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Praxis-Core Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

You have been working to acquire the knowledge and skills you need for your teaching career. Now you are ready to demonstrate your abilities by taking a Praxis® test.
Using the Praxis® Study Companion is a smart way to prepare for the test so you can do your best on test day. This guide can help keep you on track and make the most efficient use of your study time. The Study Companion contains practical information and helpful tools, including:
• An overview of the Praxis tests
• Specific information on the Praxis test you are taking
• A template study plan
• Study topics
• Practice questions and explanations of correct answers
• Test-taking tips and strategies
• Frequently asked questions
• Links to more detailed information
So where should you start? Begin by reviewing this guide in its entirety and note those sections that you need to revisit. Then you can create your own personalized study plan and schedule based on your individual needs and how much time you have before test day.
Keep in mind that study habits are individual. There are many different ways to successfully prepare for your test. Some people study better on their own, while others prefer a group dynamic. You may have more energy early in the day, but another test taker may concentrate better in the evening. So use this guide to develop the approach that works best for you.

Test Name Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing
Test Code 5722
Time 100 minutes, divided into a 40-minute selected-response section and two 30-minute essay sections
Number of Questions 40 selected-response questions and two essay questions Format Selected-response questions involving usage, sentence correction, revision in context, and research skills; 2 essay Topics as the basis for writing samples Test Delivery Computer delivered
Approximate Approximate
Content Categories Number of Percentage of Questions* Examination
I. Text Types, Purposes, and Production 6–12 selected-response 60%
2 essay
II. Language and Research Skills 28–34 selected-response 40%
for Writing
* Includes both scored and unscored (pretest) questions. Depending on the number of pretest questions included in each scoring category, the total number of questions in that category may vary from one form of the test to another.

The Core Academic Skills for Educators Test in Writing measures academic skills in writing needed to prepare successfully for a career in education. All skills assessed have been identified as needed for college and career readiness, in alignment with the Common Core State Standards for Writing. The Writing test is 100 minutes in length and has three separately timed sections: a 40-minute selectedresponse section containing 40 selected-response questions and two 30-minute essay sections that each require a response based on an essay topic. This test may contain some questions that will not count toward your score.
The selected-response section is designed to measure examinees ability to use standard written English correctly and effectively. This section is divided into four parts: usage, sentence correction, revision in context, and research skills. In the usage questions, examinees are asked to recognize errors in mechanics, in structural and grammatical relationships, and in idiomatic expressions or word choice. They are also asked to recognize sentences that have no errors and that meet the conventions of standard written English. The sentence correction questions require examinees to select, from among the choices presented, the best way to restate a certain phrase or sentence by using standard written English; in some cases, the phrase or sentence is correct and most effective as stated.
Examinees are not required to have a knowledge of formal grammatical terminology. In the revision-incontext questions, examinees are asked to recognize how a passage with which they are presented can be strengthened through editing and revision. Revisionin-context questions require examinees to consider development, organization, word choice, style, tone, and the conventions of standard written English. In some cases, the indicated portion of a passage will be most effective as it is already expressed and thus will require no changes.
In the research skills questions, examinees are asked to recognize effective research strategies, recognize the different elements of a citation, recognize information relevant to a particular research task, and assess the credibility of sources. The two essays assess examinees ability to write effectively in a limited period of time. The Argumentative essay Topic invites examinees to draw from personal experience, observation, or practicing to support a position with specific reasons and examples. The Informative/Explanatory essay Topic asks examinees to extract information from two provided sources to identify important concerns related to an issue.
The Topics for the Argumentative and Informative/ Explanatory essays attempt to present situations that are familiar to all educated people; no Topic will require any specialized knowledge other than an understanding of how to write effectively in English. Examinees should write only on the Topic assigned for each essay task, address all the points presented in the topic, and support generalizations with specific examples. For the Informative/Explanatory essay, examinees should also draw information from both sources, making sure to cite the source of the information. Before beginning to write each essay, examinees should read the Topic and organize their thoughts carefully.

