Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bad schools, weak students

A Devastating Affirmative-Action Failure | National Review Online

I read the original linked article, and my take-away was how badly prepared a good kid from a bad school is when they hit Berkley. Notably absent in the talk of GPA's etc. is his college-entrence-test scores. How did he do on the ACT/SAT? That seems a glaring omission, especially when viewed through the angle the NRO puts on it. His ACT/SAT are the only independent record of his educational attainment--no sympathetic teachers passing along a fair student--no fair student standing out only because most of the rest of his peers are awful. My guess, considering how hard he struggled at Berkley, and his lack of command of vocabulary the article talks about, is that his scores were pretty bad.

That's not touched on in the NRO article or the LA Times article, but perhaps it should have been. If those scores are in the range of what I'm thinking, alarm bells should have been going off in his head and in the heads of people advising him long before hitting the Cal campus. A couple years at community college, learning to really write, could have done him good. Luckily this amazing young man is staying at Berkley another year.

Let's hope he gets all the help he needs to climb himself out of the hole his early education has stuck him in.

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