Tag Archives: SAT

Dystopian Racist View of Black College Students


I’ll take this one apart out front – so you don’t have to.

  1. University of Missouri is not a “selective School”
  2. The lie about “very large admissions preferences” is belied by the fact that the numbers of African-American kids at the top 100 selective universities has flatlined or gone down.
  3. To white racist like this writer, there are only two types of black kids on campus – those on athletic scholarship or those unqualified because of “affirmative action”.
  4. Black kids have increased their proportion of STEM degrees. The numbers of master’s degrees earned by Black and Hispanic students more than doubled from 1999–2000 to 2009–10 (increasing by 109 percent and 125 percent, respectively).
  5. 72% of black students earning STEM Bachelors do so at HBCUs, with Howard University graduating 33% of all black students with STEM Degrees. They are 3 times more likely than their white counterparts to pursue Master’s and Doctoral Degrees, usually at selective Universities. About 90% of all black Students earn Bachelors/Masters/PHds in the US, do so at schools east of the Mississippi.
  6. Although 22% of white students enroll in STEM, only 6% are awarded degrees in 4 years. 21% of black students enroll in STEM, and 3% graduate in 4 years. The differential is not significant, as it tends to level out in 6 years where 16% of black, Hispanic, and white kids gain Bachelors.  The difference between Asian students and whites is very significant, in that 30% of Asian kids who enter the STEM curriculum graduate.
  7. Many lower level and mid-range schools still use academic testing in terms of the SAT and ACT. Most of the selective schools have either dropped the SAT/ACT entirely or made it optional. There is no difference in graduation rates between those that use the SAT and those that don’t – proving SAT Score are irrelevant. Indeed, differences in SAT scores are largely arbitrary and can be influenced heavily by coaching, which typically in unaffordable by lower-middle income parents.

So what we got here, is another group of racist lies in an attempt to discredit black students because they are (successfully) protesting.


They are some of the most privileged students in the nation plunging into a racial grievance culture and upending their campuses as though oppressed by Halloween costumes they don’t approve, imagined racial slights, portraits of Woodrow Wilson, a tiny handful of real racial epithets, and the like?

The reasons are of course multifaceted. But one deserves far more attention than it has gotten: Many or most of the African-American student protesters really are victims — but not of old-fashioned racism.

Most are, rather, victims of the very large admissions preferences that set up racial-minority students for academic struggle at the selective universities that have cynically misled them into thinking they are well qualified to compete with classmates who are, in fact, far stronger academically.

The reality is that most good black and Hispanic students, who would be academically competitive at many selective schools, are not competitive at the more selective schools that they attend.

That’s why it takes very large racial preferences to get them admitted. An inevitable result is that many black and (to a lesser extent) Hispanic students cannot keep up with better-prepared classmates and rank low in their classes no matter how hard they work.

Studies show that this academic “mismatch effect” forces them to drop science and other challenging courses; to move into soft, easily graded, courses disproportionately populated by other preferentially admitted students; and to abandon career hopes such as engineering and pre-med. Many lose intellectual self-confidence and become unhappy even if they avoid flunking out.

This depresses black performance at virtually all selective schools because of what experts call the cascade effect. Here’s how it works, as Richard Sander and I demonstrated in a 2012 book, Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It:

Only 1 to 2 percent of black college applicants emerge from high school well-qualified academically for (say) the top Ivy League colleges. Therefore, those schools can meet their racial admissions targets only by using large preferences. They bring in black students who are well qualified for moderately elite schools like (say) the University of North Carolina, but not for the Ivies that recruit them. This leaves schools like UNC able to meet their own racial targets only by giving large preferences to black students who are well qualified for less selective schools like (say) the University of Missouri but not for UNC. And so on down the selectivity scale.

As a result, experts agree, most black students at even moderately selective schools — with high school preparation and test scores far below those of their classmates — rank well below the middle of their college and grad school classes, with between 25% and 50% ranking in the bottom tenth. That’s a very bad place to be at any school.

This, in turn, increases these students’ isolation and self-segregation from the higher-achieving Asians and whites who flourish in more challenging courses. At least one careful study shows that students are more likely to become friends with peers who are similar in academic accomplishment.

Put yourself in the position of manyHispanic and especially black students (recipients of by far the largest racial preferences) at selective schools, who may work heroically during the first semester only to be lost in many classroom discussions and dismayed by their grades.

