Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Diversity" and Duke Admissions

These are quite striking totals, courtesy of TaxProf Blog. The level of detail in this data is unusual.

Duke Admissions and Academic Performance: Race and Ethnicity

Variable

White

Black

Asian

Latino

Admissions office evaluations





--Achievement

4.34

3.75

4.67

4.13

--Curriculum

4.71

4.46

4.91

4.72

--Essay

3.52

3.26

3.58

3.31

--Personal qualities

3.57

3.34

3.52

3.30

--Recommendations

3.97

3.55

4.06

3.55

--Test scores

3.69

2.09

4.10

2.79

SAT average

1417

1281

1464

1349

Family income





--Less than $50,000

10%

32%

19%

22%

--$50,000-$99,999

19%

30%

24%

23%

--$100,000 and higher

71%

37%

57%

54%

Academic performance





--Students' expected GPA

3.51

3.44

3.67

3.53

--Students' actual GPA

3.33

2.90

3.40

3.13

Recall that under federal law, public universities or private universities (such as Duke) that receive federal funds cannot use racial quotas in admissions policies.

A reminder on the importance of civility in the comments section; and, for those who have questions about the blog's comments policy, please refer to the sidebar.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

“These are quite striking totals.“

SAT scores predict actual GPA.

You find that striking?

Anonymous said...

Despite all the PC bashing the SAT has suffered in recent years, this data solidly backs it up. The ratio of SAT/actual GPA varies only +/- 2%. In fact, the black ratio is the highest, showing that their SAT averages are slightly inflated as prediction of performance.

jim2 said...

I have seen similar data offered into evidence as part of reverse discrimination filings.

Debrah said...

The Brownstones

Anonymous said...

The information provided in the table is interesting on a number of levels. There is one item that stand out immediately. Given the SAT scores for all groups as well as the figures for curriculum and achievement (whatever those actually mean since no method of determining how those figures are arrived at or what they mean), I am puzzled by the figure given for the expected GPA at Duke. That the difference between expected GPA and actual GPA for Blacks is much larger than for any other group and that the difference between a perfect SAT score and the score listed for each group is much larger for Blacks than any other group, one has to question how the expected GPA is determined. Is there any concern as to why the discrepancy is as great as it is? (Perhaps Asians and Whites have been able to ferret out the "cake courses" that enable them to achieve high grades?). Another important question is whether the actual GPA is for just the freshman year or is it for all four years of college since generally as one reaches the last two years of one's collegiate career one tends to concentrate taking courses in one's major so the assumption would be that there should be an uptick in the GPA since students are taking those courses in their areas of interest. I am not a statistician so perhaps my interpretation of the data presented is off kilter but to a layman looking at this chart, there are some troubling statistics that cry out for explanations.
On another note, thank you for the reminder about civil discourse.
cks

Larry said...

I do not understand the purpose of your showing this diversity chart. Maybe if it was compared to Brooklyn College it would make more sense.

I just do not know why any university would accept students based on something other than intellectual curiosity and desire for success. I believe when Universities first started, acceptance was based more on the desire and potential of the student for success rather than the biased affirmative action requirements of today. This data you are presenting is actually meaningless without knowing what the educational experience turned into after graduation. Who got the job they were trained for. Maybe it is me. I just do not see the advantage of knowing regressive statistics rather than progressive forward looking estimations of success.

In other words, is the 2.90 GPA recorded for Black Students statistically different than the 3.13 GPA recorded for Hispanic student? We do not know, so the data is not interpretable.

David said...

It would appear that Duke needs to adjust their algorithm for expected GPA; looks like all their students are underachieving.

No justice, no peace said...

The question that immediately jumps out is what courses are the students taking? The GPA analysis is meaningless. Some are taking rigorous classes within rigorous majors, while others are taking fraudulent classes in questionable majors that may inflate grades (there is no right answer) or worse, punish others based upon their race/gender/class.

Who was the Duke professor/teacher who grade retaliated against her white/male/lacrosse students?

William L. Anderson said...

This is not the first time we have seen the "mismatch" argument in print, and I think that it has a lot of merit. However, I think we have to understand a few things:

1. The average scores of 1281 (for African-Americans and 1349 (for Hispanics) hardly are bad scores in and of themselves. (I wish I had scored that high when I took my SATs 39 years ago, although I will admit I never took them as a senior, as I was admitted to all the places where I applied with my junior scores.)