I. Text Types, Purposes, and Production
A. Text Production: Writing Arguments
1. Produce an argumentative essay to support a claim using relevant and sufficient evidence
2. Write clearly and coherently
a. address the assigned task appropriately for an audience of educated adults
b. organize and develop ideas logically, making coherent connections between them
c. provide and sustain a clear focus or thesis
d. use supporting reasons, examples, and details to develop clearly and logically the ideas presented
e. demonstrate facility in the use of language and the ability to use a variety of sentence structures
f. construct effective sentences that are generally free of errors in standard written English
B. Text Production: Writing Informative/ Explanatory Texts
1. Produce an informative/explanatory essay to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
a. write clearly and coherently
b. address the assigned task appropriately for an audience of educated adults
c. draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis
d. organize and develop ideas logically, making coherent connections between them
e. synthesize information from multiple sources on the subject
f. integrate and attribute information from multiple sources on the subject, avoiding plagiarism
g. provide and sustain a clear focus or thesis
h. demonstrate facility in the use of language and the ability to use a variety of sentence structures
i. construct effective sentences that are generally free of errors in standard written English
C. Text Production: Revision
1. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing
a. recognize how a passage can be strengthened through editing and revision
– apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts and to make effective choices for meaning or style
> choose words and phrases for effect
> choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely
> maintain consistency in style and tone
II. Language and Research Skills for Writing
A. Language Skills
1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage
a. grammatical relationships recognize and correct:
– errors in the use of adjectives and adverbs
– errors in noun-noun agreement
– errors in pronoun-antecedent agreement
– errors in pronoun case
– errors in the use of intensive pronoun
– errors in pronoun number and person
– vague pronouns
– errors in subject-verb agreement
– inappropriate shifts in verb tense
b. structural relationships
recognize and correct:
– errors in the placement of phrases and clauses within a sentence
– misplaced and dangling modifiers
– errors in the use of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions
– fragments and run-ons
– errors in the use of correlative conjunctions
– errors in parallel structure
c. word choice recognize and correct:
– errors in the use of idiomatic expressions
– errors in the use of frequently confused words
– wrong word use
– redundancy
d. No Error recognize:
– sentences free of errors in the conventions of standard English grammar and usage
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization and punctuation
a. mechanics recognize and correct::
– errors in capitalization
– errors in punctuation
> commas (e.g., the use of a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence)
> semicolons (e.g., the use of a semicolon [and perhaps a conjunctive adverb] to link two or more closely related independent clauses)
> apostrophes (e.g., the use of an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives)
b. no errror
– recognize sentences free of errors in the conventions of standard English capitalization and punctuation
B. Research Skills
1. Recognize and apply appropriate research skills and strategies
a. assess the credibility and relevance of sources
b. recognize the different elements of a citation
c. recognize effective research strategies
d. recognize information relevant to a particular research task
Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators
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Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

Admission-Tests Educators resources - BingNews Search results Admission-Tests Educators resources - BingNews Newly Revamped GRE to Take Less Than 2 Hours, ETS Says

Starting in September, Educational Testing Service (ETS) plans to begin administering a shorter Graduate Record exam (GRE) General test the company says will take less than two hours to complete.

The current GRE takes approximately four hours to complete, so the new version—which will replace the current test—will make it “the shortest and most efficient test” among top professional, business and law school admissions test options, according to ETS’ announcement.

Tue, 30 May 2023 21:18:00 -0500 en text/html
GRE Test to get shorter from September 2023

Educational Testing Service (ETS), the brand which owns English language proficiency tests – TOEFL and GRE has announced changes in the GRE General Test that will be implemented beginning September, 2023.

According to an official release, the new GRE General Test will take less than two hours to complete – roughly half the time of the current test. This makes the GRE General Test the shortest and most efficient test among top graduate, business, and law school admissions, the release said.

The shorter GRE test will continue to provide test takers and institutions with the same valid and reliable scores. Registration for the shorter test is now open for test dates beginning September 22, 2023.

Changes to the test include:

  • Removal of the “Analyse an Argument” task in the Analytical Writing section.
  • Reduced number of questions in the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections
  • Removal of the unscored section

In addition to test changes, test takers can expect to receive their official scores much faster, in just eight-10 days. These changes mark the first of several planned future updates to the GRE General Test, all of which are intended to provide test takers with a better experience that values their time and reduces anxiety and fatigue, the release said.

“The changes we’re announcing today underscore the emphasis we place on keeping our customers at the center of all that we do. As we continue to introduce product innovations, we’re committed to balancing two things – maintaining rigor and validity, while improving the test-taker experience,” Amit Sevak, CEO, ETS, said.

At IIM Bangalore, GRE is one of the assessments for consideration. “Look forward to the new version, which proposes a reduced test duration that reflect ETS’s commitment to prioritising the needs of test takers,” Kunal Dasgupta, admissions and financial aid, IIM Bangalore, said.

Beginning in September, test takers can access official GRE test prep resources and practice exams designed for the newer streamlined test. Since the shorter test has the same question types, except for the removal of the Analytical Writing “Analyse an Argument” essay, test takers can continue to use the existing Official GRE Prep materials.

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Thu, 01 Jun 2023 20:07:00 -0500 en text/html
Race-neutral alternatives to affirmative action in college admissions: What the research says

Many of America’s most selective colleges and universities will need to find new ways to boost their enrollment of Black, Hispanic and Native American students if the Supreme Court strikes down race-based affirmative action in admissions decisions.

Higher education leaders expect the Supreme Court to rule in June on two lawsuits challenging the legality of admissions practices at the country’s oldest private university, Harvard University, and the oldest public university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both deliver underrepresented minorities an edge in the application process, as do many of the country’s top higher education institutions.

The organization that brought the lawsuits, Virginia-based Students for Fair Admissions, accuses Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill of discriminating against white and Asian applicants. It seeks to eradicate affirmative action in college admissions, introduced in the 1960s and 1970s to help historically disadvantaged groups gain access to the most competitive and influential schools.

Although the practice has been challenged in court several times since 1978, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action policies, so long as student race and ethnicity are among a range of factors considered when admissions officers evaluate applicants. Admissions officials generally do not consider Asians to be underrepresented minorities because young adults who are Asian are more likely to go to college than young adults from other racial groups.

As the two lawsuits have made their way through the court system, higher education administrators have been investigating race-neutral strategies for recruiting and admitting more Black, Hispanic and Native American students. They have looked for insights from the nine states that have banned affirmative action at public universities, beginning in 1996.

