Tag Archives: college

A strikingly effective way to ensure the success of disadvantaged students in college.

The Posse Foundation is premised on the notion that if dropout-prone high school students can enroll in college with a posse—a peer group they bring with them that all support one another—that they’re more likely to succeed. It’s been running for twenty years now, grouping 600 students into groups of 10 students, and enrolling them in 40 participating colleges (including Bryn Mawr, Middlebury, DePauw, Brandeis). Their average SAT scores are markedly below the average in the colleges that admit them, but by any measure, these students are among the most successful in their college classes. This doesn’t just highlight the weakness of SAT scores as an indicator of academic success, but it also highlights how easily the achievement gap can be erased, at least for the right kids. 

Links for May 16th

  • Discovery Channel: Mike Rowe Senate Testimony
    The host of "Dirty Jobs" provided an important argument to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation about why our education system needs to emphasize skilled trades. College is not for everybody. Way too many kids are going to college—it doesn't make economic sense, for them or for our society. More kids need to learn skilled trades.
  • Wikipedia: Benford’s law
    Numbers are not evenly distributed. Not theoretical numbers, but the real numbers that describe the world around us: stream flow rates, bank account numbers, atomic weights, street addresses, etc. Numbers start with 1 about 30% of the time. (e.g. 11, 103, 1539) They start with 2 about 18% of the time, 3 about 12%, and so on, until 9, which leads of numbers 4.6% of the time. This is described by Benford's law, which has become useful for forensic analysis of any numbers (such as accounting data), to see if it's real, or somebody has just made the numbers up. The less the adherence to Benford's law, the greater the cause for suspicion.
  • New York Times: Wealthy Donors to G.O.P. Are Providing Bulk of Money in Gay Marriage Push
    The push to legalize gay marriage in New York is being bankrolled by Republicans. You might need to re-read that sentence to comprehend that—a double take is a reasonable response. Although some Democrats may regard this as bad news—we've basically got a lock on the gay vote—I think it's great news. My gay conservative friends will surely welcome it. This shouldn't be a partisan issue, and I hope this is a sign that transformation is in progress.