2. We are not dealing with young people who lack intelligence or are stupid. Indeed, these kids in question are bright and obviously were good students in high school.

3. The issue is where they should be in college, not whether they should be there.

However, because the pool of high-achieving students among the AA and Hispanic groups is smaller than among whites and Asians, I do believe that the elite universities are doing these young people a disservice by stretching the admissions standards for them. Make no mistake: the people who are harmed the most are the students themselves.

These are young people who would do very, very well at places that are not as highly-selective on admissions. Unfortunately, the Ivies and places like Duke and Stanford and Northwestern are not as interested in the personal welfare of those students as they are in making themselves to look "progressive." This is all about the Dukes and Harvards; it is not about the students, and especially the minority students.

I also believe that these policies actually hold back the very groups of people they allegedly are meant to help. By encouraging the mismatches, the "elites" are able -- in a back-door fashion -- to continue the racist argument that people from these ethic groups really are not college material. Furthermore, they perpetuate all of the resentment that people from these groups have about American society in general, and by placing the Identity Studies front-and-center, they institutionalize that resentment.

The end result is that African-Americans and Hispanics -- like the Native Americans before them -- are kept down. The sad irony is that the elites who promote these policies are the worst offenders and are doing what groups like the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organization were unable to do: keep minorities from advancing on their own.

Anonymous said...

These statistics testify to nothing other than modern America's delusions about the importance of "race". Each and every human is unique in himself. Even brothers from the same family are different.

How can an "Asian" from California be lumped together with an "Asian" from India and an "Asian" from Korea, into a single category?

How can a black student from Detroit be lumped together with a black student from Texas and one from Africa, into a single category?

Reducing us all to a category of "color" denies an individual's uniqueness; and reduces everyone to just a cipher. That's great for statistics, but it doesn't reflect the reality of the human condition.

David said...

Of course, now having actually read the link, I see that 'Expected GPA' refers to what the students expected their grades would be, not what the university thought. I think I need to lower my expected GPA for this thread...

Anonymous said...

Wow. Insofar as Duke Univ. is a "recipient" of Federal funds, these data lay the foundation for a lawsuit under Title VI. See Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003).

Anonymous said...

"These data"? .

The relative "expected" GPAs must be the result of some serious delusional thinking. The "actuals" are not surprising at all. Where do they pull 3.53 for Latinos out of?

Still, 2.90 and 3.13 are passing GPAs in good standing.

Is Affirmative Action hurting the students who are the proposed beneficiaries of the AA program? Would an African American still prefer a 2.90 from Duke to a 3.5 from another school?

Gary Packwood said...

Might as well test for Gender differences along with differences with student scores in the (1) Duke Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the (2) Pratt School of Engineering.

And I would be most interested in learning more about any student who predicts a GPA for themselves less than 3.0. Confidence counts for something.

Hopefully they all take advantage of the magnificent Duke Engage program during their first year just to learn how to get along and communicate with each other while throwing off the nonsense they learned as Junior and Seniors in High School.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

If the expected GPA is what the students thought they would make, what does that say about the expectations of those students that Duke is expecting. I can well remember thinking that I should be able to achieve a 4.0 when I first entered college (much as I thought that I could do the same when I entered high school). That I fell short of that lofty goal is one thing. I know, from counseling incoming freshmen, that it is the rare student who doesn't believe that she can't achieve a 4.0. Therefore what does this say about the students that Duke has accepted - that they possess a realistic assessment of their abilities that runs counter to students everywhere else?
cks

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment by Prof. Anderson at 8:52 AM.

I've often thought that if I were in charge of a middle-tier college that when the racist accredidation agents came and asked, "Where are all the black/Hispanic students who should be here?", I would answer, "All the black/Hispanic students who should be here are in the Ivy League schools."

I recall once reading in the state bar journal a recently graduated black law student, who attended the flagship state university's law school, being quoted saying that because of "affirmative action", "There's an asterisk on my diploma." I thought to myself that was an excellent way of putting it.

Anonymous said...

"Make no mistake: the people who are harmed the most are the students themselves."