As they start to see the gulf between their own performance and that of most of their fellow students, dismay can become despair. They soon realize that no matter how hard they work, they will struggle academically.

It is critical to understand that these are not bad students. They did well in high school and could excel at somewhat less selective universities where they would arrive roughly as well prepared as their classmates.

But due to racial preferences, they find themselves for the first time in their lives competing against classmates who have a huge head start in terms of previous education, academic ability, or both.

Researchers have shown that racial preference recipients develop negative perceptions of their own academic competence, which in turn harms their performance and even their mental health, through “stereotype threat” and other problems. They may come to see themselves as failures in the eyes of their families, their friends, and themselves.

Such mismatched minority students are understandably baffled and often bitter about why this is happening to them. With most other minority students having similar problems, their personal academic struggles take on a collective, racial cast….Read the Rest Here if you can stomach it


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SAT Scores Tank

The Writing/Reading part of the College Test has hot new lows. “Merde” – we are producing more conservatives!

One of the drivers of this is likely the fact that 27% of those taking the SAT don’t speak English as a first language. 10 Years ago that number was 19%.

I’m not a big believer that the College Tests, the SAT and tit’s competitor the ACT indicate anything more a than acculturation to the education model. Change the model, and you change the “important” skills. The issue here is we have a system which encourages kids to go to college, even though we aren’t creating jobs for them when they graduate. Perhaps the “problem” in American Education is finding a way to make it more reactive to market demand?

And perhaps we need on hell of a lot more Scientists and Engineers, and an economy which rewards people with those skills.

SAT Scores Fall as Number of Test-Takers Rises

Average SAT scores fell across the board this past year—down 3 points in critical reading, 2 points in writing, and 1 point in math.

This year, 1.65 million students in the high school graduating class of 2011 took the college-entrance exam, up from 1.6 million for the class of 2010, according to results released today.

The increase in test-takers can lead to a decline in mean scores, the College Board says, because more students of varying academic ability are represented.

Regardless of the drop in mean scores, according to a press release from the New York City-based College Board, the test’s sponsor, “there are more high-performing students among the class of 2011 than ever before.”

Each section of the test is scored from 200 to 800, with a 2400 for all sections combined being perfect. Critical-reading scores in this year’s report compared with last year’s dropped from 500 to 497, math from 515 to 514, and writing from 491 to 489, for an overall score change from 1506 to 1500—all statistically significant. Since 2007, the first year that College Board June cohort data are available, critical reading and math scores have each had a 4-point decline, while math scores have remained stable.

The new total test-taking figures show the gap further narrowing between the SAT and the rival ACT, which unveiled its numbers last month with 1.62 million students in the class of 2011 taking the test, an all-time high for the Iowa City, Iowa-based testing company as well. Last year, the College Board began including all test-takers through June of their senior year and did so again.



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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in General


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The New Jim Crow – The Academic Testing Myth

One of the long running “truths” spouted by conservatives is that black students perform worse than white or Asian students on SATs, and thus are variously a) less intelligent, b) don’t take educations seriously, c) are lazy, or d) are “anti-education” in condemning successful students as “acting white”.

Despite mounting evidence of flaws in high stakes academic testing is invalid.

“All admissions decisions based exclusively or predominantly on SAT performance–and therefore access to higher education institutions and subsequent job placement and professional success–appear to be biased against the African American minority group and could be exposed to legal challenge.”

New evidence that SAT hurts blacks

Roy Freedle is 76 now, with a research psychologist’s innate patience. He knows that decades often pass before valid ideas take root. When the notion is as radical as his, that the SAT is racially biased, an even longer wait might be expected. But after 23 years the research he has done on the surprising reaction of black students to hard words versus easy words seems to be gaining new respectability.

Seven years ago, after being discouraged from investigating findings while working for the Educational Testing Service, Freedle published a paper in the Harvard Educational Review that won significant attention.

He was retired from ETS by then. As he expected, his former supervisors dismissed his conclusions. Researchers working for the College Board, which owns the SAT, said the test was not biased. But the then president of the University of California system, a cognitive psychologist named Richard C. Atkinson, was intrigued. He asked the director of research in his office to replicate Freedle’s study.

Now, in the latest issue of the Harvard Educational Review, the two scholars who took on that project have published a paper saying Freedle was right about a flaw in the SAT, even in its current form. They say “the SAT, a high-stakes test with significant consequences for the educational opportunities available to young people in the United States, favors one ethnic group over another.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 20, 2010 in The New Jim Crow


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