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Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

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Replies to: Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

  • LongPrimeLongPrime - 5106 replies102 threads Senior Member
    32 wrote:
    If a kid who would have been #3 in his class suddenly becomes #15, don't you think that will make him a less viable candidate? Merit money?

    Being #1, with recommendations, did not help our kid. He did get into the school that he wanted, with merit. He so far has had a steller academic career and into his 2nd post MS internship.

    Every System has a flaw. Every flaw has a remedy. Every remedy has a exception. Every Exception has a condition. Every Condition has a But.
    Every But has a because. And Every Because is part of the system. When they get it perfect, I'm leaving.
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  • ignatiusignatius 3558 replies21 threads Senior Member
    For what it's worth, each of my children has attended a private school that ranks. I can honestly say that the 10% rule hinders private school kids.

    Example:

    D3 - class of 09
    Top 20% of her class
    NMSF
    SAT (superscored) 2370/2400
    SAT IIs: Bio E - 710; Lit - 750; M - 750
    9 H/APs + 3 senior year
    Highest Honors each semester


    No, I don't think she would get into UT Austin/Fall 09. Luckily, it isn't even on her radar, which is fortunate.

    The 10% rule is a game to be played in TX. Our neighborhood public school has many students in the top 10%. The s of our friend was #12 out of a class of 800 students. In actuality, he was #12 along with 34 others; I can't guestimate how many students were ahead of him, but I can guarantee it wasn't just 11 students. The top 10% (out of 800 students) should have been 80 - simple math, but it doesn't work that way - at least in the local school district.

    I heard the ND admissions officer speak about this problem in large Tx. schools. He had a young lady who was #1 in her class, but oops she was #1 along with the 69 other students.

    (BTW - d's bf has taken only 4 H/AP classes, but is in the top 10% because she made high A's in her regular classes. D made A's and B's in her honors classes - some of which are notoriously difficult.)

    Not really complaining so much as acknowledging that it is disheartening to see the 10% rule being "abused" (as no better word comes immediately to mind) as it is. Something does need to be done and I guess the legislature is stumbling around trying to figure out what to do.
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 threads Senior Member
    Like I said before, I have absolutely NO problem with them coming up with a statewide system. I think it makes sense.

    What I have a problem with is making it retroactive to the kids who are already in highschool. And NO, it's not because I think VAST numbers of people are gaming the system, and this would screw up their diabolical plans. I think that is largely a myth.

    For the most part, high achieving students would be high achieving no matter what the calculation of GPA. Kids who desire above all else to be in the top 10%, for the most part, are going to be kids who desire taking AP/honors courses anyway, and since in most Texas schools, AP/honors are weighted, they aren't dropping AP English to take study hall or cheerleading.

    I simply think, IMO, that it is horribly unfair to change the playing field in the middle of the game. AND, not only are they changing it, they aren't telling anyone what the changes will be! That will be sprung upon, not only the students, but the school administrators, at a later date, a date the legislature hasn't figured out yet, and one that probably won't give ample time, so counselors will be scrambling to change methods, instead of counseling. It will create a HUGE mess.

    Why can't they figure out the new method, publish it, and then say something like, "Starting with the class of 2013 (or name a year), this will be the statewide method of calculating GPA." Then students, parents, counselors, and adminsitrators will all be on the same page, all will know the rules, and all will feel comfortable that, statewide, students are being judged accordingly.

    And mini, athletes can be good students too. My s, 3 year varsity football, 3 year varsity weightlifting, 3 year varsity lacrosse - valedictorian. So stuff it!
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  • giddey_upgiddey_up 228 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Top 10 percent admissions are 81% of the incoming class for Fall, 2008 – up 10% - , so I guess this year we can safely say, “don’t worry, hundreds of kids get into UT that are not in the top ten!”

    Top 10 rule limits UT-Austin, says school president | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
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  • ignatiusignatius 3558 replies21 threads Senior Member
    giddey_up: Top 10 percent admissions are 81% of the incoming class for Fall, 2008 – up 10% - , so I guess this year we can safely say, “don’t worry, hundreds of kids get into UT that are not in the top ten!”

    `````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    The other problem UT is having is that many of the students, although in the top 10% are not students that would have been admitted otherwise and are not capable of the work. At a UT admissions session, students were told to glance at the 2 students next to them - 2 of the three (including student himself) would not graduate. A private school in my city has 2/3 of its students become NMF and has an average SAT of 1450; my local hs has an average SAT of 1050, with the average SAT of 1240 for the top 10% - AND my local hs is a fairly good one within the city. Some local hs have an average SAT in the 800s. Not all top 10%s are equal and probably shouldn't be treated equally; its a disservice to the student and the university. Rather than looking to find a good match university, kids in the top 10% choose UT or A&M because they are THE "hot" universities in my area and have guaranteed admissions.
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  • bandit_TXbandit_TX 2313 replies60 threads Senior Member
    Most top colleges will recompute GPA to suit themselves anyway. It won't affect those admissions at all.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    "At a UT admissions session, students were told to glance at the 2 students next to them - 2 of the three (including student himself) would not graduate."