Race-neutral alternatives

Several alternate strategies have shown promise, although researchers estimate their impacts are relatively small. Academic studies have found none are as effective as race-based affirmative action, Zachary Bleemer, an assistant professor of economics at Yale University who studies college admission policies, told The Journalist’s Resource.

“States that have seen affirmative action bans do not offer a silver bullet for universities seeking to maintain racial diversity without race-based affirmative action,” Bleemer wrote in an email.

It’s unknown how many colleges and universities practice affirmative action in admissions because no person or organization tracks that information. Likewise, there are no formal counts of the number and types of race-neutral strategies schools use in place of affirmative action.

However, the most common race-neutral approaches include:

  • Giving preference to students with a lower socioeconomic status, typically determined by family income and the occupations and education levels of members of students’ households.

    In the U.S., a person’s race and ethnicity is closely linked to their socioeconomic status, with Black, Hispanic and Native American students more likely to have a lower socioeconomic status than white and Asian students. For example, in 2021, 19% of Hispanic children under age 18 lived in households in which at least one parent had not finished high school, compared with 3% of white and Asian children, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

    However, policies aimed at aiding students based on income or socioeconomic status do not just benefit underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities. Nearly half of undergraduate students who are the first in their families to go to college are white and not Hispanic, according to the Center for First-Generation Student Success, part of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

  • Expanding recruitment efforts. Higher education officials often target high school students who are the first in their families to go to college and high schools located in lower-income areas.
  • Increasing the number and dollar amount of scholarships offered to students from low-income households or low socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Introducing a “holistic” application review process, which takes into account students’ extracurricular activities, accomplishments outside school and lived experiences as well as traditional measures of academic ability such as test scores, academic awards and grade-point averages.

    Stanford University, which practices holistic admissions, tells applicants on its website that the approach helps admissions officers “understand how you, as a whole person, would grow, contribute and thrive at Stanford, and how Stanford would, in turn, be changed by you.”

  • Dropping the requirement that applicants take and submit their scores on college-entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT. The change benefits underrepresented minorities and lower-income students because they often earn lower scores than white and Asian students and students from higher-income backgrounds.
  • Adopting a “top percent” program. Florida, California and Texashave adopted programs that guarantee youth who graduate within a top percentage of their high school class a seat at one of their public universities. Such policies aim to diversify college enrollment by capitalizing on high levels of racial and ethnic segregation among high schools in those states.

    “Black and Hispanic students who rank at the top of their class disproportionately hail from minority-dominant schools,” Princeton University scholars Marta Tienda and Sunny Xinchun Niu write in a 2006 paper examining Texas’ Top Ten Percent rule, which guarantees Texas high school students who graduate in the top 10% percent of their class and complete other requirements admission to most public universities in the state.

Benefits, consequences of race-neutral alternatives

Michigan is one of nine states that prohibit affirmative action at public universities. In November 2006, voters there approved a state constitutional amendment known as Proposal 2, which prohibits all public institutions and agencies from discriminating against or giving preferential treatment to anyone based on race, gender, ethnicity and other factors.

The University of Michigan, a top-ranked public university, introduced a wide range of programs to replace affirmative action. Attorneys for the school argue race-neutral strategies have been expensive, time consuming and labor intensive.

After the law took effect in December 2006, the University of Michigan “was forced to radically alter its admissions process in order to even approach the diversity levels achieved prior to Proposal 2,” the attorneys write in a 36-page amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court late last year in support of Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill.

“That change was so disruptive that the response not only took time — over 15 years and counting — but vast resources and efforts extending far beyond University campuses, as U-M developed extensive new race-neutral initiatives that reached into school districts around the state,” the attorneys write.

Those combined efforts helped the university raise its underrepresented minority enrollment to 13.5% in 2021 — slightly above where it had been the year before the state banned affirmative action. While an influx of Hispanic students helped U-M rebuild its enrollment of underrepresented minorities, the university has not been able to regain its footing with regards to Black and Native American students.

Neither has the California public university system, which has spent more than a half-billion dollars implementing alternate policies over the last 25 years, its attorneys note in another amicus brief filed last year with the Supreme Court.

The University of California system has adopted various race-neutral policies since voters there approved Proposition 209, a state constitutional amendment similar to Michigan’s, in 1996. That ban began with the freshman class of fall 1998.

The state’s most selective public universities — the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Los Angeles — lost the most ground. Prior to the ban, 6.32% of freshmen at UC Berkeley were Black. In 2019, that figure dropped to 2.76%. The proportion of Native American freshman fell from 1.82% to 0.37%.

Hispanic enrollment, however, has grown across California’s public universities. But the state also has seen its Hispanic population swell in latest decades. This academic year, 56% of all children attending public elementary, middle and high schools there are Hispanic.

“UC has established a number of outreach programs aimed at students from low-income families, students whose families have little or no previous experience with higher education, and students who attend an educationally disadvantaged school,” attorneys for the university system write in their amicus brief, which also was submitted in support of Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill.

