Harvard starts the fall semester today.
From “Racist Comments Cost Conservative Parkland Student a Place at Harvard” (NYT, back in June):
Two other prominent Parkland student activists, Jaclyn Corin and David Hogg, both of them vocal proponents of tighter gun restrictions, are headed to Harvard this fall. Mr. Hogg, who is completing a gap year, garnered attention when he announced his acceptance last year after being rejected from other schools, including from California State University at Long Beach. On Monday, Mr. Kashuv’s defenders noted that Mr. Hogg had a 4.2 grade point average and scored 1270 on the SAT test, while Mr. Kashuv said in the interview that he had a 5.4 G.P.A., and a 1550 SAT score.
Leaving aside the rest of the story, it is interesting that Harvard isn’t concerned that someone with a mediocre SAT score of 1270 will have trouble with the academics.
[Separately, I wonder if the NYT can legitimately say that this teenager’s hyperbolic throwing around of some words for shock value is “racist”. It is the NYT itself that is constantly running stories on academic underachievement by Americans of one particular race.]
- my review of Academically Adrift: colleges are, for the most part, indifferent to whether or not professors are effective teachers. To the extent that colleges work teaching quality into decisions about promotion and pay they do so by considering student evaluations. Which professors do students evaluate highest? Those who assign the least reading and give the highest grades (researched by Valen Johnson is cited). So every professor has a big incentive to make his or her class easy and to give every student an A.
- my review of Higher Education?: Harvard undergrads give their professors C- on “classroom performance” and D on “outside-of-class availability”. Upset by the evidence that it was delivering a poor quality product, Harvard appointed a committee: “All but one of its members held endowed chairs … No junior faculty, no teaching assistants, and notably no students were invited to serve.”