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Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

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Replies to: Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19095 replies454 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    I did some research on the number of kids in remedial courses at UT. Surprisingly low.

    http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf/2007-09-PP25-remediation-bt.pdf

    Although, if you look at page 2 and compare the chart with 2003 numbers and text with 2006-07 numbers, UT remedial courses do seem to be on the rise.
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  • giddey_upgiddey_up 228 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 240 Junior Member
    Still, it is a fact that the mean SAT score of the top-ten percent freshman has been lower than the non-top-ten percent freshmen since 2003, and that doesn't help quiet the complaints.
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  • dragonmomdragonmom 5849 replies154 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,003 Senior Member
    Legislation passed by the 80th legislature, HB 3851, requires the Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to develop a uniform GPA methodology to be used by Texas universities in admission decisions, including Top 10 percent admissions decisions.

    Well, that will teach me to go off on just the basis of an Austin news report that
    New law changing the way districts statewide calculate GPAs
    Seems it would only be for state university/ top 10% rules, not requiring every district to follow it for all their students. Ok, in the words of Gilda Radner "Oh, never mind..."
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  • minimini 26172 replies259 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "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?"

    Only problem is that there is not a shred of evidence for this alleged "what if". Graduation rates at UT have not declined. The only thing that may have changed is that some few students are headed to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California (states one poster) so they don't have to mix with the riff-raff. I say good riddance.
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  • dragonmomdragonmom 5849 replies154 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,003 Senior Member
    The only thing that may have changed is that some few students are headed to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California (states one poster) so they don't have to mix with the riff-raff. I say good riddance.

    Who exactly said they were going out of state to avoid "mixing with the riff-raff" ? Did I miss a big part of this thread?
    Yes, nearby states (mostly Oklahoma) are sucking up the smart kids who didn't get into our top schools, but who says they go there to "avoid mixing with riff'raff" I don't want to go out on a limb - data points please?
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  • giddey_upgiddey_up 228 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 240 Junior Member
    I agree, dragon. It is easy to be flip about this when you don’t have any skin in the game. We’re just are talking about 17 and 18 year olds who just want to attend a University in their own community that is commensurate with their academic qualifications.
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    In reading the attachment explaining the two different methodologies that are being discussed, in either case it would hurt kids in my district vs. other districts.

    In our district you can only get credit for 4 units of AP, preAP, honors, what-have-you, each semester, so the kids who want to take those classes end up taking them in English, Math, Science and Social Studies. There are very few offered outside of those subjects - no stat, no psych, no art history, etc. There is 1 extra AP you can take - AP Spanish, but since you would receive no honors credit for it, many elect to just take Spanish 4 (I would hardly call that gaming the system;)).

    So, the kids in my district would automatically, by the reason of not having the same number of AP courses available to them, be at a distinct numerical disadvantage to kids in districts where they can take 5 or more AP's per semester.

    Should that mean that henceforth, from the 2009 admission year, noone from our entire district can get into UT or A&M? Or should it mean that our district, based upon the new methodology of gpa calculation, should have the chance, by the 2012 admission year, to begin offering more advanced courses so that we can be on a level field with other districts?

    It would sure be a bummer for the kids who will be seniors in the fall of 2009 (i.e. my son) who took the prescribed courses in our district, the maximum number of AP/honors that he could possibly take, to be told that he doesn't measure up to somebody who had the opportunity to take more.
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  • bandit_TXbandit_TX 2313 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    One thing the law 10% does is somewhat equalize the opportunities for students. We all know that education in this state is very unlevel at the high school level. Robin Hood didn't even start to give all high school students the same educational opportunities. Should students from high schools that don't have AP courses, don't even have Trig in many cases, continue to be penalized by locking them out of the state flagship universities? Many of these students do just fine once given the opportunity. As Xiggi, Mini, and others have pointed out, UT should not ever become the bastion of Highland Park, Plano, and other elite school districts that have deep pockets and affluent students.

    As for the GPA law, gaming the system was never a good plan. As long as the system is the same for all, it's an improvement over what we had.
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    As long as the system is the same for all, it's an improvement over what we had.

    But, it isn't the same for all. Until every district has the same number of AP/IB courses avaiable, it cannot be when they are planning on weighting AP/IB. At least our district has 4 per semester - maybe that will put them somewhere in the middle. For districts that have 0 AP, what happens to those kids?

