Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Should We Drop Algebra For All As High School requirement?

A professor emeritus at Queens College in New York has a problem with the hurdle that algebra classes poses to many students:

“One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school. This is one of the worst records in the developed world.
Why? The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” said political scientist Andrew Hacker, author of “The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions.”
As such, Professor Hacker is making the argument that basic algebra should not be a graduation requirement for high schoolers.
He goes on to claim that only 5 percent or fewer jobs require the use of algebra or other higher math skills. However, just a few of the jobs that use algebra include:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lower black athlete graduation rate duped or faulty statistics?

Faulty study: Yes, 54 is less than 58, but it's essentially the same for all practical purposes, since 54/58 is a 93% rate or nearly the same. A truly different rate would be 2 to 1, which is typical for affirmative action at Ivy League schools where nobody is complaining students admitted to Harvard or MIT are being "duped" Other study shows: a 75 percent graduation rate for black male basketball players on teams participating in the NCAA tournament — a 6 percent increase from last year. Eleven teams in the 2016 Tournament have a 100 percent graduation rate, including Butler, Holy Cross, Duke and Villanova.

Study: Lower black athlete graduation rate is the result of being ‘duped’

Mar 17, 2016 by 
‘Graduate me – or I don’t play for you.’
A University of Pennsylvania study shows that black male college athletes do not graduate at the same rate as their non-athlete peers.
Fifty-four percent of athletes “at the 65 schools in the Power 5 conferences” graduated in six years according to the study, whereas 58 percent of other undergraduates got a degree in the same amount of time.
Shaun Harper, director of Penn’s  and author of the study, says black athletes are being “duped” by universities:
“It happens just about everywhere. Generations of young black men and their parents and families are repeatedly duped by a system that lies to them about what their life chances are and what their athletic outcomes are likely to be.”
“When coaches are looking for the best athletic talent, that’s what they’re looking for,” Harper said. “They’re not really concerned with academic talent.”
Harper said the solution is less likely to come from colleges than parents whose children are being recruited. He encouraged families to ask coaches about their overall student-athlete experience before committing to schools.
“Sometimes, young men get so excited about the prospect of playing for a particular place and coach,” Harper said. “We’re going to have to see more student activism, where black players say, ‘You’re going to graduate me, or I’m not going to play for you.’”
“You’re going to graduate me”? Isn’t the burden of making it through college primarily an individualresponsibility? And isn’t it just a tad easier to do so … when everything is paid for?
In addition to Harper’s study, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Floridareleased a report this week that shows a 75 percent graduation rate for black male basketball players on teams participating in the NCAA tournament — a 6 percent increase from last year.
Eleven teams in the 2016 Tournament have a 100 percent graduation rate, including Butler, Holy Cross, Duke and Villanova.