Your Weekend Admissions Briefing: May 5, 2018

May 5, 2018

This is your semi-daily roundup of college admissions news from around the net. Don't forget to subscribe to Channel CCR for more!


Native American Brothers Pulled From Campus Tour After Nervous Mother

Calls Police

A pair of Native American brothers who had traveled seven hours to tour Colorado State University this week had their visit cut short after a parent on their tour reported them to the campus police.

The parent, a mother, became suspicious after they joined the tour in progress, telling a 911 dispatcher that their behavior and clothing stood out, according to audio from the call.

Body camera footage shows two police officers pulling the brothers aside as they descended a set of stairs. There, the officers briefly questioned the brothers, Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17. The officers soon let the pair rejoin the tour, but by then their guide — apparently unaware that the police had been summoned — had moved on, the university said in a statement.


What Universities Need: More Skin In The Game

In the last couple of years, there are more cries for universities to have more “skin in the game,” that is to say greater incentives to show improved performance. The distinguished banker and financial scholar Alex Pollock, now of the R Street Institute, has written frequently about this:  he should have “Let's have skin in the game” inscribed on his tombstone when he passes on.

The context in which “skin in the game” is most discussed is with regards to student loans. When students default on their loans, it imposes a cost on U.S. taxpayers. Many schools accept a large number of applicants that they know are extremely risky and unlikely to graduate.  At some schools the six-year graduation rate is under one-third: there are at least two dropouts for every successful recipient of a bachelor’s degree. The admission and retention policy decisions of these schools ultimately impose a significant burden on taxpayers, as many of these dropouts simply do not repay their loans.


Can a Few Simple Letters Home Reduce Chronic Absenteeism? New Research Shows They Can

Families can drastically underestimate how often their children miss school. When researchers asked parents whose kids clocked nearly 18 absences in one school year how many days they thought their child had missed, they thought it was more like 10.

But when parents are given accurate information about their children’s absences, new research shows, they can become valuable players in making sure their kids show up at school. The study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, found that sending parents mail multiple times over a school year informing them how many times their child had missed class reduced chronic absenteeism by 10 percent.



Trust students, not tests, to open pathway to community college success

It’s all about accurately measuring college readiness — and annihilating the achievement gap in the process. For far too long, community colleges have relied on often inaccurate assessment tests that each year cause more than a million students nationwide to begin their postsecondary education in remedial courses they may not need. In California alone, more than 170,000 students are placed in remedial, or basic skills, math courses — with more than 110,000 never completing the math required to earn a degree. Even worse, data show students of color are more likely than white students to be sent to multiple remedial courses that do not count toward their college degree. What’s more, each remedial course increases the chances of a student throwing his or her arms up and dropping out.


Are wealthy families cheating on college prep tests? No one may ever know

Helping your kids with their homework is one thing, but apparently there are some parents who go to the extreme when it comes to helping their kids find success. Research from the ACT says more and more students are using accommodations to take the tests. Are more students actually in need of assistance, though? According to the New York Post, the answer is no!

The ACT says about 5% of students who take the test, get special treatment; like extra time to complete the exam. That percentage has doubled in the last 15 years.


Editorial: TNReady Problem Reopens Debate on Testing Culture

If there’s a better way to measure academic achievement and growth than testing, we wish someone would name it. Until then, we need a reliable way to objectively determine where students are and what they need to go further. And we can’t change that test so drastically on a regular basis that teachers and school leaders must start over from square one.

For a third time in two years, TNReady online testing – the only way students in some grades can take these annual tests – failed several times over several days. Each time, state leaders and testing vendors offer specific explanations, all of which boil down to reliability and security problems, along with a lack of planning for all contingencies.

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