    They need to do some more thinking on this thing. Until educational opportunities are equal, the methods they are discussing (in calculating GPA) will be unequal and patently unfair to those in districts that either just don't have AP courses available, or just plain can't afford to make them available.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,443 Senior Member
    Unless I am missing something it seems that what aggravates parents the most is that the rules would be changed without proper warning and would be retroactive.

    However, how could anyone possibly know that the new rules are bad AND would be applied retroactively? Did the responsible parties not agree to postpone the implementation of this "new law" until 2012? Do we know if the admission officers will compare students across districts or not? Do we know how extensive is the use of AP courses in the lower performing districts?

    Fwiw, I wonder what the reaction of parents who are upset about this proposed change in GPAs would be if the 10% rule would be abandoned altogether or changed substantially? As we know, there have been repeated attempts to do just that.

    So, what good would all the shenanigans and jockeying for the right GPA boost mean if there were NO 10% rule and the entire class would be selected according to the holistic review. This would, of course, mean that UT would probably INCREASE its geographical and racial diversity targets.

    Anyone who believes that UT is complaining about the growing number of automatic admissions because they'd prefer to increase the numbers from Plano or Highland Park and reduce the numbers from poorer districts is probably mistaken.

    Consider the current 10% rule a gift to the wealthy districts; not a hindrance! It won't last forever and the new format will be less charitable to the schools that have been the primary beneficiaries to date (and used the largest portion of their "quota.")
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19095 replies454 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    First, here is an updated link that does a better job of explaining what we're looking at: Legislative Report: June 27, 2008: Uniform GPA Committee Meets

    I am so intrigued by this whole issue that I called an official with a state education agency. What I was told is that, as the above link states, the legislation was designed to be for higher education institutions only but the legislation will create a domino effect down to districts and schools as they try to ensure their kids get a fair shake under this new law.

    ag is right above. This change will hurt students in poorer districts where there may be no AP or IB choices that allow those students to get the extra weight. In effect, it becomes a statewide top 10% rather than a school-by-school top 10%. Now, the cynical among us will say, "Those hideous suburban parents have found a way to get more of their little darlings into UT." More charitably, you might say that this will force the hand of all districts/schools to raise their standards and offer the more rigorous curricula, ultimately benefitting those kids and making it more likely that they can handle collge-level courses.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19095 replies454 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    Oh, and because the Lege meets this January, whatever system is developed this summer will no doubt be amended this session.
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    Implementation date:

    According to the legislation, the universities have to implement the new methodology starting with fall 2009 admission decisions (i.e., decisions made during the 2008-09 school year). There was unanimous agreement in both stakeholder meetings that the implementation date should be postponed. Paredes said that the legislation left THECB no "wiggle room" on this issue. He vowed to work with legislators to amend the statute at the beginning of the 2009 legislative session to postpone implementation of the Uniform GPA rule until fall 2012.

    So, according to this (from last April's report), the legislature has ruled that it be implemented by the 2009 school year. The committe wants to push the date to 2012, but it will have to be changed by the legislature, Paredes vows to work with them on the date change (good luck;)).

    The other beauty is (from the June 27th report):
    The K-12 representatives on the panel asked THECB what notice districts should prepare to send to parents and students when school starts, regarding the implementation of the new rules. THECB’s General Counsel noted that THECB has filed a request for an Attorney General opinion seeking guidance on various implementation issues related to Uniform GPA methodology. That opinion is due out by early November 2008.

    THECB is planning to issue proposed rules for public comment in July and finally adopt the Uniform GPA methodology during its October board meeting. From that timeline, it is difficult to determine what guidance districts should provide to parents and students.

    In other words, "what the heck are we supposed to tell parents in the fall/winter of 2008, regarding a statewide policy that will affect ALL kids in the state starting with the fall of 2009 college admits, when we don't even know what the policy will be or how it will be implemented?"

    YIKES! You'd think the legislature would stop and say, "Maybe we should postpone this until we have all our ducks in a row."

    But, for those of us this past year, who have been trying to figure out how to pay the new franchise taxes (due Dec. 31st) when they hadn't even been finalized and explained until AFTER the deadline, we know not to put too much faith in the intelligence of our legislators.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,443 Senior Member
    YDS, thank you for the added infornation.

    However, why should we think that "In effect, it becomes a statewide top 10% rather than a school-by-school top 10%." might ever become true?