Though I don't have the hard data, I strongly suspect (based on my experience with many first-year black and Latino students) that there's a significant disparity between their average and median SAT scores et al. Those who could get in based on achievement, do just fine. The AA admits are, for the most part, ill-prepared and over-whelmed.

However, I do not agree that they are the ones who are "harmed the most." In my view, the gravest injustice is, in this order: to those non-AA students who lost a seat to the AA admits; to the more able students whose course is slowed down by the AA admits; to the professor who has the impossible task of teaching a group of students with such disparate contexts of knowledge and powers of articulation.

AA harms all concerned, yet the social engineering marches on.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

"Wow. Insofar as Duke Univ. is a "recipient" of Federal funds, these data lay the foundation for a lawsuit under Title VI. See Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003)."

But it's not a quota, really. If I click my heals and twinkle my nose, maybe I can wish away the dreaded "Q" word. We don't have set-asides, we just add points to (or put a special-colored tab on) the ethnically favored applications. (Oh, did I forget to acknowledge the scholarships that are only for certain ethnicities?)

sarcasm off/

Duke Prof

No justice, no peace said...

Were you LMCO and looking to hire an EE, would you hire the "Black" with a 2.90 and an EE degree or a "White" with a 3.33 coming out of the race, gender, class warfare studies?

It would also be interesting to see how the Admissions office weights the evaluation criteria and if those percentages vary among the applicants race, gender, and income rating.

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully they all take advantage of the magnificent Duke Engage program during their first year just to learn how to get along and communicate with each other while throwing off the nonsense they learned as Junior and Seniors in High School."

DE is one of the worst examples of social engineering (masquerading as higher education) in the entire country. Funded mostly by the Gates Foundation, it propagandizes students to believe in selfless service to others. It pushes on students the awful notion that sacrifice and renunciation are noble. (see dukeengage.duke.edu) And the goal is to spread this ideology of "social responsibility" throughout the curriculum.

Whatever one thinks of this altruist-inspired program, it has no place in an institution of higher education.

Duke Prof

miramar said...

Anyone who has ever been to Duke (or similar institutions) will notice that Asians are "overrepresented" (only in the statistical sense, of course) in the sciences and technical areas. It may be that they receive higher grades even though as a group they take the toughest courses, so the discrepancies in GPA could be larger than they appear at first glance.

William L. Anderson said...

To Duke Prof's credit, I certainly do not wish to minimize the real injustices done to those students who are denied entrance to Duke and elsewhere because of racial preferences. I think that is a given, and it is a real problem.

My larger point, however, is that many of the students admitted to places where they are not academically prepared are dealt an injustice, too. Unfortunately, when at places like Duke, they are told by many faculty members that they are not doing well because of "institutional racism" and the like, which is a Big Lie that is wound around a kernel of truth.

During the Jim Crow era, Black Americans continued to improve in many areas, despite the power of the state being set against them. All-black high schools like Dunbar in Washington, D.C., produced students with higher test scores than many exclusive white schools. Black income continued to rise relative to incomes of whites, despite the fact that the law and social customs excluded blacks from many jobs of higher pay and social status.

Unfortunately, I believe that in many ways, affirmative action has been a setback for African-Americans, and we see it in these numbers.

No justice, no peace said...

"She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say “when.”: - P. G. WODEHOUSE

What about height and weight? What about admissions interview bias?

Anonymous said...

"My larger point, however, is that many of the students admitted to places where they are not academically prepared are dealt an injustice, too. Unfortunately, when at places like Duke, they are told by many faculty members that they are not doing well because of "institutional racism" and the like, which is a Big Lie that is wound around a kernel of truth."

Well put.

Some AA students who struggle to keep up, especially the more hostile ones, do accept the blame-the-system excuse for their failures. However, those who still have a semblance of personal responsibility experience real psychological struggles. Those are the AA students who are conscientious and earnest. They've been told by people they respect that they deserve to be at a place like Duke. But when they can't keep up with their peers, they blame (not educational leaders or AA), but themselves. It is very sad to see them take on this unearned guilt.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

"Is Affirmative Action hurting the students who are the proposed beneficiaries of the AA program? Would an African American still prefer a 2.90 from Duke to a 3.5 from another school?" By Anonymous at 5/28/09 9:39 AM

Isn't the 2.90 an actual average or median GPA?

If that's the case, what of all the students earning less than a 2.90 at Duke?

