Higher Ed Scam

The only reason colleges get rid of SAT/ACT requirements is because they want to push as many kids who don’t need / can’t succeed in college into college. The goal is two-fold:

1. Buff up “diversity” numbers.

2. Milk these students (or, more often than that, the state and federal government) for money.

It’s a scam, pure and simple. This is one of several scams in higher Ed. Good, well-meaning people train themselves to not notice the scam by memorizing a litany of meaningless platitudes about “inequities” and “structural oppressions.”

12 thoughts on “Higher Ed Scam”

  1. “meaningless platitudes about “inequities” and “structural oppressions.””

    If people really cared about that they’d put some effort into getting more respect (and better monetary compensation) for really indispensable professions like grocery cashiers and warehouse workers…. and be doing things like organizing shame campaigns and/or boycotts so that Bezos had to pay people a living wage and non-dystopian working conditions.

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    1. // really indispensable professions like grocery cashiers and warehouse workers

      Those workers will be the first to get displaced by automation. The ‘indispensable’ professions are already being automated away, as I can see at the nearby Israeli supermarket.

      Pushing for a living wage will only make business owners adopt machines a bit faster.

      A YouTube search gives numerous results such as:

      “Tech Reporter Rich DeMuro takes a look at new Bossa Nova robots roaming the aisles at a Walmart in Burbank, California. They’re checking for out of stock items, mislabeled shelf tags and incorrect prices.”

      and

      “Amazon Warehouse Order Picking Robots”

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    2. In California specifically, the only real goal of cancelling the SAT requirement is to push a crowd of Hispanic students who don’t speak English into the college system. That they will fail is a given but who cares.

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    3. A person very close to me, nearly a twin in some regards, may have some experience working in Amazon warehouses, and the working conditions and pay there far exceed the industry standard, of which said individual also has a fairly good idea.

      Haven’t been to every warehouse, countries or even regions differ, etc., but as far as personal experience goes, Bezos as a proxy for the evils of a bottom of the ladder job has less to do with Amazon being especially bad and more to do with them being prominent in the public imagination.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a few students who have been working at the Amazon warehouse nearby, and they all said the same as your friend. Compared to other available jobs, the pay is great, the benefits are outstanding, etc.

        I’m not saying this necessarily means those jobs are great. Retail is generally very sucky for a worker. Our local Old Navy, for instance, is horrible to employees. And the eyewear stores seem to be horrible, too, for some reason.

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  2. Reply to Higher Ed Scam

    I do not think this is true, from personal experience. Both my daughters did very well in college, graduating with honors. Yet both had (and still would have, most likely) extreme difficulty with the multiple choice format, so much so that both had difficulty getting admitted to college in the first place because of the SAT requirement. I do not personally understand this, since I always did well on multiple choice tests, even though I found them silly and annoying. But some people seem to have impaired ability in this direction.

    Both daughters are better writers than I am.

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        1. Hard data of what, though? That it’s a good idea to have people in college who have the basic vocabulary and the very basic math skills to do college-level coursework?

          I remember how back in Ukraine when I was in high school we’d do these SAT tests and laugh about how easy and primitive they were. And we weren’t native speakers of English. A student who finds the SAT crushingly hard for whatever reason shouldn’t be in college.

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  3. A student who finds the SAT crushingly hard for whatever reason shouldn’t be in college.

    Some students I know, including my daughters, freak out and second guess the questions. They assume that if there is an obvious answer that seems too easy, it must be wrong for a sneaky reason. I am somewhat prone to this myself, although I tend not to believe the test writers are out to trick me with. Many students seem not to have this assurance. The tendency is something like: “I know the correct answer is d), but the person who wrote the question probably thinks it is c).”

    This is an awfully pervasive problem.

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    1. I had to do a multiple choice exam for one of my finals this year, and I really tripped up students with my tricky questions. My goal was to teach them to be very attentive to the text. For instance, one question was “El Salvador is the most densely populated country in South America, true or false?” It is the most densely populated but it’s in Central America, which was an important part of the course. Over half of the students got tripped up on this question.

      Another question was, “MS-13 is one of the deadliest drug cartels in El Salvador, true or false.” It’s definitely deadly and it’s in El Salvador but it’s not a cartel. It’s a gang. And we discussed the difference at length in class. Again, many people got tripped up.

      Students who survive my multiple choice tests beg me never to give them multiple choice ever again because my average grade for them always ends up being under 60%.

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