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Variety is Neither the Drawback nor the Answer (SAT’s New ‘Adversity Rating’ )



Link to a New York Times article on the subject, “SAT’s New ‘Adversity Score’ Will Take Students’ Hardships Into Account” = https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/us/sat-score.html
Check out our earlier (much longer) video, “The University is Broken: “Academically Adrift” Book Review.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_KEXfDpeDs
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8 Comments

  1. This was a refreshingly good take on the issue. I will be honest, I was bracing myself to hear some b.s. conservative babble (not knowing at all if you identify as conservative). As a Black American and doctorate degree holder, I am exhausted by band-aid approaches to systemic oppression. One thing that has been proven time and time again is that if people start at the same starting line and an even playing field, race is almost 100% inconsequential to performance. Trying to treat the SAT score differentials as the problem and not the systemic barriers that create the difference is a doomed approach. It helps NO ONE. Representation and diversity just for the sake of appearances is unhelpful. We see small, African centered schools popping up with much better educational outcomes than underfunded public schools in predominately Black areas. Why? Because of the better quality of instruction and an approach that actually works. The school that Lebron James founded is also "exceeding performance expectations." Why? Because it is funded properly and the disadvantaged kids have certain barriers addressed (e.g. having enough food in their bodies to pay attention in class).

  2. Thanks again, this is so interesting, I had been annoyed by comments by Thomas Sowell on the problems of affirmative action, but I didn't see him actually trying to help the situation, as he has some kind of conservative bias(as least I think so). Your solution of taking the course twice is brilliant. Here in Ireland it can be easier to get a tutor in college, and it works if you get a good tutor that actually knows there stuff. also we retake exams in the following semester if we failed, so we get another chance. which makes things easier if you failed one or two classes.

    I did a Udemy course on web design it cost about 15 Euros.
    I am now doing a 15 week web design course in the nearest city and I can answer so many question maybe triple the number of questions of the rest of the class. Since I'm stressed and suffer from terrible anxiety and chronic fatigue. I won't have been able to keep up with the class if I hadn't done the Udemy course first and if I didn't have a very understanding teacher that allowed me to take the time to catch up. I mean I could barely manage the walk to and from the course. (luckily someone suggested another route that was more level and wasn't down and then uphill.)

  3. Calling all parents, STOP doing what you are doing NOW! CRAP!!
    1.
    Problem: Working hard to provide a better life for your family. Your higher salary is now hurting your child’s chances to a good college.
    Solution: Sleep in in your home sofa, don’t bother to go to work, better yet wait till you get fired from your job, the lowest paycheck the better!
    2.
    Problem: Living in a low crime neighborhood.
    Solution: Have you heard 5 gun shots today yet? If not, why are you still have your family living in this neighborhood? It is time to pack and out now to a high crime neighborhood.
    3.
    Problem: Are you still living with that spouse of yours? Working to provide a loving two parents family for your child?
    Solution: Come on! Haven’t you heard of 1-800 Divorce? Better yet just kill that spouse of yours, so one parent die, one get sent to jail. You just have helped your dear child gain an ultimate ticket to a great college!!

    LISTEN UP!! College Board is now highly promoting this quality of parent figure, are you there yet???
    A lazy bum parent figure who has his/her butt glued on the coach 24/7 + provide a high crime neighborhood for their family to live in + a broken family, the messiest the better. Let’s top each other! See who has the worst, so our dear child can “earn” a better chance! to a college. CRAP!!

  4. Counterpoint: imagine 2 kids got the same score on SAT (in, say, Chemistry). But kid #1 went to a school where the average student goes to the ivy leagues, and kid #2 went to a school where the average kid goes to community college. Who demonstrated more talent, grit, or skill? Obviously kid #2. Starting way behind but finishing at the 'same place', they exceeded expectations more and are likely "smarter" than would've be represented in the final score.

  5. I once did an "introduction to programming" course, and my parents told me how smart I was for passing it with flying colors whereas most students barely pass, when really…. I wasn't any smarter than anyone. I just had time to learn it at my own pace, having already self taught myself programming and practiced it for several years at home, when most students come to that course with zero knowledge and experience, since it is supposedly an introduction course though it quickly goes into concepts and ideas that require learning a way of thinking that is alien to someone who never programmed anything and are really hard to grasp within several weeks and months.

    It really put me off university seeing how if you want to be able to actually study the subject, you're better off doing it yourself at your own pace and then come to the university course to just pass the test because they don't give you the time or the resources to actually be able to understand the concepts and apply them.

    I think it would be much better if we worked on giving people access to learning tools (like computer and programming software if you didn't have access to those growing up like I did) and time to properly "digest" the material.

  6. There’s almost 100% certainty this is actually a trap for students that aren’t academically ready for the challenge, it might actually ruin their life. University really does just try to make you sink rather than teach you the material. I taught Introductory physics at a university in the states and it was under a research group in education and they even cared more about their statistics rather than providing resources for students to first struggle and then allow them to make it up. Even if a student fails a class, it’s like getting a tattoo that can never be removed. I couldn’t agree more with you that if universities let a student simply retake a course they failed, it would probably be the biggest life lesson they could ever learn about adversity and discipline without ruining their sense of what’s possible for the next 3-4 years while also piling on more debt. When I attended the University of Washington, in my high rise dorms, they’d actually lock the balconies because there had been history of kids committing suicide because one bad grade on a final led to one bad grade in a class which forever compromised their ability to be accepted into a competitive major, yet the university had a similar policy for some kind of affirmative action. There has actually been research demonstrating that certain areas like education is advertised in such a way that has much more to do with the status of the institution than the success of the students. I honestly think people have forgotten even while funding universities with hundreds of millions of dollars that these are institutions that have the capacity with the same amount of resources to be focused into training students to be future agents capable of making enormous positive change in the world rather than replicating professional sports or making as much noise about a social justice problem without even attempting to fix it. Instead, all I hear is them complaining about how they haven’t engineered enough diversity both in the staff and the students (and most of the “adversity” they want is from race or gender, not people from difficult backgrounds/different points of view).

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