Wouldn't it be better to have a 3.50 from another school than a 1.90 or 1.00 from Duke?

Wouldn't it be better to have a 2.90 from another school than an academic suspension or dropout from Duke?

Anonymous said...

It is one thing for students to be challenged, it is quite another for students to be taking courses when they are not prepared for the level of work that is expected. When that occurs no one benefits. The teacher/professor is presented with a dilemma - slow down so that the student can somehow, through imbibing smaller amounts of information gain a footing so as not to drown immediately; adjust the standards for that particular student - in other words let him swim in the baby pool while everyone else jumps off the high board in the deep end; or student be damned and just toss him in the ocean from the boat with everyone else. It is something akin (though on a much smaller scale) that I confront when I have parents waiver their students into my upper level class when they do not have the reading and writing skills necessary for success because they want to be in class "with their friends" or because the parents want their children not to have the "stigma" of being in a lower level class. All that happens is that the students struggle, become resentful, and experience failure which leads to even further poor self-esteem. There is also a tremendous pressure to "do whatever is necessary" to pass - thus cheating, plagiarism become an issue. As pointed out by others, the affirmative action student who is not qualified is not the only one who suffers. The other members of those classes epecially those in a cooperative learning situation are harmed as well. What good does it really do for a person to know that he or she did not achieve because of hard work but because he or she fit some government or society mandated quota? I would think it would make said person question the rest of his or her life whether or not they were truly qualified to do anything other than be a tally in a quota column.
cks

Debrah said...

Some very good points made that I've heard from other professors for the last decade or more.

Why is it so difficult for like-minded people in the academy to begin protesting methods currently used?

I also think an earlier point made by someone that "everyone is unique" is, of course, very true.

But at most universities of any size you are just a number.

Debrah said...

A note:

Paragraphs are your friends.

As I've been on the computer for much longer periods of time during the last few years, my eyes have really been affected by it.

Spaces between paragraphs not only look better, but make comments easier to read.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm an expert driver too, and so do 97% of drivers on the road today.

Anonymous said...

Question: Were the selection criteria narrowly tailored to achieve Duke's interest in diversity? In fact, what was their selection process?

Ref: "We conclude, therefore, that because the University’s use of race in its current freshman admissions policy is not narrowly tailored to achieve respondents’ asserted compelling interest in diversity, the admissions policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.22 We further find that the admissions policy also violates Title VI and 42 U.S.C. § 1981."
- GRATZ et al. v. BOLLINGER et al.

Previously, the Court said no to quotas. In Gratz, it faulted the Univ. of MI selection process which awarded 20 points to minority applicants, thereby guaranteeing admission to all those who qualified. Would Duke’s selection process pass constitutional muster if it didn’t set actual quotas, but selected only the best qualified minority applicants?

-sdsgo

Debrah said...

If anyone wants to know an additional modification inside the academy that will assist students' educational experience exponentially, it is to rid universities of this brand of phony dry rot......

"Sam Wells, dean of Duke University Chapel, and Tim Tyson, a visiting professor, offered appropriate words of congratulation to students at Duke Divinity School and the UNC School of Social Work, respectively. But they also gave what is all-too-rare for occasions like this: words in praise of institutions.

Tyson, perhaps daringly for a state university commencement, basically preached on the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). He noted that the Samaritan offered the beaten stranger not just one-time help in the form of first aid. Jesus’ famous parable does more than hold up a measuring stick for would-be righteous individuals."

wayne fontes said...

To Anon 2:34

The average GPA at Duke was over a 3.4 in 2005. I'm not sure what year this study measured or how big the sample was but 2.9 is substantially lower.

KC Johnson said...

The paper is Apr. 2009, so it's possible it used 2008 GPA's, but, yes, clearly an average 2.90 GPA would be well below the overall Duke average GPA.

Another point here: generally African-American students are underrepresented in science and math majors (where overall grades tend to be lower). Duke might be different in this regard, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

To update my previous post, here's Duke's selection process and admission statistics:

http://www.admissions.duke.edu/jump/applying/who_process.html

Take a look at all three pages.
Our Process | What We Seek | Class of 2012 Profile

"Most students admitted to Duke have demonstrated, in a word, impact. In some venue they have made a difference. It might be in the classroom, in the community, or on the athletic field. It could be doing one thing brilliantly, or several things exceedingly well."

