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Interesting Article on Standardized Test Scores...

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GMAT Club Legend
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 14:26
EconGirl wrote:
rhyme, did you quit your job already?


no why?
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 14:28
OasisNYK wrote:
rhyme wrote:
I'll post my scathing review when I get back from watching 300 :)


I am more interested in your review of 300 - post one on that too since I finally have time to go see ovies and play videogames lol.


Awesome. Total gore. I loved it. Very well done, and the acting actually didn't totally suck. A little random at times, lots of humorous moments, and a great movie overall. Blood. Lots of it.

It's no shawshank, it's no airplane, but for straight edge of you seat "YEAH KILL THAT GUY" kind of fun, it delivers.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 15:08
Quote:
The persisting racial gap on these standardized tests demonstrates the continuing need for race-sensitive admissions programs at our leading graduate and professional schools.


Actually, thats precisely what it doesn't demonstrate. It demonstrates the INCREASING need NOT to treat people differently because they are black. One perfectly plausible explanation for the increasing gap is that blacks, aware of their special status, put forward less effort on exams under the premise that they know they don't need the same scores as their white counterparts. If this were the case, you'd expect that blacks would in fact perform just as well as their white counterparts in school - that is, the difference in standardized scoring has nothing to do with ability - there's something else driving it.

Quote:
African-American enrollments in graduate school are now at an all-time high.

If thats the case, why would there be a need for race sensitive admissions programs? The statement suggests blacks are fairly represented in schools, does it not?

Quote:
About 160,000 black students are currently enrolled in graduate and professional schools in the United States. This is an increase of more than 34 percent in the past decade. The sharp increase in the number of blacks pursuing graduate education is one of the brightest items of good news that we report in this journal.

Ok, all the more evidence to suggest that blacks need not be treated differently. They are applying in greater numbers and getting in greater numbers.

Quote:
The racial scoring gap on graduate and professional school entrance tests makes clear the importance of maintaining affirmative action admissions programs at these graduate institutions. Abort affirmative action and the numbers and percentages of blacks in our leading graduate and professional schools would drop to very low levels.


Holy cow batman. What a leap of logic! What you are saying here is that, without affirmative action, all these blacks that applied, almost NONE of them would have gotten in? Seriously? Do you think that poorly of blacks? Personally, I give them a bit more credit than that.

So, the logic here is pretty messed up - if the volume of blacks in masters programs is dramatically increasing (34% seems pretty dramatic to me), are we to believe taht this increase is based almost entirely on affirmative action, or are we to believe that a good portion of blacks make it in on the quality and caliber of their applications?

The implication of the statement that enrollment would drop to very low levels is that these are individuals who ON THEIR OWN MERIT, WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ADMITTED. First, that's not a very nice thought. Second, is it true? Where is the evidence to support this? Would enrollment drop 10%? 5% ? 50%? You gotta quantify it, or its a meaningless statement.

It's easy to make a claim without any evidence to support it.... but I guess the author didn't have to study "analysis of an argument" for his GMAT.

Quote:
Before we begin our analysis of black results on graduate admissions tests, it must be noted here that blacks admitted to our graduate and professional schools under affirmative action programs tend nevertheless to be qualified students entirely capable of handling the rigorous curriculum at these institutions. JBHE surveys of the graduation rates at our leading business, law, and medical schools show that black students — many, if not most, of whom were admitted under affirmative action guidelines — graduate at very high rates. In many cases their graduation rates approach 100 percent, and in almost all cases the black student graduation rate at these graduate and professional schools is very close to the graduation rate for white students.


OK, so this suggests that blacks who were admitted under some quota program were perfectly capable of handling the coursework to begin with, and if this is a demonstrably true, then why do you need affirmative action? If they were able to complete the programs just as well as their white counterparts, then, wouldn't they be able to complete applications just as well as their white counterparts? Or is the passage supposed to support the argument that when pushed to do so - people - white or black do the work, but without that incentive - say during the application process thanks to affirmative action - they are less likely to put forward the same effort?

I mean, would you have aimed for a 700 if you know you didn't need one? I probably wouldn't have. Maybe the explanation to scores is just taht simple - remove the incentive to do well, and people won't.

Quote:
Contrary to irresponsible propaganda from conservative opponents of affirmative action, racial preferences are not setting up young blacks for failure. For example, JBHE research shows that the black student graduation rate at the law schools at Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, Northwestern, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas, and the University of Virginia is close to 100 percent.


Ok, more evidence that blacks are equals with whites when it comes to succeeding in academia. If thats the case, how would this in any way support the need to treat them differently? If anything it supports the argument not to.

Quote:
Thus the evidence is strong that giving an admissions preference to a black student at one of our leading graduate or professional schools is not lowering an institution's academic standards, nor is it admitting a student who is underqualified to do the work.


Actually, what it says is that even with affirmative action, admissions individuals are still selecting blacks capable of handling the workload and rigor of graduate programs. What it doesn't demonstrate at all is whether or not these are people who, on their own accord, might not have been admitted.

Moreover, if this is the case, again, why give admissions preference?

Quote:
..... Therefore, it is important to see how black students are currently performing on these tests and whether they are making progress in closing the racial scoring gap with whites. Students seeking admission to graduate schools of business are in most cases required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test. In 2005, 8,448 African Americans took the GMAT test. They made up 7.9 percent of all GMAT test takers that year.


