Put Down Your #2 Pencils, The University of California Eliminates SAT/ACT Scores: Part 3

As part of a series of posts, I’ll analyze each of the University of California’s (UC) 14 Comprehensive Review factors which admissions officers will apply to select their incoming first year and transfer classes. The first post can be reviewed here, and in this second post, the following factor will be examined:  Number of, content of and performance in academic…

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Ahead of the Curve: Week of April 27, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 health crisis disrupting educational and instructional continuity, students, parents, and educators are asking and being asked questions about the current educational process, which is also spurring discussions about the value of education.   The following is a selection of education-related news stories from the past few weeks, offering insights about the shifts in both K-12 and higher…

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A Glimpse Into the Undergraduate Experience during COVID-19 Signals Declining Sentiment about the Value of a College Education

A student who attends a public flagship university in California characterizes distance learning as:  Chaos is an apt description. Zoom is challenging to manage and pre-recorded lectures lack humor. It’s difficult to focus on lectures…  Third year undergraduate The student, like many others, struggles to continue learning, conflicted about missing friends and her life in another city yet appreciative of…

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A Renaissance in the Midst of COVID-19

Educators and students, participants in the Modern American Educational Industrial Complex, are mere glimmers of the Jeffersonian ideals of “essential merit”, which historian Joseph F. Kett defines as:  …merit that rests on specific and visible achievements by an individual that were thought, in turn, to reflect that individual’s estimable character…’Merit’ was that quality in the person that propelled the achievements,…

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Top 25 Nationally Ranked Universities Adopt Pass/No Pass-Style Grades for Spring 2020

To date, thirteen of the top twenty-five US News & World Report nationally ranked universities, all adopted Pass/No Pass-style grading systems for the spring term, due to the COVID-19 health crisis: Princeton #1, Harvard #2, Columbia #3, Yale #3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology #3, University of Pennsylvania #6, Stanford University #6, Johns Hopkins University #10, Dartmouth #12, Brown #14, Cornell…

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Novel COLLEGE-2020

An online, distance learning college education is not what most four-year college students and their parents paid (or borrowed) to experience. With college closures, the holistic “college experience” has been truncated, as entire university communities have been dispersed, with no late-night dorm floor existential debates, no clubs, no socializing—stripped down to simply content delivery through a screen. Additionally, faculty are…

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The Costs of Cheating

Recent articles highlighting cheating in college here and here and here, may be shocking to some or just an everyday commonplace for others or somewhere in between both reactions. However, none of the authors of the aforementioned articles question why students and seemingly more students than in the past believe that cheating in college is necessary. Cheating changes the educational…

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The Early Admissions Arms Race

According to the Common Application, “around 860,000” applications were submitted on November 1, 2019 for Early Action, Early Decision and Regular Decision application deadlines, which for the first time, exceeded the “around 720,000” applications submitted last year on January 1 for traditional Regular Decision deadlines. The increasingly competitive nature of the college admissions process—evident in programs like Early Action/Decision that…

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The Unveiling of the Educational Meritocracy

As the saying goes, “For every system, there is a counter system.” And, the recent Federal indictments of 50 individuals only becomes the latest example of an educational counter-system. College coaches, athletic department administrators, parents, and Rick Singer, the independent college admissions consultant, collectively found a way around the admissions office, the “front door” of colleges, to what Mr. Singer…

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Grade Inflation Exposed

I often listen to students’ and parents’ worries about high school grades that are any other letter but an A. The A grade has become synonymous with “smart”, “the key to college acceptances” and “bragging rights”.  But, in the quest to “achieve”, often the confidence in knowing oneself and one’s strengths, so as to boldly walk into adulthood with a…

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