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Gaming College Admission in Texas

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 12-01-2011

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One of the most novel ideas of college admissions in recent decades has been the “10 percent plan” in Texas. And research released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that some students figured out how to game the system to get into a flagship — and that the net result of this activity was to help white students at the expense of minority students.

From Inside Higher Ed. How did the students do it?

The study…found significant shifts in patterns among students who stood to benefit from being in less competitive high schools. These patterns run counter to the usual tendency of families to try to get their children into the best high schools possible…identifying those students with “motive and opportunity” — those who were likely to fall below the 10 percent in competitive high schools but were strong enough students that they would be in the top 10 percent in weaker high schools in which they could enroll — the scholars estimate that 25 percent or more of students moved to new high schools for “strategic” reasons…Generally, the movement was from magnet schools to less competitive local schools, where the grade-point average to be in the top 10 percent was lower and/or the students moving could earn better grades.

The research, by Julie Berry Cullen, Mark C. Long, and Randall Reback, is here.

The Monkey Cage

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