    An old line, plagiarized from cuthroat graduate schools. The reality is that 2/3rds will graduate, and for those who don't, the main reasons will be financial/family situation, and have nothing to do with the ability of the admitted students to do the work.

    "And mini, athletes can be good students too. My s, 3 year varsity football, 3 year varsity weightlifting, 3 year varsity lacrosse - valedictorian. So stuff it!"

    Why, of course! (I have an athlete, too!) As far as I'm concerned, they can recompute the GPAs anyway they want (they do so already, so that won't be anything new). What will be new is that, for purposes of UT admissions, they will all be doing it the same way, and for the life of me, I can't see anything wrong with that.
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  • ignatiusignatius 3558 replies21 threads Senior Member
    ^^^

    mini - you used only one sentence from my post and either missed or ignored the gist of my point by doing so. The reality is that the ability of more than a few of the admitted students does hinder them.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    The reality is that the state has a legitimate interest in educating a reasonable portion of the student body from all communities and, furthermore, the evidence is that the vast majority admitted are able to do the work. If that hurts a small proportion of well-heeled suburban students, so be it. There are always winners and losers. The current fiddling doesn't change that in the least.

    As for the SAT scores, simply add 200 points for every $100k difference in family income and you've got fair comparisons. The evidence is quite clear that those differences even themselves out after one year of college and, furthermore, even the College Board admits the SAT is not a very good indicator of first year performance among minority students (GPA is much better).
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  • ignatiusignatius 3558 replies21 threads Senior Member
    I wanted to add that, unlike "cut-throat" grad schools, UT is NOT getting to pick-and-choose students based on a range of factors.

    81% (see above article - post by giddy-up) are automatic admits at UT this year. A student in the top 10% from the weakest hs in the state of TX with an SAT score of 900 - well, he or she doesn't have to worry about admission. I think the point is that the university is getting to have less and less input over which students it can accept.

    Also, mini, the state should educate one and all. The problem is that one and all are overwhelmingly choosing the same school while the state has many, many from which to choose. UT is not the only university hurt; many others that are not considered the "hot" university but still have much to offer and in fact may be better matches are completely overlooked.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    Yup. But that has been the case for years, and the current legislation will have no impact on that whatsover.

    What you are describing is a de-emphasis on SAT scores that is taking place nationwide, often among private colleges as well. What else is new?
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  • giddey_upgiddey_up 228 replies12 threads Junior Member
    This is a little more than a "de-emphasis" of SAT scores - it is using a single factor to guarantee admission – a real sledgehammer. The impact may be small in the aggregate, but it is focused on the more competitive, mostly suburban high schools. I know at our high school, we are now sending about 100 fewer students to UT since the rule was put in place (UT publishes stats on this, too), and that is a pretty big deal to our community. So, when your single, sure ticket to UT is a the top-ten game, and the rules of that game are changed - well, I could see how that would be extraordinarily frustrating.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    Taxpayers from all over the state, and from all legislative districts, pay for public colleges and universities, and it seems quite reasonable, even desirable, to me that taxpayers and districts be afforded equitable representation for their top students. That's already established - and nothing currently proposed changes tht. All that is new here is putting rules in place to prevent a very small number of students and families from further gaming the system.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19657 replies467 threads Senior Member
    I haven't seen anyone complain about standardization, only about how this is being implemented. The main problem for me is how these changes are happening midstream.

    I found more info here: Legislative Report: April 4, 2008: THECB Commissioner Proposes Uniform GPA Standards This is a quick read.

    Looks like there will be at least one public hearing.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    A student in the top 10% from the weakest hs in the state of TX with an SAT score of 900 - well, he or she doesn't have to worry about admission.

    Do we know how many of these weak students really hop on the bus to Austin? People continue to harp on all those less qualified students that benefit from the 10% rule and hurt the kids that fail to be ranked in the top 10% in their own school. The reality is that students from weaker districts are NOT taking advantage of their ten percent status. Our state should do EVERYTHING possible to increase their numbers and DIMINISH the percentage from overerpresented schools within the ten percent band.
    The impact may be small in the aggregate, but it is focused on the more competitive, mostly suburban high schools. I know at our high school, we are now sending about 100 fewer students to UT since the rule was put in place (UT publishes stats on this, too), and that is a pretty big deal to our community. So, when your single, sure ticket to UT is a the top-ten game, and the rules of that game are changed - well, I could see how that would be extraordinarily frustrating.