    Does the proposed legislation specifically proposed that the current 10% of each HS in Texas becomes a 10% of the entire state? Based on the history of the 588 and the mutiple attempts to modify it, I really do not see that being remotely impossible.

    It is intriguing.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,443 Senior Member
    H.B. No. 3851
    AN ACT
    relating to the admission of high school graduates and
    undergraduate transfer students to certain institutions of higher
    education, the computation of a student's high school grade point
    average for purposes of determining eligibility for admission, and
    policies to promote the admission of undergraduate transfer
    students.
    BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
    SECTION 1. Section 28.0252(b), Education Code, is amended
    to read as follows:
    (b) If the commissioner develops a standard method under
    this section, a school district shall use the standard method to
    compute a student's high school grade point average, except that to
    the extent of a conflict between that method and the method adopted
    under Section 51.807, [and] the student's grade point average
    computed in accordance with the method established under Section
    51.807 [that manner] shall be used in determining the student's
    eligibility for university [automatic college] admission under
    Subchapter U, Chapter 51 [Section 51.803].
    SECTION 2. Section 51.807, Education Code, is amended to
    read as follows:
    Sec. 51.807. RULEMAKING. (a) To ensure a uniform standard
    for admissions under this subchapter, the [The] Texas Higher
    Education Coordinating Board shall adopt rules establishing a
    standard method for computing a student's high school grade point
    average. The method established under this subsection:
    (1) must:
    (A) be based on a four-point scale; and
    (B) assign additional weight for each honors
    course, advanced placement course, international baccalaureate
    course, or dual credit course completed by the student as the board
    considers appropriate, taking into consideration the academic
    rigor of each course completed by the student; and
    (2) may result in a student having a grade point
    average higher than 4.0 on a four-point scale as a result of the
    assignment of additional weight for one or more courses completed
    by a student under Subdivision (1)(B).
    (b) The board may adopt other rules relating to the
    operation of admissions programs under this subchapter, including
    rules relating to the identification of eligible students [and the
    reporting requirements of Section 51.806].
    (c) The standard method established under Subsection (a)
    for computing a student's high school grade point average applies
    to computing the grade point average of a student applying as a
    first-time freshman for admission to a general academic teaching
    institution beginning with admissions for the 2009 fall semester.
    This subsection expires January 1, 2010.
    SECTION 3. Section 51.4032, Education Code, as added by
    Chapter 694, Acts of the 79th Legislature, Regular Session, 2005,
    is amended to read as follows:
    Sec. 51.4032. ANNUAL REPORT OF PARTICIPATION IN HIGHER
    EDUCATION. Not later than December 1 [July 31] of each year and in
    the form prescribed by the coordinating board, each general
    academic teaching institution and medical and dental unit as
    defined in Section 61.003 shall provide to the Texas Higher
    Education Coordinating Board and shall publish on the institution's
    website a report describing the composition of the institution's
    entering class of students. The report must include a demographic
    breakdown of the class, including a breakdown by race, ethnicity,
    [and] economic status, and high school class standing. A report
    submitted by a general academic teaching institution or medical and
    dental unit as defined in Section 61.003 must include separate
    demographic breakdowns of the students admitted under Sections
    51.803, 51.804, and 51.805 and a description of any plans,
    policies, or programs developed or implemented by the institution
    to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups such as
    racial or ethnic minority groups.
    SECTION 4. Section 51.808, Education Code, is amended to
    read as follows:
    Sec. 51.808. APPLICATION OF ADMISSION CRITERIA TO OTHER
    PROGRAMS. (a) Each general academic teaching institution or
    medical and dental unit that offers admissions to undergraduate
    transfer students or admissions to a graduate, postgraduate, or
    professional program shall [also] adopt a written admission policy
    applicable to those programs.
    (b) Each general academic teaching institution shall adopt
    a written admission policy to promote the admission of
    undergraduate transfer students to the institution. The policy
    must provide for outreach and recruiting efforts directed at junior
    colleges and other lower-division institutions of higher education
    and may include incentives to encourage transfer applications and
    to retain and promote transfer students.
    (c) A [The] policy adopted under this section shall be
    published in the institution's or unit's catalog and made available
    to the public.
    SECTION 5. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
    shall adopt rules as required by Section 51.807, Education Code, as
    amended by this Act, as soon as practicable after the effective date
    of this Act.
    SECTION 6. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
    a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
    provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
    Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
    Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19095 replies454 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    So, how do you read this? I can't stand legislativese, so I might be missing something, but I don't see anything that says that these numbers will be calculated on a school-by-school basis as is done now.
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    What I read it as saying is that all Texas high schools will be required to compute grade point averages based on the method proscribed in Rule 51.807 a 4 point scale with weighted grades for honors/ap/ib/dual credit.