“Because these outreach programs primarily target economically and educationally disadvantaged students, the extent to which they are able to reach underrepresented minority students depends on changing demographic patterns. By 2020, it had become more difficult for these outreach programs to reach African American and Native American students, even as more Latinx, Asian American, and White students benefited from them.”

Uncertainty ahead

It’s difficult to predict how race-neutral alternatives would affect all institutions that currently consider race and ethnicity when choosing students. That’s because much of the research on the Topic focuses on public universities in a single state. Often, it is California, the most populous state and home to the two public universities ranked highest in the country in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Colleges rankings.

When scholars publish a paper that examines race-neutral strategies at one school or a group of schools in one state, the results  typically apply only to the institutions studied. It is erroneous to assume other colleges and universities will have exactly the same experiences.

Even so, researcher’s findings can provide insights into how enrollments might change if private and public colleges and universities must stop practicing race-based affirmative action.

“They’re helpful in thinking about what would happen in other states even if differences in states’ student bodies or university landscapes might lead to different outcomes in different places,” Bleemer wrote to The Journalist’s Resource.

A narrow segment of affirmative action-related research looks at how well race-neutral alternatives work. It’s hard to evaluate individual policies, however, because college administrators often use several strategies at once, Mark Long, the dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside, wrote to The Journalist’s Resource.

Also, it is not always clear what exactly institutions are doing differently to boost minority enrollment. Some changes “might be subtle and not advertised by the schools — for example, changes in the inputs used to make admissions decisions,” Long added.

Demographic shifts have made it tougher for scholars to estimate the impact of race-neutral alternatives. Scholars have seen Hispanic enrollment climb at some public universities after they stopped using affirmative action. In many cases, they believe those improvements are the result of changes within the Hispanic population, not university interventions.

Nationwide, the number of Hispanic youth attending public elementary, middle and high schools jumped from 7.7 million in fall 2000 to 14.3 million in fall 2022, the U.S. Department of Education reports. The student population, as a whole, grew less than 6% over that period.

More Hispanic students are going to college. In 2021, 59% of Hispanics aged 16 to 24 years were enrolled in college, up from 53% in 2000, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

Long and Nicole Bateman, a former senior research analyst at the Brookings Institution, investigated changes among students who applied to and enrolled at public universities in states that prohibit affirmative action.

The researchers studied data from 19 public universities across all nine states spanning from the early 1990s to the mid-2010s — before and after bans were put in place. Their conclusion: Race-neutral strategies were an “insufficient” replacement for affirmative action at those 19 schools.

“We find a sizable decrease in [underrepresented minorities’] share of admittees immediately following the affirmative action bans,” Long and Bateman write in their analysis, published in 2020. “Of more concern, the trends in nearly all of these universities are negative in the following years.”

State flagship universities and selective institutions, including the University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and UC Berkeley, were most affected.

The researchers argue that raising underrepresented minority enrollment is too large a job for colleges and universities to do alone, especially considering many of the factors that influence enrollment are outside education officials’ control.

State policymakers need to do more to reduce economic disparities among racial groups and bolster Black, Hispanic and Native American children’s academic achievement, Long and Bateman write.

“To help university administrators, public administrators and policymakers should particularly note the large racial gaps in kindergarten readiness and note that these gaps are maintained as students progress through the education system,” the researchers add. “Thus, without sustained, focused attention on mitigating gaps that emerge in the first years of life, we should expect persistent racial inequality in higher education.”

A roundup of research

Journalists covering college admissions need to familiarize themselves with the research on race-neutral strategies for boosting student diversity. Below are summaries of academic papers that examine three of the most common approaches: test-optional policies, holistic review and “top percent” plans. The featured studies focus primarily on undergraduate student enrollment.

To better understand how student diversity changes at institutions that deliver preference to applicants based on socioeconomic status, read our piece explaining the 2018 analysis, “What Levels of Racial Diversity Can Be Achieved with Socioeconomic-Based Affirmative Action? Evidence from a Simulation Model.”

Also, check out the reporting tips several prominent researchers offer journalists who are preparing to cover the upcoming Supreme Court decisions.

Test-optional policies

Untested Admissions: Examining Changes in Application Behaviors and Student Demographics Under Test-Optional Policies
Christopher T. Bennett. American Educational Research Journal, February 2022.

The study: The author looks at how undergraduate student diversity changed at private colleges and universities in the U.S. after they started letting students apply without submitting SAT and ACT scores. Bennett examines 99 private institutions that enacted test-optional admissions policies between the academic years 2005-2006 and 2015-2016 and compares them with a group of 118 private institutions that enacted or announced test-optional policies for the 2016-2017 academic year or later.

The findings: At the schools studied, test-optional policies were associated with small increases in underrepresented minorities, lower-income students and women. Bennett estimates the number of underrepresented minorities who enrolled in schools that had implemented test-optional policies rose 10.3% to 11.9%. He adds that although the increase was “fairly substantial in relative terms, such effects correspond to a modest 1 percentage point increase in absolute terms in the share of [underrepresented minority] students among the entering class.”

In the author’s words: “For institutions seeking dramatic shifts in the student populations they serve, test-optional policies would likely need to represent one facet of a more comprehensive plan.”

Holistic review

Affirmative Action and Its Race-Neutral Alternatives
Zachary Bleemer. Journal of Public Economics, April 2023.