    100 fewer students since when? Since last year, since 5 years ago, since 10 years ago? If the school sends 100 fewer students since the pre-Hopwood days, that is VERY GOOD NEWS because it means the law is functioning as intended. Actually, the biggest criticism of the 10% rule is that it does not go further in limiting over-represented schools and falls short in its objective to increase regional and racial diversity.

    Competitive students should not have to rely on "sure tickets" but rely on a complete application package. Students with decent ranking AND decent SAT scores have no difficulties in getting accepted by UT without an automatic ticket. Many of the best students in Texas do not even the luxury of a rank since the best schools in Texas do not rank.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    Top 10 percent admissions are 81% of the incoming class for Fall, 2008 – up 10% - , so I guess this year we can safely say, “don’t worry, hundreds of kids get into UT that are not in the top ten!”

    Since you noted that "UT publishes stats on this, too", may I suggest you actually make a small effort to read the numbers, especially before discounting correct numbers posted by people who understand UT numbers and attempting to describe them as specious.

    For starters, I hope you realize that there is a difference between admitted students and enrolled students. While it could be that every admitted student at your school or district ends up enrolling at his best option, it remains that the yield of UT is around 50%. In broad numbers, this means that an enrollment of about 7,000 requires about 14,000 ADMITTED students.

    Now, that we can set aside College Admissions 101, let's move to a calculator. Enter 14,000, multiply by 20%, and what do YOU think the result is? Hundreds or ... thousands? Even in my impoverished district, I think that most students will know that 1/5 of about 14,000 is close to THREE THOUSAND.

    At first, I did not want to dwell on your mistake that stated "BTW, to say “thousands” of students are admitted outside of the top-ten is little specious: 2,031 Texas HS grads in 2007. Admission to UT at Austin is all about class rank, and little else." but your insistence leaves me with little choice. So here it is: There were 2,031 non-top 10% ENROLLED STUDENTS at UT in 2007 and 4,871 top ten percent students. Total admissions were 13,800 out of 27,237 applications.. Now do the math .. correctly and review you "safe" statements.
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  • giddey_upgiddey_up 228 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Personally, I have come to accept that the mission of UT has changed - and that less qualified students from a broader cross-section of the state will be represented at the main campus. So, UT is just not as big a blip on our radar as it once was – and more students from our community are going to California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Massachusetts, etc., and the parents are writing the checks.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    And I say bully for them. It opens up places for hundreds of other highly qualified students to get a quality education.
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  • KathycKathyc 594 replies28 threads Member
    It sounds like Texas and California are facing a lot of the same issues. Giddey_up's use of the term "less qualified" comes to the crux of the matter. What if the kids in the top 10% of the less able high schools really aren't up to snuff academically? Should they be destroyed by going to schools they can't handle? Wouldn't it be better for them to go to other schools and fill in the holes and then try to transfer in (a la the guaranteed transfer program for some of the UC's with some of the local Community Colleges). I know we all want to support the diamond in the rough, but setting kids up to fail doesn't help anyone.

    That said, to switch the method calculating the top 10% midstream is totally unfair and shouldn't be allowed.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    It sounds like Texas and California are facing a lot of the same issues. Giddey_up's use of the term "less qualified" comes to the crux of the matter. What if the kids in the top 10% of the less able high schools really aren't up to snuff academically? Should they be destroyed by going to schools they can't handle? Wouldn't it be better for them to go to other schools and fill in the holes and then try to transfer in (a la the guaranteed transfer program for some of the UC's with some of the local Community Colleges). I know we all want to support the diamond in the rough, but setting kids up to fail doesn't help anyone.

    Of course! But how do we define "less qualified?" Is the daughter of an illegal immigrant who has spent her formative years in Mexico or moving from one mediocre school to another only to end up being valedictorian in her high school less qualified than a a Plano High Senior who is ranked 12th in his class. What if their SAT scores fall within 3-5% on one another all the while the Valley girl who believes Karen Dillard is related to the department store she once visited?

    Fwiw, it is easier to talk about those "non qualified" students that really find supporting data that confirms our "worse fears" of reverse discrimination. How many students are there in the top 10% who are really set up for failure? How many fail to reach 900 on the SAT among the top 10% and ... the others? The answer is 3 percent versus ... 2%. Same statistic for studentx who cannot crack 1000: 7% versus ... 5%. How do those same group do GPA wise? Below 900: 2.27 versus 2.34 and below 1000: 2.57 to 2.15. Above 1000, the top 10% does better than non-top 10% in every subgroup.

    Again, the "facts" that will meet much approval at any Starbucks in Highland Park, Plano, or any suburban mecca in Texas are hardly supported by the data compiled in Austin. This does not mean that the myths of unqualified students robbing academic superstars who happen to live in the wrong zip codes will stop anytime soon. Not much different from the tales of academic or athletic scholarships at the Ivies!
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