Wednesday, November 09, 2005

University of Washingon Admissions End Run I200?

Arthur Hu, My name is Austin Haskell; I'm a reporter for Real Change
in Seattle. I was wondering if you had any opinion on the University
of Washington's new system for reviewing applications. I know many
strong I-200 supporters believe it is intentionally using race and
ethnicity to determine admissions, so I was wondering if you could
give me you opinion on it. My e-mail address is Ahaskell04

Austin Haskell
Real Change

Thank you for asking. You might know that I was the one that took
complaints from Asian students about alleged quotas in the 80s and
found out that Asians were squeezed at UC when they attempted to raise
minorities without reducing whites, with Asians suffering the only
losses. That evolved to U California realizing they got more political
points for reducing Whites eventually to even fewer than Asians and
embracing a goofy numerical notion of "diversity" of just the right
number of blacks and Hispanics, too many Asians and a tiny minority of
whites, a mix that would have qualified for the federal definition of
"segregation" in the 60s.

I200 has been pretty much a joke in UW admissions as numbers of
minorities have been about as high as they've ever been. After I200,
Seattle schools came up with 3 finalists to replace John Stanford that
were 3 black women, which is like a slot machine odds when each black
woman represents only 5% of the national population ( and she was
driven out in disgrace)

After Elaine Kim wrote in the PI that the level of diversity was "not
acceptable", analysis shows that relative to state population, blacks
are 1.37 times BETTER represented than whites, and whites are 1.53
(35% less) times LESS than their population. The only over-represented
group are the Asians, at either 5 times their population, or 8 times
better represented than whites.

U Wash freshmen vs state population
UW state vs pop vs white
afam 2.85 3.2 -1.12 1.37
amind .92 1.7 -1.84 -1.20
hisp 4.34 5.8 -1.33 1.15
asian 29.38 5.8 5.00 7.65 96
pi .86
white 54.01 83.9 -1.53 1.00
none 5.14
intl 2.49

In 1997, UW law school admitted 42% minority in a state that is less
than 15% minority, which shows their priorities, though I have not
checked on law and medical schools since. I believe the UW is one of
the schools that granted preferences to Asian in law school, which is
consistent with fewer Asian practicing lawyers, except that Asians are
already over-represented as law school students

I don't know the details of the "extended reading" which sounds a lot
like how they score the WASL test now, which is a real disaster. This
is how U Michigan met their quotas when readers were told how close
they were to meeting their "goals" and how many more people they
needed to pass to get there.

There are two major problems I have with affirmative action. The first
is that the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, but all
"diversity" means is implementing racial quotas and preferences to
"match the population" and hand out equal outcomes by affinity group.
If that's what you want to do, then just freaking say so and do it.

The second is that the UC Berkeley definition of "diversity" is just
crazy if you just want the correct number of blacks and Hispanics, and
ignore everybody else. Asians in CA have already reached, and are
approaching in WA the point where we're going to take 40-50% of the
most select university spots. Asians and Jews together are 50% or more
of most elite universities, which simply does not allow enough spots
for everybody else to get their full share. The remainder could be
split evenly among everybody else, but as what happened when everybody
but Asians were protected, when you have Blacks and Hispanics, but not
Whites protected from competition with Asians, you'll get the numbers
you see today, with Whites starting to be squeezed out, while other
minorities are effectively guaranteed their full shares.

The response in Malaysia was to have quotas for Chinese and Indians to
protect ethnic Malayans, but even they abandoned that.

I think that rather than trying to compromise between diversity and
merit, we simply banish "diversity" as a goal in and of itself. I
think we can certainly go beyond strict academics, and that will lower
barriers for some groups, but it should be without regard to race,
gender, or ethnicity, and restricted to advertising and recruiting to
communities the same way companies like GM Ford and IBM do some
targeted advertising to address affinity groups. I don't have a
problem with "measuring" diversity as long as it doesn't lead to
enforcing or defining any set of numbers as right or wrong based on
population proportionality.

