Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Backwards Higher Ed Goes Test Optional

By Professor Doom

     While the SAT, a placement test to get into college, is destroying itself in an attempt to become more relevant…it’s pointless, as today’s topic addresses.

     It’s always fascinating to watch the mismanagement which comes from government control and interference. When a privately held business finds sales lagging, for example, it reduces prices. You can see this every day, from retail sales to airline tickets. On the other hand, if government finds it’s not making enough revenue from, say, public transit…it raises the prices. 

     The difference is government knows it has a captive audience, the only people using public buses have no choice in the matter, or so I’ve supposed. Higher education doesn’t truly have captives, though many of the people going into it are slaves to indoctrination, mentally as much trapped in the system as someone in the inner city with no other way to get to his job.

      People are breaking the indoctrination, however, and enrollments are finally dropping. The higher tuition is one reason for this, but the cost is not truly the problem: if the degrees and education sold were worth the cost, then the price would ultimately be irrelevant.

      A normal market response to falling enrollments, falling sales, would be to either lower the price, or increase the value of the education. The people running our schools are wildly incapable of such thinking, despite their self-assessed-as-prestigious degrees in Administration.

     So what’s their idiotic response?

New Push for Test Optional

     Many schools still have some nominal entrance requirements, namely tests like the ACT or SAT, but they’re getting rid of them. Obviously, they’re doing it to increase enrollments, but what reason do the rulers give for debasing education still further?

The survey also showed many admissions leaders are concerned about the trends in test scores by race and ethnicity.

     Heh, test scores are RACIST so we have to get rid of them. This is just more edu-fascism, the merger of administrative and ideological interests on our campus: the looters want more enrollments, while the social justice warriors want more room to get more like-minded believers on campus.  Eventually, the SJWs take over and push out the looters…but not before the looters get their share of lakefront property.

Scores on the SAT of Asian Americans are increasing at a much faster rate than are scores for other groups. And those suing Harvard University and other critics of affirmative action like to point to test-score averages to suggest discrimination against Asian Americans. Seventy-five percent of admissions leaders surveyed by Inside Higher Ed said they were concerned by the "persistent gaps" in SAT and ACT scores by race and ethnicity.

     One thing that’s always overlooked by the “Asian superiority” on tests is how their culture emphasizes study. Instead of eliminating the tests, we could ask all applicants to study as hard as Asians. Perhaps Asians are smarter, but IQ tests are often challenged as RACIST (with some validity, I concede)…what is never challenged is the simple fact Asians, both in the East and in the US, spend far more time studying than other cultures.

Bingo! The SAT shows objectively that the Asian kids need to score 450 points higher than African American students. Even more outrageous is that lots of Asian kids are coming from much poorer backgrounds and the "preferred" minorities are children of doctors and lawyers.

So what to do about the glaring objective evidence? Don't require the SAT!

--from the comments section. 450 is an exaggeration. I think.

      Nah, asking applicants to study is too hard and would reduce admissions. Let’s just cry RACIST instead. The trend of crying RACIST instead of rationally thinking it through is only increasing:

In calendar year 2019, the pace is now one such announcement every 10 days, more than twice the pace at comparable points in past years, said Robert Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a group that is perhaps the leading critic of standardized testing in college admissions.

    Parents, if you’re considering where to send your kids, please send them to a school which restricts admissions. A school without admissions has no choice but to eventually become a school without standards: if the leaders at the top are willing to debase education just to get kids to come to campus, I assure you those same leaders will continue to debase education to keep the kids on campus. 

       And if your kid can’t score high enough on the test, or more accurately isn’t willing to study hard enough to do so? Then take that as a sign that your kid isn’t really academically inclined…this is not a bad thing, I assure you. Our country is filled with great academics working for less than minimum wage as college adjuncts. 

      Send your kid to trade school instead—if he’s willing to get his hands dirty, then he’ll make more than enough to hire a few fools with M.A.s, maybe even Ph.D.s, in Gender Studies to carry his stuff.   

The new institutions going test optional also show the breadth of the colleges pursuing the approach.

      I’m quoting Inside Higher Ed above, which cluelessly takes debasing education as an “approach.” Wow, we’ve been debasing education further and further for decades, and it’s becoming ever more clear that much of higher education is failing because of it.

     Our leaders, in the face of colossal failure from debasing education…decide to debase education further. I can’t make this stuff up.

In the winter of 2017-18, only one college announced it was going test optional. In the winter of 2018-19, Bucknell was one of eight colleges making such a shift.

The others are: Creighton, DePauw, Fairleigh Dickinson and Ferris State Universities; Evergreen State College; and the Universities of Denver and of Minnesota at Crookston.

--a helpful list of schools to avoid.

      While the article cites “diversity concerns,” at no point does it come close to suggesting removing more entrance requirements is simply a ploy to increase enrollments. 

     I’m willing to bet actual gold coins that the schools listed above have lost enrollment the last few years. Evergreen State College is the standout on that above list; they’ve lost so many students that they have one administrator per 6 students now, and have lost over 20% of their student base, doubtless due to the race riots.

       So, yeah, “increasing diversity” is what they’ll try, rather than the good decisions of cutting down on administrative positions and focusing on providing quality education.

      There is, of course, a more sinister reason for abandoning entrance tests, again missed by what supposedly is a specialized site for higher education:

"The events of the past few weeks highlight the critical importance of checks and balances in the admissions process," she said. "Standardized assessments make this kind of fraud much harder to pull off and much easier to identify. Imagine how much easier it would be to game the system without that kind of independent check on the process."

     The recent higher ed admissions scandal revealed that parents are quite willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, to send their kids to a quality school (or at least a school with perceived quality).

     The leaders of our institutions looked at that scandal, and realized there was a huge problem there: not nearly enough of the bribe money was going into administrative pockets. Much of the bribe money was going to coaches, already grotesquely paid.

      Another reason for the bribe money not going to admin is admin was restricting admissions to those with scores on standardized tests. While these could be subverted, it meant more bribe money going to corrupt proctors and “substitute” students to take the tests. Dangit, more money not going to admin!

      Remove that objective admission standard, and now parents will need to pay admin directly to get into the school. With such huge amounts of bribe money clearly on the table, I hardly blame admin for making the system even more ripe for corruption.

      In any event, for most gentle readers the takeaway is very clear: avoid schools which are getting rid of test score entrance requirements.



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