You know whats the more interesting question here? Why do blacks only make up 8% of the GMAT test takers. Whats the root of that?

Quote:
The racial scoring gap on the GMAT test has increased in recent years. In 2003 the scoring gap was 101 points. The next year the gap increased to 104 points. And now the gap has increased further to 107 points.


So the gap seems signficant, of that I agree - but I'm not convinced that is an especially statistically significant change over the years. For instance, what if the median white score increased by 2 points and the median black score dropped by 1? Would you really consider that a statistically significant variation, or would that just be part of the expected variation year to year?

Again, the author seems to poorly substantiate his claims and seems to be carefully picking his numbers here.

Quote:
The average GMAT score for admitted students at the nation's leading business schools is over 700. Perhaps only 1 or 2 percent of all black GMAT test takers score at this level. Therefore, without continuing affirmative action admissions programs at Harvard, Penn, Stanford, Northwestern, MIT, and other top MBA programs, the nation's leading business schools will have very few black students.


Wow. Only 1% of blacks are capable of scoring 700? That is, by definition, whites are smarter? Maybe this article was written by a racist white guy! I mean, jesus, could you be any more insulting to blacks? If I was black, I'd want to punch this guy. He's basically arguing that blacks simply cannot compete with whites, and thus, we need to help them get into these top programs. Thats a pretty asinine and racist viewpoint. Why not take the stance that since blacks do as well as whites in school, then it stands to reason they can do just as well on admissions exams and if there was an incentive to do so, they probably would.

Again, the author just pulls crap out of thing air. The poorly support asinine argument: PERHAPS (cause clearly the author doesnt know) 1% of blacks score over 700 (gosh, I bet a lot of black people don't like that statement!), thus because MAYBE a small portion of blacks score over 700, thus almost no black students would be in these schools.

Clearly the author doesn't know the meaning of "mean". When schools like Harvard say their mean is 700, it doesnt mean their minimum is 700. By definition, people score more than 700, and people score less than 700.

So whats the next half of the author's argument going to be in the face of that fact? What would he argue? That 1% score 700, and what only the top 3% score 600 or better?

I mean, that would have to be his argument to support this thought process.

Clearly many schools admit people at 600 all the way to 800, so for "almost no blacks" to get in, then almost no blacks must score better than 600. Somehow I doubt thats true. I bet a LOT of blacks score over 600. I bet a lot of blacks score over 700 too. The distribution might be different - but I somehow doubt that there are no qualified black men out there.

Quote:
The latest JBHE survey shows that blacks make up about 5 percent of the students at the nation's leading business schools. If affirmative action admissions programs were to be discontinued, African-American enrollments at these schools might drop by 75 percent.


Wow really? Unbelievable! Here's another statistic I can pull out of my arse. If affirmative action would stop, hispanic enrollment would increase by 250%. Really it would. I dont have any supporting evidence, but I can make sh** up too.

Moreover, if thats true, it's saying that basically, no blacks whatsoever get into b-school on their own accord. Essentially, what the article has argued up until this point is that if you are black, you can't possibly do well on the GMAT (remember: blacks cant score over 700 for some reason), and the only way you could get into a good school was through a program that took pity on you.

In short: This article is demeaning and insulting to African Americans as a whole, it's poorly articulated, badly written, unsubstantiated and clearly little more than propoganda. Affirmative action is bullsh**.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 15:39
I read the SAT one... lots of stats... the drop off in top admissions probably would be dramatic...

http://www.jbhe.com/features/53_SAT.html
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 15:40
We should really bar Italians from top schools... no matter their GMATs or SATs. :)
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 19:02
rhyme wrote:
Quote:
n short: This article is demeaning and insulting to African Americans as a whole, it's poorly articulated, badly written, unsubstantiated and clearly little more than propoganda. Affirmative action is bullsh**..


Classic! Affirmative action is bulls** - but there are plenty of blacks who buy into it. So until the minority groups settle on a level playing field, we will have to deal with it - no matter how demeaning and insulting the practice is....
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 19:22
i don't know about graduate admissions test, but the SAT scoring was heavily favored towards the wealthy
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 20:26
The fact is that even though we wish were all held to the same standards. That is not the case and will never be. There are biases (affirmative action, privilege, affluence) that are also significant in the business school application process. For example, if my last name was Lauren, I probably would have made it into Duke this year (GPA/GMAT /WE would have been irrelevant at that point).

I agree with rhyme that the article is very racist or ignorant (pick one) in the conclusions that are drawn.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 20:35
OasisNYK wrote:
rhyme wrote:
Quote:
n short: This article is demeaning and insulting to African Americans as a whole, it's poorly articulated, badly written, unsubstantiated and clearly little more than propoganda. Affirmative action is bullsh**..


Classic! Affirmative action is bulls** - but there are plenty of blacks who buy into it. So until the minority groups settle on a level playing field, we will have to deal with it - no matter how demeaning and insulting the practice is....


There are also many blacks who are supremely offended by it - and with good reason.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2007, 22:14
Phokus - How is the SAT favored toward the wealthy? (I'm not disagreeing, just asking)
  [#permalink] 09 Mar 2007, 22:14
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