Sunday, October 29, 2006

UC would admit 'broader swath' of students under proposal

MercuryNews.com 10/27/2006 UC would admit 'broader swath' of students under proposal

Colleges are constantly tweaking their entrant requirements to broaden diversity. At first they tried this:

Signed into law by Gov. Pat Brown in 1960, California's master plan of college eligibility guarantees a spot at UC for the top 12.5 percent of the state's high school graduates, who are ranked by test scores and GPAs earned in UC-approved college prep courses.
But that only made things worse:

But that approach has widened the ``achievement gap'' in the increasingly diverse state. Access to UC for many racial and ethnic minorities and for students at ``disadvantaged high schools,'' as defined by socioeconomics or geography, is consistently low.
Now they want to try this:

The recommendation means that a student with a C+ (2.75 GPA) average, who was likely to be shut out under the old system, would now be eligible to have their application reviewed -- giving them the opportunity to list leadership positions, jobs or ways in which they have triumphed over adversity. Low SAT scores, while still considered, would not close the door..

Of course it will be hard for the poor rich and middleclass kids to show that they triumphed over adversity when they had the misfortune to be born to parents with a college degree.

Sooner or later someone is going to propose to simply make college entrance a lottery system, which is the only way they will ensure balanced racial and geographic diversity. Of course this would only ensure that their entering Freshman class is balanced. In conjunction with the lottery, they would probably need to eliminate other hinderances to diversity such as grades. To account for the dismal graduation rates of minorities, they should eliminate the outdated requirement for a high school diploma. Instead just open up the lottery system to the entire population of California.

Of course instead, the UC system could throw their considerable influence around to help fix the current K-12 education system which disproportionately fails disadvantaged populations.

Its ironic that the same systems that decry the number of students who need remedial classes in math and english also continually try and find ways to lower the bar. Sometimes it seems like the whole education system has become a vicious circle.

2 comments:

rightwingprof said...

The "open admissions" movement has been going strong at universities for about ten or twelve years. And you can bet that there is a lot of opposition to this, just not from the faculty in charge.

Mary said...

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