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Thread: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Maybe, but Harvard doesn't do remedial. Though they do inflate grades.

    I work a lot with placement testing, and I feel confident telling you they are useless. Very good students often score low. And often high scores struggle. There may be good reasons for this, but it calls all of this into question.
    All a test can do is determine ability, and not motivation or commitment.

    But, things like legacy, athletic ability, and zip code don't predict anything other than athletic ability. Neither does ethnicity. So, where does that leave the university when it comes to picking students?
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    All a test can do is determine ability, and not motivation or commitment.

    But, things like legacy, athletic ability, and zip code don't predict anything other than athletic ability. Neither does ethnicity. So, where does that leave the university when it comes to picking students?
    Not much. Don't get me wrong, I don't argue they are doing a good job. I am arguing that qualifications may be more than we think. I'd assess motivation, ability to finish, how well they think over memorize. And I'd certainly give a writing test over a multiple choice test. All labor intensive but more meaningful.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    The key here is ALL admissions based only on academic merit. In the past, some people who have a particular grudge against race based admissions find elaborate ways to excuse or justify other type of preferences. If academic merit is going to be the sole ticket in - lets stick to that for everyone at all colleges.
    Look for the University of Michigan to maintain concepts like "race norming" and "centering". These are race-based handicapping systems that higher education has enshrined for half a century. Instead of expecting blacks and Hispanics to compete on the SAT, or on exams during the course of a semester, they're simply given handicaps of 100 points, 200 points, and even up to 400 points on the SAT, while their course load exams will always have a passing grade even if they fail the exam miserably. This is what "centering" is all about.

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Not much. Don't get me wrong, I don't argue they are doing a good job. I am arguing that qualifications may be more than we think. I'd assess motivation, ability to finish, how well they think over memorize. And I'd certainly give a writing test over a multiple choice test. All labor intensive but more meaningful.
    I gave this a "like" because you are finally presenting things to measure "qualifications". The idea of giving credit for "close" (using a written essay) over a "best" of the options presented (multiple choice) test is very subject to bias as well as being more time/labor intensive.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I gave this a "like" because you are finally presenting things to measure "qualifications". The idea of giving credit for "close" (using a written essay) over a "best" of the options presented (multiple choice) test is very subject to bias as well as being more time/labor intensive.

    Yes there is is a certain amount of subjectivity. But I have tested writing instructors for many years. If we give them four essays and ask them to rank them, the rank will be the same for all instructors. I've never seen the order disputed. However, if I ask for a grade, the grades do vary. So there is some subjectivity. But grades can be trained to limit variance. Removing all subjectivity doesn't necessarily make it a better test. After all, the mere practice of limiting admission implies subjectivity if in only deciding on what I will make that decision, on, what I value (subjective) over something else.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Yes there is is a certain amount of subjectivity. But I have tested writing instructors for many years. If we give them four essays and ask them to rank them, the rank will be the same for all instructors. I've never seen the order disputed. However, if I ask for a grade, the grades do vary. So there is some subjectivity. But grades can be trained to limit variance. Removing all subjectivity doesn't necessarily make it a better test. After all, the mere practice of limiting admission implies subjectivity if in only deciding on what I will make that decision, on, what I value (subjective) over something else.
    That is exactly what gave us AA and a quest for "diversity" in the first place. You have circled right back to the beginning - you now want subjective selections based on "feelings" or "impressions" rather than any concrete (outside measurable) standards.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    That is exactly what gave us AA and a quest for "diversity" in the first place. You have circled right back to the beginning - you now want subjective selections based on "feelings" or "impressions" rather than any concrete (outside measurable) standards.
    I think it is a mistake to remove all subjectivity. And we never have. Even without AA, as I've tried to show, there is still subjectivity. It's about what is valued. What are the criteria? Not feelings, but judgment based on criteria. Making a judgment is not a bad thing.

    Let me give an example. I can show you two essays. They are first essays. First drafts. By two different students. A panel of 8 writing instructors with masters degrees look at both. No names attached. No knowledge of who was being evaluated. All 8 thought one was excellent and the other below remedial level. Both students also took the compass test, a placement test many colleges use.

    The student who had a writing sample graded as excellent score 5 out of 100 on the compass. The student who was viewed as below remedial scored and 80 out of 100 on the compass.

    What should we make of this?

    Oh, I almost forgot. The student who scored a 5 on the compass went on to finish with a 3.8 GPA on graduate. The student who scored an 80 on the compass failed all of his first semester classes and eventually failed out of college. I have the essays and the data for five years. This was not uncommon.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I think it is a mistake to remove all subjectivity. And we never have. Even without AA, as I've tried to show, there is still subjectivity. It's about what is valued. What are the criteria? Not feelings, but judgment based on criteria. Making a judgment is not a bad thing.

    Let me give an example. I can show you two essays. They are first essays. First drafts. By two different students. A panel of 8 writing instructors with masters degrees look at both. No names attached. No knowledge of who was being evaluated. All 8 thought one was excellent and the other below remedial level. Both students also took the compass test, a placement test many colleges use.

    The student who had a writing sample graded as excellent score 5 out of 100 on the compass. The student who was viewed as below remedial scored and 80 out of 100 on the compass.

    What should we make of this?

    Oh, I almost forgot. The student who scored a 5 on the compass went on to finish with a 3.8 GPA on graduate. The student who scored an 80 on the compass failed all of his first semester classes and eventually failed out of college. I have the essays and the data for five years. This was not uncommon.
    This simply shows me that the compass test (alone) has limited value. When you say that "this was not uncommon" does that mean that more commonly the higher score on the compass test meant lower GPA/graduation rates or simply that some (not most) low scores on a compass test were obtained by those later found to be good students?
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    This is happening at more and more universities.

    Even the ultra-liberal University of Texas at Austin is looking hard at itself. It has bent over backwards for minorities here, and they're seeing their graduation rates drop and their overall GPA suffer greatly. It's a hard school to get into for a state school (top 8 percent only unless you have a lot of other qualifications), but they're waving requirements for a lot of minority students who get there and can't hack it.

    Meanwhile, Texas A&M is sticking to their requirements and graduating more high-performers in the market place. Texas A&M used to be the irrelevant kid brother. That's changing rapidly, and it's got UT's attention.

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    Re: High Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Yes there is is a certain amount of subjectivity. But I have tested writing instructors for many years. If we give them four essays and ask them to rank them, the rank will be the same for all instructors. I've never seen the order disputed. However, if I ask for a grade, the grades do vary. So there is some subjectivity. But grades can be trained to limit variance. Removing all subjectivity doesn't necessarily make it a better test. After all, the mere practice of limiting admission implies subjectivity if in only deciding on what I will make that decision, on, what I value (subjective) over something else.
    So how would this apply to tests in mathematics, physics, or chemistry? How do academics "subjectify" hard science, where new age bull**** plays no purchase? It's an anecdotal muse. I'm pretty sure I already know the answer.

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