Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links
DITD Logo

Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship
  • Davidson Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 253 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    Flying Fish, wctran, LeonieKappel, kseerla, Vate
    10735 Registered Users
    April
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2 3 4
    5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    12 13 14 15 16 17 18
    19 20 21 22 23 24 25
    26 27 28 29 30
    Topic Options
    #242839 - 05/26/18 05:19 PM Grades and test scores now mean less
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Grades and test scores have been shown to correlate with college grades and graduation rates. I wonder if the other measures being considered do to the same extent.

    The Two Most Important College-Admissions Criteria Now Mean Less
    JEFFREY SELINGO
    The Atlantic
    MAY 25, 2018

    Quote:
    For generations, two numbers have signaled whether a student could hope to get into a top college: his or her standardized test score and his or her grade-point average.

    In the past 15 years, though, these lodestars have come to mean less and less. The SAT has been redesigned twice in that time, making it difficult for admissions officers to assess, for instance, whether last year’s uptick in average scores was the result of better students or just a different test. What’s more, half of American teenagers now graduate high school with an A average, according to a recent study. With application numbers at record highs, highly selective colleges are forced to make impossible choices, assigning a fixed number of slots to a growing pool of students who, each year, are harder to differentiate using these two long-standing metrics.

    Eighty percent of American colleges accept more than half of their applicants, but at the country’s most selective schools, there is something of a merit crisis: As test scores and GPAs hold less sway, admissions offices are searching for other, inevitably more subjective metrics.

    Each year, the professional association representing college-admissions officers asks its members about the top factors they consider when making decisions about applications. Grades, test scores, and the strength of one’s high-school curriculum still remain at the top of that list. But other criteria are playing a larger role than they used to: Students’ “demonstrated interest” in enrolling at a particular school, as measured by their visits to campus or what they say in their application materials, among other things, is critical. In addition, admissions officers at about half of the institutions surveyed said an applicant’s “ability to pay” was of at least “some importance” in application decisions.

    “You can’t go to a college fair anymore and say you have these grades and you’re in,” said Eric J. Furda, the dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania. While an applicant’s high-school GPA and test scores still carry considerable weight in admissions decisions at Penn, which had 40,000-plus applicants in the admissions cycle that ended this spring, those numbers are what Furda called a “snapshot” of a student’s life—grades from a few years of high school, or how one performed on a test on a particular day.

    Top
    #242844 - 05/26/18 06:54 PM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: Bostonian]
    philly103 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 74
    It's an interesting read. If a significant number of kids are showing up with high GPA's and SAT scores, it raises the possibility that those metrics have been watered down to some extent as predictors of future success.

    In the private school world from which many of the elite schools draw a disproportionate number of students, they have been putting less emphasis on grades. Some schools have switched to pass/fail metrics in some classes. In Philadelphia, I've come to understand that many college prep schools are dropping AP courses altogether for their own allegedly more rigorous coursework.

    If these feeder schools are telegraphing to the elite institutions that they don't value those things as highly then it starts to make sense that the colleges will eventually follow suit.

    As I noted, I think it speaks to the equally relevant concern that at the high school level the old criteria have been watered down, especially grades, to a point that they're nigh worthless. As the article noted 50% of high school kids are graduating with A averages. How is it possible that the median GPA is "Straight A"? The 50th percentile is "perfect"?

    How can any institution be expected to continue to prioritize grades when they no longer seem to separate the elite from the simply better than average? I'm not saying there is a better metric. I don't know of any, only that I can understand the need to start looking at other things.


    Edited by philly103 (05/26/18 06:57 PM)

    Top
    #242852 - 05/27/18 01:02 PM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: Bostonian]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2026
    If 50% are getting As then the courses are too easy OR they are getting rid of everyone who may score low.

    Top
    #242854 - 05/27/18 05:56 PM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: Bostonian]
    Kai Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 592
    As far as I can tell, getting an A in a high school class is less about what you've learned (or know) and mostly about your EF skills.

    Top
    #242856 - 05/27/18 06:15 PM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: puffin]
    philly103 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 74
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    If 50% are getting As then the courses are too easy OR they are getting rid of everyone who may score low.


    Given the complaint from colleges that new freshman are often under-prepared for college level work, my money is on the former. Of course, it could be both.

    Top
    #242857 - 05/28/18 05:00 AM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: philly103]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1443
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    If 50% are getting As then the courses are too easy OR they are getting rid of everyone who may score low.