-sdsgo

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it disturbing that the average GPA is around 3.3 (nearly a B+)? Since when is above average, average?

Duke Prof

miramar said...

Duke Prof @ 9:14 PM asks: Does anyone else find it disturbing that the average GPA is around 3.3 (nearly a B+)? Since when is above average, average?

That’s a good question, but it could be worse (or maybe it’s just a sign of the times). My daughter just graduated from Duke with a 3.4, and had to work hard to get it. Some of her friends who stayed home and studied at the local private university graduated with higher GPAs, but clearly did half the work. These friends had lower high school grades and significantly lower SATs, so they certainly aren’t more intelligent than my daughter. In fact, when she looked over some of their term papers she couldn’t believe they could get away with turning in such mediocre work. So I guess there’s a larger question of how grade inflation has become so rampant across the nation.

No justice, no peace said...

How can I tell if my password is encrypted?"...Usually, if a site is imposing limits to your password, like the length or it doesn’t allow certain characters, you can guess that your password will be stored in the clear..."

An interesting blog post regarding password security, especially when you consider FERPA.

One wonders if Duke encrypts student, employee, and/or faculty passwords? They are in the running in the race to the bottom. Standard of care regarding password security is not likely an exception.

A Duke Dad said...

... "there’s a larger question of how grade inflation has become so rampant across the nation."

just look at Marketing 101: "Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak".
The snob appeal of the elite university Name-on-the-Diploma is the ONLY thing valued... An Ivy League Graduate. The Ivy of the South... etc.

The overwhelming thrust of humanities and social departments comports with the hippocropus approach to college education. [Hippocropus, from the Greek: Hippo = Horse, Cropus = Excrement].

Gresham's Law applies to the content of University Degrees as well as to debased coinage.

The business model of the contemporary university is on a par with General Motors':

.. Over half the hard science PhD's are awarded to non-native-born students (Engineering, Science, Mathematics, etc). Many of these people will eventually return to their land of birth, strengthening the R&D, academic institutions there.
.. The humanities are the province of Political Correctness and Agenda-Driven politics.
.. The demand for College graduates is declining sharply, as the industries employing them are retrenching - Finance, Manufacturing, Consumer Products, Communications
.. The cost of a degree is no longer a safe investment in one's future employment opportunities.
.. Undergraduate instruction in the first 2.5 years is primarily huge lectures augmented by recitation classes with Teaching Assistants. These individuals have no training in teaching a subject, are still learning the field themselves, being graduate students, are poorly paid, and face competing demands on their time - Dissertation vs. Teaching.


In short, universities are selling their reputation to customers who mortgage themselves like indentured servants, in the expectation of future earnings. That it has become sham, in the content of the education, in the evaluation of achievement, in the entire process is highly disturbing.

The Emperor's New Clothes are becoming more apparent.

Topher said...

miramar -

Disturbing info from the front lines of higher education. I also am shocked when I see college work quality today, even at elite schools.

Thank God the Jesuits took good care of me in high school and had a great English teacher on the faculty
Interestingly (I would love to hear KC's take on this) the Jesuits used to be known as the foremost educators in Catholic America, operating the best high schools as well as strong colleges like Georgetown and Boston College. This gave them a reputation as maverick liberals in the Catholic world.

Alas, the Jesuits got afflicted with white guilt and began to embrace shoddy theology like para-Marxism, and simultaneously sought to buff their academic "cool" by throwing in with the modern left-wing academy.

Now their schools are falling in quality, hooked on the same victim claptrap that has rotted Duke humanities. Meanwhile the order itself is seen as tainted by the academy as part and parcel of a hopelessly conservative, reactionary and irrelevant Catholic church in America. I marvel at how one can go from the left to the right by trying to move to the left.

William L. Anderson said...

Miramar is quite correct; grade inflation is a huge problem, and it has been the reality of American Higher Education for the past 40 years.

In large part, grade inflation is a problem created by universities themselves. Once the idea of any kind of "merit" came under attack, it should have surprised no one that grade -- which are a reflection of what one might call "merit" -- would come under attack as well.