Arthur Hu

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

US Better at Math, But Asians Lead, Equal to White Reading


National Assessment of Educational Progress

The Nation's Report Card

AP Oct 19, 2005

AP reports that Americans are doing better in math on the NAEP
nation test. Blacks are "catching up" with whites. But they don't mention
that Asians are still leading whites in math, as Asians have in most years
since 1992. In grade 4, Asians lead whites by about the same margin that
Hispanics lead blacks. Asians are equal to whites in reading at both grade
4 and 8, on most tests like the SAT, Asians tend to lag in verbal scores,
but they appear to be assimilating at these grades, or just studying a lot.

Grade 4
1990 1992 1996 2000 2003 2005 Rank
W 220 227 231 234 243 246 2
B 188 193 199 203 216 220 5
H 200 202 205 208 222 226 34
A NA 231 226 NA 246 251 1
N NA NA NA NA 223 226 34
L 207 208 222 225
L = free / reduced lunch
Asians lead whites by same margin as Hispanics
lead black.
Free/Reduced lunch students score better than black

Grade 8
1990 1992 1996 2000 2003 2005 Rank
W 270 277 281 284 288 289 2
B 237 237 242 244 252 255 5
H 246 249 251 253 259 262 4
A NA 290 NA 287 291 295 1
N NA NA NA NA 263 264 4

Asians score equal to whites in Readng
Grade 4
1990 1992 1996 2000 2002 2003 2005 Rank
W 224 224 226 225 229 229 229 12
B 192 185 193 190 199 198 200 5
H 197 188 195 190 201 200 203 4
A 216 220 221 224 224 226 229 12
N 207 202 204 3
L 203 201 203

Grade 8
1992 1994 1998 2002 2003 2005 Rank
W 268 267 271 272 272 271 12
A 267 265 267 267 270 271 12
N 250 246 249 3
H 241 243 245 250 246 246 4
B 237 236 243 245 244 243 5

Monday, October 17, 2005

Kirkland Jr High PTSA WASL and Math

Some observations from the Kirkland Jr High School PTSA meeting: (Lake Washington / Kirkland)

KJH wants WASL scores from the high school broken down by feeder jr high schools. The principal mentioned that WASL scores were disappointing (I think it was lowest of the district jr high schools). The PTSA state convention puts #3 and #4 top items as "alternatives to the WASL test", evidently they still don't have the guts to challenge the beast outright, and "improving math and science education" which unfortunately sounds like they've bought into the fuzzy math and science teaching crowd.

A math teacher didn't give a formal presentation on the new "discovery based" math, however, I looked over the new Algebra books my kids are getting at 7th and 8th grade, it introduces matrix muliplication, and later uses matrices to solve linear equations, something I didn't even do much of in college. For the normal 7th grade track, they are using the 2nd version of Connected Mathematics. It seemed to be a minor improvement over the series we got in 6th grade that had infinite nonsensical homework, and spendng 4 times as many pages to make sure that the one standard method was NOT covered or explained to do averages, or adding or multiplying fractions. I was surprised to find solving for a linear equation, which used to be the culmination of an entire algebra course, covered in all of 2 pages. Just add, subtract, factor or divide both sides, yeah, right. Solving quadratic equations was similarly covered in just two pages.

Compare that to MY 7th grade math worksheet, which was a 8.5 x 11 sheet of 1 digit by 1 digit multiplications, which I completed about 85%, and got 1 or 2 wrong. I wonder how many of these kids who are expected to solve quadratic equations with 2 pages of instruction know how to add fractions with uncommon denominators, or divide a 5 digit by a 3 digit decimal number.

Some parents commented that their students were having big problems with Math Analysis in high school after going through integrated math in middle school. My peek at McDougall Littell was that this curriculum aimed at high school, but offered at middle school level crammed a shot gun ful of college level material concepts all over the place, while providing no instruction in basic arithmetic, nor the old fashioned baby-step per week build up of algebra. I couldn't even FIND how to solve a simple equation like 2 x + 8 = 15 among all the instruction in graphing, statistics, and problem solving.

I don't know if moving from integrated back to to Algebra is better or worse, but so far not too many complaints from my kids and I haven't had to do their homework left.

Parents in LWSD are still pretty much clueless as to the harm of fuzzy new-new math.

Hu's On First Introduction

OK world, I'm going to take a shot at blogging again. I'll be posting interesting tidbits on Asian Americans, education, and the rest of Humanity, and whatever I find is worth posting to the outside world.