    Of course, here's a kicker:
    as the board considers appropriate, taking into consideration the academic rigor of each course completed by the student;

    which is why in the last meeting the THECB is only saying AP and IB because they cannot investigate every school program to find out the relative "academic rigor" of the honors/dual credit classes statewide.

    It won't be a "state-wide" top 10% but, if you go to a school with fewer ap and no IB courses, your GPA will be lower than someone who had to opportunity to load their schedules with ap/ib weighted classes.

    I think, after reading this, that you will still be "ranked" within your own hs though, so your ranking will reflect how you did relative to other students within your own school who had access to the same number of weighted classes as you.
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  • giddey_upgiddey_up 228 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 240 Junior Member
    ziggy says: "This would, of course, mean that UT would probably INCREASE its geographical and racial diversity targets."

    I've never heard anyone say that UT sets geographical diversity targets. All the material on the Admissions website addresses is racial and ethnic targets - at least as far back as 2000. Nor have I ever heard that UT wants to reduce admissions from "over represented schools" as someone mentioned. I don't believe UT, as an institution, has the same motives as the legislature in this regard.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,443 Senior Member
    What do you think would happen, if UT would be able to cap the 10% rule to 50% of the entering class or to reduce the 10% number to 7% or 5%? Where do you think the reductions would have the biggest impact? In the rural and impoverished areas of Texas that send far fewer students that they could if they were to use their full quotas of ten percenters or ... in the suburban schools that send larger number of students?

    Why do you think that Royce West seeks the support of elected officials from rural areas every time "someone" from Plano tries to undo the 10% law?

    This might help "read" between the lines:
    Attempts to limit the law could run into trouble in the Senate, where Sen. Royce West, a black Democrat from Dallas, is searching for 11 votes to block a possible floor debate.

    Along with Democratic supporters, he's enlisting Republicans from rural Texas whose constituents are benefiting from the law's unintentional side effect: promoting geographical diversity.

    Among his potential allies for keeping the 10 percent rule intact, West is courting Republican Sens. Bob Deuell of Greenville, Kevin Eltife of Tyler and the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Steve Ogden of Bryan, the chamber's lead budget writer.

    "It's a good rule for a lot of reasons," said Ogden. "It's good because it is a more objective standard than what's been used in the past. It's less subject to political manipulation."

    Eltife said the 10 percent rule has greatly helped the rural schools he represents.

    "I like 10 percent, actually," he said. "I think it does give (rural students) a better shot. I like the fact that we're giving them something to strive for."
    TOP 10 PERCENT LAW
    Before Top 10 Percent:
    • 616: High schools represented at University of Texas at Austin
    • 719 :High schools represented at Texas A&M University

    After Top 10 Percent:
    • 853: High schools represented at University of Texas at Austin
    • 868: High schools represented at Texas A&M university
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  • giddey_upgiddey_up 228 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 240 Junior Member
    xig, I have no doubt of the intent of the Texas Legislature, that was not my question. I want to know when the administration of the University of Texas ever set a geographical diversity goal - and why you think they would set one in the absence of the 10% law.

    We all know that that the law is kept in place by the tyranny of the majority in the Texas legislature. This is accomplished on the backs of students from competitive suburban schools. Here is how the top ten feeder schools from 1996 fared in 2007:

    School___________________________1996_____2007___Delta__Reduction
    PLANO SR HS______________________143_______70_____73_____51%
    WESTLAKE AUSTIN_________________101_______69_____32_____32%
    CLEMENTS SUGAR LAND______________98_______56_____42_____43%
    BELLAIRE__________________________94_______61_____33_____35%
    KINGWOOD________________________ 72_______44_____28_____39%
    CLEAR LAKE________________________69_______52_____17_____25%
    AUSTIN____________________________67______42_____25_____37%
    CHURCHILL SAN ANTONIO_____________66______38_____28_____42%
    WESTWOOD AUSTIN_________________62______72____-10_____-16%
    MEMORIAL HOUSTON_________________61______45_____16_____26%
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