The study: Bleemer examines three admissions policies — race-based affirmative action, holistic review and top-percent policies – to find out which did the best job raising underrepresented minority enrollment across California’s public university system. To investigate these policies, Bleemer built a database representing 2.2 million freshmen at nine undergraduate campuses between 1994 and 2021. Six campuses, including UCLA and UC Berkeley, implemented holistic review between 2002 and 2012.

He explains that holistic review “eliminates universities’ use of fixed weights over the wide variety of admission criteria used to judge applicants, providing evaluative flexibility designed to benefit applicants whose academic preparation was hindered by limited pre-college opportunity.”

The findings: Race-based affirmative action had the largest impact, increasing underrepresented minority enrollment by about 850 freshmen per year, or 20%, during the years of the study period it was allowed. Holistic review had the second-largest impact. It boosted Black, Hispanic and Native American enrollment about 7%, on average, across the six campuses using that policy. Bleemer writes that about 45 underrepresented minorities enrolled as a result of holistic review in 2002, but the figure swelled to about 600 in 2017. Meanwhile, top percent policies resulted in an enrollment bump of less than 4%.

In the author’s words: “These findings suggest that the most common policies adopted to replace affirmative action in states where race-conscious university admission preferences have been prohibited have had non-trivial but comparatively small [underrepresented minority] enrollment effects in California, suggesting that preserving racial and socioeconomic diversity using race-neutral admission policies will require policy innovation.”

Top percent plans

Texas Top Ten Percent Plan: How It Works, What Are Its Limits, and Recommendations to Consider
Stella M. Flores and Catherine L. Horn. Report for the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, December 2016.

The study: Flores and Horncompare top percent plans in Florida, California and Texas, pointing out their value, strengths and shortcomings. The report focuses heavily on Texas’ Top Ten Percent Plan, the most frequently studied. The authors also synthesize what is known about percent plans and offer recommendations for education leaders considering adopting race-neutral alternatives.

The findings: Data collected on Texas’ percent plan provide a mixed view of its effectiveness in building underrepresented minority enrollment at Texas public universities. Assessments of the program that take into account the state’s changing demographics indicate Hispanics have been less likely to go to college since the initiative started, Flores and Horn write. The report raises questions about whether Black students gaining automatic admission through Texas’ percent plan are more likely to attend the state’s lower-tier public universities than its most selective ones.

In the authors’ words: “In sum, percent plans vary both in their guarantees and in the ways in which demographic context nuances understanding of their effectiveness.”

Academic Undermatching of High-Achieving Minority Students: Evidence from Race-Neutral and Holistic Admissions Policies
Sandra E. Black, Kalena E. Cortes and Jane Arnold Lincove. American Economic Review, May 2015.

The study: Black, Cortes and Lincove examine the application choices of minority students in Texas who graduated in the top 25% of their high school class. They look specifically at whether two admissions policies — Texas’ Top Ten Percent Plan and holistic review — contribute to academic undermatching, or the tendency for high-achieving minority students to attend lower-tier public universities even though their academic abilities would allow them to go to the state’s two highly selective flagship schools, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

The researchers analyzed data for about 35,000 students who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class in 2008 and 2009 and about 31,000 students who graduated in the top 11% to 25% of their senior class the same two years.

The findings: Only 29% of Black students and 32% of Hispanic students who graduated in the top 10% of their class enrolled at selective flagship universities in Texas despite being guaranteed admission. Meanwhile, 48% of their white counterparts and 51% of their Asian counterparts did. Academic undermatching was even more common among Black and Hispanic students who graduated in the top 11% to 25% of their class and whose applications underwent holistic review. Of the Black and Hispanic students in this group, 5% enrolled at flagship campuses.

In the authors’ words: “Both Black and Hispanic top 10% and top 11-25% students are more likely to enroll at less selective public universities or two-year colleges, and less likely to enroll in private or out-of-state four-year universities than their white student counterparts, which suggests highly-qualified minority students are choosing lower quality Texas universities, rather than leaving the state for higher quality institutions.”

Fri, 26 May 2023 15:53:00 -0500 Denise-Marie Ordway en-US text/html
She thinks: Ending legacy admissions should top the list of higher education reforms
Dr. Debotri Dhar

Debotri Dhar is an author, editor, educator, academic, and social commentator. Dr. Dhar earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Shri Ram College (Delhi University), Mas ... MORE

Higher education sector reforms have recently been a burning issue in America, with the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on affirmative action policies in universities. Higher education opportunities impact students across gender and all other markers of identity, offering an especially important intergenerational route to socio-economic mobility. I would argue that nowhere do we see a greater need for higher education reforms than in legacy admissions. Educators around the world react with disbelief when they first learn about the legacy system used in US college admissions, where an applicant receives preferential treatment in the admissions process if their parent or close relative attended the same institution. So the child of an Ivy League graduate is, by dint of their birth, generational wealth or family connections, considered more qualified for a position. In South Asia, this logic based on ascribed rather than achieved status is called the caste system. England calls this “birthright advantage” the monarchy. Are legacy admissions, then, America’s version of the caste system? 