I confess to being as bad as the next prof when it comes to giving grades that I don't think people have earned. When I was teaching in grad school, I was an extremely tough grader, and the students complained about it. Not anymore. With student evaluations being a major part of how one is peer evaluated, and the evaluations basically being tied (after being studied many times in statistical analysis) to the grade the student expects to receive in one's class, it should surprise no one that the teachers who give higher grades are also the ones receiving higher evaluation scores.

I don't know if anyone has done a study of tying the rise in student evaluations of teachers to grade inflation, but I would not be surprised if there is a strong correlation. Unfortunately, we have turned higher education into another version of Lake Wobegon, where "all the children are above average."

jamil hussein said...

Speaking of Gang88-activism, "The Narrative" and race quotas.

Stuart Taylor had excellent piece about the nomination of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Now that Gang88 has infected the academia, the court system is the next. According to Sotomayor, empathy and race are the defining factors when deciding the case. Law and the boring facts are for "white males". This country is truly doomed.

http://ninthjustice.nationaljournal.com/2009/05/sotomayor-as-student.php


"Princeton University was guilty of "an institutional pattern of discrimination" against Chicanos and Puerto Ricans, then-sophomore Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a letter published in the May 10, 1974 edition of the student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian.
The facts of the complaint are these: 1) There is not one Puerto Rican or Chicano administrator or faculty member in the university; 2) There are two million Puerto Ricans in the United States and two and a half million more on the island itself...

And some may see Sotomayor's letter as evidence that she was predisposed to look for the worst, not the best, in the institution that had afforded her such opportunities. She now sits on Princeton's Board of Trustees."

Anonymous said...

Jamil,
"According to Sotomayor, empathy and race are the defining factors when deciding the case."

Citation please?

Stuart doesn't seem to say that, as I read it.

Anonymous said...

"The facts of the complaint are these: 1) There is not one Puerto Rican or Chicano administrator or faculty member in the university; 2) There are two million Puerto Ricans in the United States and two and a half million more on the island itself..."

By that "reasoning," Princeton is guilty of "an institutional pattern of discrimination" against insects: 1) There are an estimated 90,000 species of insects in the U.S., and (I feel safe in saying 2) There is not one insect administrator or faculty member in the university.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Grade inflation is rampant at the secondary level as well. After all, parents and students desire that all important GPA that will gain them a coveted spot in their dream college. There is no such thing as a zero any more (unless one is willing to argue with the academic dean and the dean is willing to grant the teacher an exemption). 60 is the new zero - which means that a student can DO NOTHING in a class and still get a 60 for the quarter, and then do jsut enough the rest of the year (easily) to pass - though if the year grade is a 68 or 69 the student still passes because, after all, the teacher may have made a mistake in grading something along the way (advantage student). What then, does that do for the remainder of the students - to class morale - to the concept of fair play and merit when such a situation exists? Coupled with this is the idea of extra credit to "bring up one's grade" - meaningless work copied at the end of the term and designed to help the student pass? I get grief every year because I do not believe in the concept. Why, I tell my students, should I allow you to do something to make up for the fact that you have done nothing all quarter that I then have to grade (work for me) when you could not bestir yourself to do what was required for the quarter. Parents in particular think that I am hard-hearted on this issue (along with others such as paper not in when due - zero). I also record zeros (as I like to tell the students they give themselves grades - I merely record what they have in fact earned)and do battle over that fact with the academic dean routinely at the end of the quarter (in fact just did so today). But here is the funny thing - the overwhelming majority of my students don't mind - they know that I am consistent in my policies - that it doesn't matter whether you are the A student or the F student, the rules are the same for all. Consequently, it is the rare student who doesn't buy into the class culture that I establish - you have to read the assigned readings, you have to prepare for the daily quiz, you have to take notes in class (I don't put them on the smart board or make them available for students to copy), you have to do your homework and turn it in at the beginning of class or its a zero, and you have to participate in class (I expect to hear every voice during the period - to not hear one's voice with something to contribute works against one's grade, one doesn't get credit for talking as that is the expectation). As a teacher that takes work, and it is not something that one can establish overnight. One has to be willing to do battle (and it can be a battle) with those who are more concerned that the students "feel good about themselves". THose types fail to realize that students who work hard gain much more self esteem because they know that they get for a grade in a class is reflective of what they themselves have put into it.
I am fortunate that my position is not based on teacher evaluations by the students. If that were the case in the secondary school, few teachers would still be employed.
cks

Anonymous said...

