Thread: Here's a little article the Northwestern student newspaper did about a conversation they had with the president. dailynorthwestern.com/2019/04/23/cam…
Some interesting stuff from our neighbors to the north, where they're apparently worried about rising admission rates. There's worry and then there's worry, folks.
It's interesting, I think, that the president of a major research university knows the freshman admit rate to 1/100th of a percentage point. When I'm asked ours, I USUALLY can get it within a point or two off the top of my head. Usually.
Then there's this.
Several interesting things pop out at me here: First, the categorical denial. It would be highly unusual if it had never been discussed, especially since a big competitor went test optional last year.

No means no. Or it means, "I don't wanna talk about it."
But it's very curious in light of this from the earlier comment.
Wouldn't a statistician/economist be more likely to say, "I'm not a fan of test optional because tests <insert statistical observation here>? (To be fair, the article was edited for clarity, so maybe he did.)
Almost every statistician I know confirms that standardized tests don't add much of value to the prediction equation. And I'm not going to rebut yet again the "why would you throw away information?" argument.

So don't make me.
Going back to the Test Optional stuff, we also might want to consider this:
It's an excellent point, one that the College Board is trying to address with the environmental context data. And it's a breath of fresh air coming from a big highly selective national research university. I'm glad they understand this. Well done.
So I went to my blog, to see just how often they take a serious look at students from those schools where almost no one gets a 1200.
Oops. (The calculated mean CR+M score at Northwestern is about 1490, based on taking the midpoints of the respective distributions.) I'm guessing--as a non-statistician--that a 1200 is probably in the bottom 2% of the distribution, especially if you eliminate special cases.
I want to be clear: I do not give a damn how colleges want to make admissions decisions: With or without tests, tests alone, video essays, holistic, athletic or music or leadership skills. Do what you want.
But it reflects poorly on our profession when you talk out of both sides of your mouth. If test scores drive your decisions, just say so. Don't act like Mother Teresa. Don't pander to public opinion to cover up your shame. Don't show your lack of courage of your convictions.
This is, I think, a pretty good example of the pressure (some) college presidents feel. People on the high school side need to understand the costs that come with being on a lofty perch. It ain't easy.
Oh, and #EMChat
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