Seen by some to be more front-door nepotism than backdoor corruption, legacies bestowing a birthright advantage to children of alumni have unfortunately been integral to college admissions. The clamor of opposition to this practice has recently become louder, and the claim that they lead to higher alumni giving has also been challenged, with research suggesting that the dollar difference between the bequeaths from legacy and other donor alumni is often insignificant. Top American universities such as MIT, UC Berkeley, and John Hopkins had long taken a principled stand against legacies. Yet this practice continues to thrive in many institutions, with a nuanced look at the alumni network of elite universities revealing that its benefits flow to the most privileged regardless of their stated political beliefs, left, right, and center. 

Interestingly, the call to abolish legacy admissions preceded the call to abolish standardized tests. Why, then, have some universities scrapped standardized testing with far greater enthusiasm? Advocates of educational equity perceptively argue that standardized tests privilege certain kinds of knowledge and intelligence over others, and that scrapping them helps more underprivileged students, including blue-collar and first-generation learners and those from diverse cultural backgrounds. Yet an important layer that is often overlooked in this otherwise-astute argument is that scrapping standardized tests benefits the privileged as much if not more i.e. those with every amenity that family wealth and social location can buy, such as attending high schools in well-funded school districts, private tutoring, free time and fees for multiple test attempts, but who still do not achieve high scores. These special snowflakes already have myriad opportunities and exposure, not to mention family members with deep pockets to make donations, all of which earn them top points in admissions. Meanwhile, some students from blue-collar backgrounds, including racial minorities and immigrants, do earn good scores on standardized tests, often while juggling long hours of work, being tested in what is not their first or second language, and without formal coaching and multiple attempts. Even in cases where high scores may be out of reach, a famous grandfather, summer trips to Paris, and out-of-state college tuition are much more so. Do well-intentioned critiques of standardized tests deliver some students a respectable social justice cover for their academic underperformance – and deliver savvy universities yet another excuse to keep favoring their families?

Last month I met a poor mother who did not get the chance to attend college; her daughter, who had little extra time to study since she and her mother both had heavy workloads, minimum wage jobs to make ends meet as it were, still managed to score decent grades at her poorly funded high school. Under what definition of merit is this young woman considered less qualified than a boy whose wealthy parents attended fancy universities, who had every resource and all the time in the world, yet whose grades were not significantly better? As educators, whose legacy – of hard work, and hope – should we honor? 

When the admissions scandal featuring celebrity Hollywood parents trying to bribe their children’s way into university broke, it deeply offended people and even resulted in a few arrests. An example that stands out from my own university teaching experience is when a student related to senators threatened my survival if I did not change her final grade from B to A (I did not.) Yet for each egregious example, there are other, perfectly legal ways in which the higher education system is rigged against “outsiders”. Unless the modern university is to be a multibillion-dollar corporation that calls itself a nonprofit and functions like a family business, legacy admissions should be on the top of that list. While it would be naïve to assume this would entirely overhaul colleges, the ending of this practice is urgently needed.

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Views expressed above are the author's own.


Sun, 28 May 2023 18:23:00 -0500 Dr. Debotri Dhar en-US text/html
Int’l education debates AI wins and warnings

One of the Topics highlighted during sessions at spring conferences, such as NAFSA, ASU +GSV and DETcon, was AI and its implications on the international education sector.

Mon, 05 Jun 2023 04:52:00 -0500 en text/html
With affirmative action on the line, colleges consider changes to the admissions process

In 1998, the year a voter-approved measure barring the use of race-conscious admissions policies for public colleges and universities in California took effect, the percentage of Black, Hispanic and Native American students admitted at two of the state’s elite public schools plummeted by more than 50%.

Those figures for UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley offer a cautionary tale as administrators at schools around the United States await a Supreme Court decision due by the end of June that is expected to prohibit affirmative action student admissions policies nationwide.

That potential outcome in cases involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina has brought new urgency to efforts by schools to maintain or increase racial and ethnic diversity in their student populations, according to interviews with senior administrators at a dozen colleges and universities.

“We cannot afford as a nation to regress on our goals to create an educated and equitable society,” said Seth Allen, head of admissions at Pomona College in California. “So it’s incumbent on higher education to figure out how to work collectively together to ensure that we’re not furthering the enrollment gap among different groups of students.”

Many selective U.S. colleges and universities for decades have used some form of affirmative action to boost enrollment of minority students, seeing value in having a diverse student population not only to offer educational opportunity but to bring a range of perspectives onto campuses.

Image: U.S. Colleges Brace for a Devastating Summer And Fall
Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.Adam Glanzman / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Affirmative action refers to policies that favor people belonging to certain groups considered disadvantaged or subject to discrimination, in areas such as hiring and student admissions.

Schools are exploring numerous options. Administrators said they are drafting strategies to expand their recruitment of diverse applicants, remove application barriers and increase the rate of minority students who accept their admissions offers.

An official at Rice University in Houston said the school will lean on student essay responses to ensure it admits students from diverse backgrounds. The U.S. Air Force Academy will focus on recruiting more students from diverse congressional districts.

The president of Skidmore College in New York said connecting with high school counselors will become “more important than ever” to broaden the school’s applicant pool.

Many schools said they already have waived fees, made standardized testing optional and are looking to Excellerate financial aid offers — steps that could help boost minority enrollment.