I dredged up the paper from which the table was extracted. Interesting reading, but it left me wanting more. In particular, I'd be interested in seeing a similar analysis for students given an edge in admissions due to other non-academic factors - specifically, athletic talent, alumni relatives, or past or anticipated future family fundraising. (I'm thinking in particular of those Yale C- students, George W. Bush and John Kerry.)

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.06:

I agree. I am very skeptical of the use of both legacy preferences and racial preferences in the admissions process.

Given the demographics of most legacy admittees, moreover, I suspect that such figures would only place into greater relief how much a non-meritocratic system tends to penalize Asian-American applicants to a greater extent than all others.

Debrah said...

End of week Diva issues:

It wasn't a part of the plan, but my entire day was spent in Durham taking care of a few matters.

Consequently, there are thoughts I want to share with Wonderland readers.

Surprising ones, even to the Diva.

So much of our commentary has always been negative when discussing Durham, and the residents there have certainly earned the ire and the criticism from those of us---nationally as well as internationally---who watched as most did absolutely nothing to derail the Hoax.

I don't believe the residents of Durham will ever comprehend that many will forever associate the disgusting aspects of the Lacrosse Hoax with the city and its people.

But today I had an occasion to remember and experience some of the good things about Durham.

Unique, eclectic, and delightfully good things.

Between appointments, I had a few hours of free time and went over to Brightleaf Square, which is very near the infamous Trinity Park area and that side of the Duke campus.

I sat in the courtyard and had cappuccino in the warm breeze. It's a beautiful place built from the original structures of the old tobacco buildings.

Brick walls, ceilings into the stratosphere, and wooden columns as wide and sturdy as tree trunks throughout.

It's construction from a bygone era that can rarely be found today even in the most expensive of homes and structures.

Despite the corruption, incompetence, and the fiercely embedded institutional racism which define the city's leadership, I always find the place an offbeat collage of surprises when I spend leisure time there.

I was also a bit nostalgic for the many times in the past I had spent enjoying dinner, music, and great fun there.

There wasn't one person with whom I had contact today who wasn't very friendly and endlessly helpful.

As I said before, it's a thoroughly eclectic place. That was the feature I always liked about it.

My experience today briefly eclipsed my post-Spring of 2006 impressions and it was a nice feeling.

Sitting inside the quaint surroundings of Brightleaf, I was sad that most of those same people I encountered today who were so very nice would likely change quickly if the topic of Duke Lacrosse were on the table.

That's the very strange aspect of this case.

It's a giant emotional prism.

Opinions are determined by which side each individual viewer chooses as their view.

The Hoax remains very much unresolved.

Anonymous said...

No insects, but 88 rats.

Debrah said...

Shockingly, the same blogger who has made attacking Wonderland a feature of his blog's slow goodbye....continues to descend to new lows.

Now, all we need are his apologists to come here and demand that everyone be "civil".

One should ask anyone who has followed this case and the work of its various blog authors if this current situation isn't heading toward the psychotic realm?

Astonishing behavior.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know if anyone has done a study of tying the rise in student evaluations of teachers to grade inflation, but I would not be surprised if there is a strong correlation".

Such a study has been done, and was reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education around 2001. (Sorry, I don't have the reference, as I am at home now.) The results are completely predictable. Students were asked to evaluate their professor. Then they were given their final grades for the course. They were then asked to do the evaluation again. Students who got lower grades than they expected LOWERED their opinion of the professor in the second evaluation; those who got higher grades RAISED their evaluation. Every professor knows this. Result is grade inflation.

Anonymous said...

"I'd be interested in seeing a similar analysis for students given an edge in admissions due to other non-academic factors - specifically, athletic talent, alumni relatives, or past or anticipated future family fundraising. (I'm thinking in particular of those Yale C- students, George W. Bush and John Kerry.)"

You neglected to mention... Barak Obama. He is both a Harvard graduate and the son of a Harvard graduate (his father graduated from Harvard in the mid-1960s with an AM in Economics).

Anonymous said...

I would wage a lot of money that Obama's daughters will eventually go to Harvard, like father and grandfather.

KC Johnson said...

To the 9.18:

Obama went to Columbia for his BA degree. He went to Harvard Law School--but that admissions process is separate from the undergraduate admissions process.

