem in the mathematical sense. Like the immune system run amok, we're drowning in allergy symptoms.
Perhaps a better question then is: How do we minimize these ill effects?

Thanks for the feedback, boss: you got me to write something far better than my initial snark.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,20 days | (#44706801)

"Everything" is somewhat inclusive.

Yeah, I'll give you that one. It just seemed obvious to me that we had an equally valid complaint regarding the previous guy :)

So I don't think this is solvable, and there for may not be a problem in the mathematical sense. Like the immune system run amok, we're drowning in allergy symptoms.
Perhaps a better question then is: How do we minimize these ill effects?

I really don't have a solid answer for that question. I admit that the current system is not perfect, and needs to be fixed. The problem though has several different facets and they pretty much all need to be addressed simultaneously in order for a proposed solution to be considered:

  • Large volume of applicants that need to be filtered quickly
  • Ability to evaluate applicants from a number of states[ and countries (including some where the primary language is not English)
  • Need to select applicants with the highest probability of success in the institution in order to keep the institution financially viable

One early attempt to solve this problem of course were the ACT and SAT exams, but those can be gamed and don't really show the full picture of the student's ability. They are now used as filters as much as the GPA and other criteria. Now how much affirmative action plays in to college admissions is a matter of perspective and varies wildly from one school to another. I have seen several schools that state they have a goal to have a student body that "reflects the region's ethnic or racial makeup", and this can be done in some situations without having to take low scoring students of XYZ minority group over high scoring "majority" kids - particularly if the makeup bit is a secondary or tertiary filter.

Thanks for the feedback, boss: you got me to write something far better than my initial snark.

Glad I could help. I know we push each other's buttons from time to time; good to see I got you engaged again.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,20 days | (#44711699)

I think the most important thing to do in reforming education is get the Federal government out of the loansharking business.
Every student is in a state, and those states should not be circumvented as under the current system.
The really good reference on the meltdown of our education system is Instapundit [pjmedia.com] .

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,20 days | (#44709059)

Perhaps a better question then is: How do we minimize these ill effects?

First step: Recognize that you are ill.
Second: Create a desire to cure yourself.
Third: PROFIT! Real profit, not gold colored plastic trinkets.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,20 days | (#44711711)

Ah, nonsense. Who doesn't want to be cured?
And yet, who, truly is cured?
But I don't think you were terribly serious here.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,20 days | (#44711999)

See? You skipped right over the first step. The primary cause of failure..

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,20 days | (#44712009)

Ah

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

Arker (91948) | 1 year,21 days | (#44695427)

I am afraid it is more insidious than that. You start with many black kids (and many fewer white kids) in schools where straight As and top of the class does not mean much. They used to detect that with the test scores, which in the old rational way of thinking of things is fair - the test doesnt care what your color is just how well you can answer the questions.

In California, they were unhappy this was effectively weeding out the black kids, and they have adopted this new anti-rational view where the statistical outcome supposedly renders the method "unfair" so they quit doing that.

The intentions may have been good but the results were predictable and reek of willful ignorance IMHOP.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,21 days | (#44696093)

The intentions may have been good

Never let people who wish to be judged solely on intentions, not results, wield power.
On the other hand, the end doesn't justify the means, either.
A synthesis of the two seems more desirable.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

Arker (91948) | 1 year,21 days | (#44696797)

Indeed, the ends must be just, and the means must be suited as well.

In this case I can sympathize with the intended ends, while nonetheless noting that the ends chosen we irrational, ineffective, and ultimately tragic.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,21 days | (#44697379)

+1

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,21 days | (#44698403)

Maybe the 'ends' aren't what they seem. You shouldn't expect people who created a racist system to even be able to correct it. They think just because slavery was officially abolished there is no more racism, when all that happened was it being shifted, or morphed into the 'corrections' system, for example. Again we must understand that those swimming in privilege will never even know, much less accept that they are. Any attempt to change that will always be framed as 'reverse racism' and 'affirmative action'. It is impossible for them to ever know systematic disenfranchisement when the good life is handed to them on a silver platter.

Re:An important fact was conveniently buried (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,21 days | (#44698743)

You're in fine Orwellian form today, sir.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>