All of the administrators said their plans could change to comply with the scope of the Supreme Court’s reasoning in the Harvard and UNC cases. Some acknowledged that whatever steps schools take to circumvent a ban on race-conscious admissions policies might face legal challenges of their own.

“We’re likely to see a whole new generation of lawsuits arise from the new admission standards that will be adopted by colleges and universities,” said Danielle Holley, current dean of Howard University School of Law in Washington and incoming president of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

Lawsuits backed by an anti-affirmative action activist accused Harvard and UNC of unlawful discrimination in student admissions either by violating the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law or a federal law barring discrimination based on race and other factors.

UNC was accused of discriminating against white and Asian American applicants. Harvard was accused of bias against Asian American applicants. The schools denied these allegations.

Many of the school administrators said they plan to focus resources on recruitment, a part of the admissions cycle they do not expect the court will restrict.

Admissions officers said they were broadening their outreach to high schools and community-based organizations in neighborhoods with lower incomes and educational attainment — places often populated by racial minorities.

Yvonne Berumen, vice president of admissions at Pitzer College in California, said her team might run essay workshops at high schools in those targeted zip codes — postal regions — in hopes of generating applications.

Chris George, dean of admissions at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, said high school data from national organizations like the College Board, which offers information on neighborhood income and housing stability, will help guide which high schools the college sends representatives to visit and the recruitment events they attend.

Community-based organizations that identify local students who show academic promise and help them apply to college will be crucial partners for identifying and recruiting potential applicants from diverse backgrounds, the administrators said.

“They become extensions of our recruiting and admissions team in many ways, and we’re seeing each year a bigger and bigger percentage of our students come from those community-based organizations,” said Kent Devereaux, president of Goucher College in Maryland.

Administrators at schools located in or near major cities, including Pomona College near Los Angeles and Sarah Lawrence College in New York, said they would hope to draw more students from racially diverse local high schools and take more transfer students from local community colleges.

Colonel Arthur Primas Jr., the U.S. Air Force Academy’s admissions director, said his racially diverse recruiting team will continue to visit schools in U.S. congressional districts with heavy concentrations of minorities and will try to encourage more students to seek nominations to the academy from their local members of Congress.

“The Air Force Academy has had a long tradition of actively recruiting diverse candidates,” Primas said. “But we’re going to have to really be expansive.”

Wed, 24 May 2023 05:17:00 -0500 en text/html
GRE General Test will take about half the time of current test from September: ETS

Education Testing services (ETS) on Thursday announced that GRE General Test will take less than two hours to complete- roughly half the time of the current test from September this year onwards.

In a press release issued, ETS said that the GRE General Test will take less than two hours to complete. This makes the GRE General Test the shortest test among graduate, business, and law school admissions.

The organisation has introduced changes in the test that includes- removal of the “Analyze an Argument” task in the Analytical Writing section, reduced number of questions in the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections and removal of the unscored section, as per the press statement.

Along with change in exam duration, the test results will also be announced faster. As per the statement, the official scores will be available in 8 to 10 days.

The appearing candidates can check the GRE test prep resources and practice exams designed for the newer streamlined test from September 2023 onwards. Since the shorter test has the same question types takers can continue to use the existing Official GRE Prep materials.

GRE General Test score is used for admission to graduate and professional programs, including business and law. For more related details candidates can check the official website-

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Thu, 01 Jun 2023 03:16:44 -0500 en-IN text/html
After Affirmative Action: What colleges must do

Opinion editor's note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes a mix of national and local commentaries online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.


In the coming days or weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to prohibit — or at least significantly restrict — the practice of considering race and ethnicity as factors in college admissions. Facing this likelihood, higher education leaders across the state and country are considering steps we can take to increase access for students from historically excluded and currently underrepresented groups.

As we prepare for whatever restrictions may be handed down by the court, it's important to remember that the academic preparation a high school student receives is what matters most in determining whether they will attend college.

As highlighted in a latest report from Brookings, disparities in college attendance rates between white students and students of color "disappear" when they receive similar levels of preparation in grades nine through 12. Regardless of race or ZIP code, the report concludes that "disparities in academic preparation earlier in students' educational careers" are the most important determinants of college enrollment.

Does this mean racism is not a barrier to higher education? Absolutely not. But the Brookings report tells us that racial prejudice and structural inequalities in education can be diminished with quality preparation.

The report puts it plainly: "Black, Hispanic, and Asian students with similar high school grades, test scores, and course-taking all go to college at about the same rate — a rate about five percentage points higher than white students with similar academic preparation by those measures."

This was not surprising to me. As someone raised in an immigrant home, who qualified for free lunch and went to college with the support of a Pell Grant, I am keenly aware that my path to college was made possible only because I was offered extraordinary educational opportunities. When my youngest sibling started kindergarten, our single mother joined the workforce without a college degree, taking a job as a switchboard operator at a private high school. To our good fortune, the school allowed employees' children to attend for free. That experience unleashed my potential, preparing me for the intellectual rigors of an Ivy League university.

My serendipitous path to college, however, is not a replicable model. The key takeaway of the Brookings report is that quality high school preparation can mitigate the consequences of social inequality. If we accept that conclusion, then we're forced to confront a pernicious truth: Effective academic preparation in grades nine through 12 is more accessible to white students in high-resource communities because our educational resources are allocated by class, which perpetuates social inequality and racial segregation.