A Duke Dad said...

Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for 2 years, transferring to Columbia for the final 2 years for his BA.

http://www.oxy.edu/x8270.xml

Debrah said...

I know that some of you guys are going to be discussing this one under, above, and across the radar screen.

I think Stuart brings balance and objectivity to this issue.

Krauthammer's take is one I have to agree with, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Gang88-activism, "The Narrative" and race quotas.

Stuart Taylor had excellent piece about the nomination of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Now that Gang88 has infected the academia, the court system is the next. According to Sotomayor, empathy and race are the defining factors when deciding the case. Law and the boring facts are for "white males". This country is truly doomed.

http://ninthjustice.nationaljournal.com/2009/05/sotomayor-as-student.php


"Princeton University was guilty of "an institutional pattern of discrimination" against Chicanos and Puerto Ricans, then-sophomore Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a letter published in the May 10, 1974 edition of the student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian.
The facts of the complaint are these: 1) There is not one Puerto Rican or Chicano administrator or faculty member in the university; 2) There are two million Puerto Ricans in the United States and two and a half million more on the island itself...

And some may see Sotomayor's letter as evidence that she was predisposed to look for the worst, not the best, in the institution that had afforded her such opportunities. She now sits on Princeton's Board of Trustees."

Interesting. I assume that Princeton didn't admit women until 1969 or thereabouts, thus Sotomayor had to have been one of the few women there, as well as an ethnic minority. Coupled with her complaint as a Yale law student, it is obvious that she had been on this rant for over three decades.

The Hounds of TASSers'ville said...

To our neighbors in N.C:

Speaking of extremely dubious admission practices at universities, one just exploded in our "own backyard" today:




To any who have followed White's tyranny at UI (also, White while still interim president at UM after Bollinger was a fanatical disciple of race-based admission pratices), this is no revelation. The kind of pay-to-play that White has engaged in with toads from Chicago from Blagojevich, Emil Jones, Roland Burris and others has only been eclipsed, perhaps, by the copious revelations on Steel, Brodhead, Gottlieb, Nifong, Bell, et al on this site.

By far, however, the most distressing is the UI response (very similar to Duke's motion to dimiss) that a small amount of corruption is acceptable because it is small and no one gets hurt.

The Hounds of TASSers'ville

Anonymous said...

KC--while the admissions process to Harvard Law School may be separate from the admissions process to Harvard College (the undergrad part of Harvard University), but is it different? And is any allowance made for "legacies" (offspring of Harvard graduates) who apply to the Law School? If not, then we must assume that Obama benefitted from being the son of a Harvard graduate, just as Bush no doubt did when he applied to Yale.

KC Johnson said...

To the 7.54:

I don't know the intricacies of the HLS admissions process. But in general, legacy admissions are far less common in law schools than in undergrad institutions, simply because the number of slots in law schools are far less.

In any event: legacy admissions usually refer to the somewhat less qualified sons or daughters of alums who either have given or plan to give lots of $$. That obviously wasn't the case with Obama, whose father wasn't exactly a big Harvard donor.

Anonymous said...

Legacy admissions refer to anyone who has a relative (generally father, mother, sibling, grandparents, or aun or uncle) that attended a particular institution. Quite often, as in the case of my alma mater, legacies get a special tuition reduction - legacy scholarship - (regardless of how much the alum has donated). My guess is that it must play some role in graduate school admissions (in this instance law school) becasue when my daughter applied to various law schools, there was a question on the application regarding relatives who had graduated from the law school(s) to which she applied. If that was not a factor in the admission process, why would the question be asked?
cks

Anonymous said...

There is a vast difference between bush and obama. Bush could not have earned his way into community college without his father where as obama clearly has intelligence

djd

Anonymous said...

Interesting how everybody gets up in arms about aa or latino students gaining entrance to a school with sat scores below asians and whites. Why don't we ever see this flare up over admissions for legacy students, wealthy students(parents making huge donations) or the athlete, all of whom have subpar sat scores. Princeton claims legacy and athlete students make up 13% of the class. It is probably higher. Let's be honest life is not fair and never will be. Those small percentages of minority students being accepted does not even the injustices in the school system. If everybody had the money to send their kids to elite private schools then I would imagine sat scores will narrow across the board.