    Given the complaint from colleges that new freshman are often under-prepared for college level work, my money is on the former. Of course, it could be both.


    Given that even during talent searches using above grade standardized tests plotting the scores reveals a Bell Curve, my money is on the the test ceilings being too low as well.
    _________________________
    Become what you are

    Top
    #242859 - 05/28/18 05:37 AM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: Bostonian]
    funtimes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/09/15
    Posts: 70
    90 or below and you can no longer stay in your level. You are dropped a level until you are MASTERING the material at 90 or above. (as per my highschool babysitter.)

    She thought I was crazy for saying i was proud to have graduated with a 3.6. It implies I was in at least one of the lowest level classes and did poorly:(

    At least in our area...

    Top
    #242860 - 05/28/18 07:35 AM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2269
    Originally Posted By: article
    But other criteria are playing a larger role than they used to: Students’ “demonstrated interest” in enrolling at a particular school, as measured by their visits to campus or what they say in their application materials, among other things, is critical. In addition, admissions officers at about half of the institutions surveyed said an applicant’s “ability to pay” was of at least “some importance” in application decisions.


    This commentary from the article is troubling. It seems the sorting metrics are becoming less specific to student ability and more highly correlated with affluence.

    Originally Posted By: article
    Demonstrated interest has become a popular concept among admissions deans in recent years, but it too likely correlates with wealth—traveling for college visits isn’t free. And one of the best indicators of interest is applying early decision, a process that favors applicants who often don’t need to worry about comparing financial-aid offers from multiple schools.


    This is also concerning, and doesn't really speak to trading off merit for merit on evaluation metrics. It speaks to merit versus fit. There's likely overlap between the two, but I'd hazard a guess that it's not majority overlap.

    I enjoyed this article, and thought it highlighted an interesting opportunity for sorting mechanisms. Presumably, elite schools are interested in identifying high-potential candidates, who would be disproportionately able to participate in dual-enrollment. Why not have states incorporate MOOC dual enrollment options that fulfill local curriculum requirements, with the idea being that objectively high scores in approved university-level courses are evidence of potential? What better assessment of fit for a university than actually completing comparable level coursework? It's a realistic job preview applied from a PSE lens.

    These classes could even be a source of cost-savings for the school districts, with the universities financing a portion of the course delivery. They would have the added benefit of being progressive financing mechanisms, given that they could allow low SES, high ability students to roll a proportion of undergraduate tuition fees into the high school umbrella, where education is publicly funded. (Frankly, this would be good for all high-ability students who are budget-conscious, but the impacts would be strongest for low SES candidates.) Any gap in spending relative to baseline public school budgets could be redirected to talent development initiatives for under-represented, high-ability students. Win-win-win.

    For less elite schools, it would be unreasonable to expect dual enrollment of incoming students, and recourse to more traditional evaluation frameworks (with adjustments for known screening biases by race, SES, or mother tongue) might be more effective.
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    Top
    #242904 - 05/31/18 05:36 AM Re: Grades and test scores now mean less [Re: Bostonian]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    One reason schools have to de-emphasize grades and test scores in admissions is to limit the number of Asian Americans accepted. A blog post by Steve Hsu, who often writes about IQ, argues that this is being done:

    Too Many Asian Americans: Affirmative Discrimination in Elite College Admissions
    May 25, 2018

    Quote:
    Some basic facts: Caltech has race-blind admissions. The fraction of Asian-Americans enrolled there tends to track the growth in the overall applicant pool in recent decades. Harvard does use race as a factor, and is being sued for discrimination against Asian-Americans. The peak in A-A representation at Harvard, in the early 1990s, coincides with an earlier DOJ investigation of the university for discrimination (dramatic race-based adjustments, revealing the craven subjectivity of holistic admissions!). Despite the much stronger and larger pool of applicants today (second figure below), A-A representation at Harvard has never recovered to those 1990s levels.
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

    Top


    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    College admissions notes
    by Wren
    04/08/20 09:52 AM
    Need guidance: math placement in middle school
    by Yanaz
    04/07/20 10:55 PM
    John Hopkins CTY Program
    by JudAU
    04/07/20 07:28 PM
    See World While Social Distancing, Virtual Tours!
    by indigo
    04/07/20 09:05 AM
    Anxiety in the time of the virus
    by greenlotus
    04/05/20 12:49 PM
    Davidson Institute Twitter