So, as a country, we still must address the many ways in which structural inequalities in our society essentially "sort" our young people into opportunity channels that differentially smooth a path to college for some and introduce hostile obstacles for others. And we need to keep investing heavily in higher education access, through vehicles such as the Pell Grant program and federally subsidized loans. Obtaining a college degree is the single most powerful driver of economic mobility for lower-income students.

But colleges and universities also have a role to play. Absent affirmative action policies, institutions can do their part to address this structural inequality by reducing barriers to access for everyone. Since the pandemic began, many schools have eliminated application fees and test score requirements. Partnerships with talent-identification programs in high schools like Posse, QuestBridge, College Track, College Visions and College Possible are an additional way to put college within reach for talented students from under-resourced communities.

Another important consideration will be to ensure our admissions practices consider the whole applicant: their academic preparation, their talents, their skills, and their lived experiences – to the extent we can surmise this information within the bounds of whatever restrictions may be handed down by the Court.

When low-income and first-generation students arrive on campus, we also need to be ready with support to help level the playing field. Examples include orientation programming to demystify college expectations and customs (the so-called "hidden curriculum" of higher education); offering "startup" stipends to ensure access to essentials like laptops and books; a physical space on campus dedicated to supporting student needs; and opportunities for mentorship from faculty and staff who know what it's like to be the first in their families to obtain a degree.

No college or university can single-handedly undo decades of inequality when students arrive on campus. Students from historically excluded groups and lower-income families need better preparation to thrive in college and derive the full benefit of a degree. If the Supreme Court issues the decision many expect, it will be essential that higher-education institutions take even more initiative to attract applicants from all walks of life and to be welcoming places where all students can thrive.

Suzanne M. Rivera is president of Macalester College.

Thu, 01 Jun 2023 09:35:00 -0500 text/html
LGBTQ Resource Center focuses Pride on campus

As Pride month commences, The LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of New Mexico serves as a home for many students, Frankie Flores said. Flores serves as the center’s director, as well as a mentor and advocate for students.

“My mission with this field – with the work that I do – is to make sure that our students, from admission to graduation, feel honored, affirmed and welcomed on this campus, which can be everything from helping them get food from the local food pantry to suicide deescalation,” Flores said.

The resource center provides counseling, HIV testing, computer access and food to students. In addition to their normal services, Flores said that the center’s staff has been working to plan pride month for the UNM community. The resource center has eleven events planned for this month.

This year, the schedule for Pride month has grown, as the resource center has decided to not participate in the Albuquerque Pride Parade nor the events, and focus their efforts on campus. Their decision was partially made because of Albuquerque Pride’s intended association with the Albuquerque Police Department, Flores said. 

“There was the involvement of APD that was rescinded, which, even though you took it back, the intention was still there. So I talked to students, staff and faculty administration and (was) like, ‘this is what I'm feeling,’” Flores said. “I am a representative of the resource center, but I am not the resource center.”

It was important that everyone’s opinion was included, Flores said, when making the decision to not attend the parade. They consulted the resource center’s advisory board as well as queer student groups at UNM.

“We have an advisory board. They voted unanimously for us not to join,” Flores said. “The Juniper Reimagined – which is our queer student group – they all voted for us not to participate either. So we had some real backing from the UNM community.”

Jacob Griego graduated from UNM in the spring of 2023 and is volunteering at the resource center this summer. Griego is supporting Flores through Pride month, as well as tabling for new student orientation. Griego said that he is supportive of the resource center’s decision to not participate in the Albuquerque Pride Parade.

“The police have been victimizing our community for so many years, so I understand that by separating from that, we're able to further what we need to do as a community to heal from that because that trauma still is very much existent, but also to kind of continue working for better,” Griego said.

The resource center is focused on making their programming for pride more accessible for the community. Not participating in Albuquerque Pride gave them more money to utilize.

“We spend thousands of dollars on (Albuquerque) Pride every year. I struggle with it because I don't know what the direct payoff is for our community,” Flores said.

One event the center planned includes “UNM Comes Out to Pride Block Party” on June 23, which Flores said they are excited about. The block party is intended to function as the community’s mini Pride to deliver UNM students a space to celebrate themselves on campus.

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“We're bringing in drag queens … And what's really exciting is we are bringing in a lot of newcomers – one who's a student here … and they have never performed. So we are giving them that platform. So again, we're keeping it UNM centered,” Flores said.

Flores will also be performing in drag at the block party. Watching and learning from them has been important to Griego, as well as a large influence on the queer community.

I love drag in general, but watching Frankie has always been really cool because not only (are they) a role model in the UNM queer community, but also in the queer community to begin with,” Griego said. “I'm really excited to continue working with them and see all the things that they do.”

Flores is also leading a lecture on June 28 titled, “Queering UNM History.” Flores is interested in focusing their education and resources on the UNM community. All the events are free to the community with the exception of the Planet Taz “Queer Prom” that they are co-hosting with Meow Wolf.

“I think it's just gonna be fun for staff and faculty and students who are here to just come across the street essentially,” Flores said.

In addition to supporting Flores and the resource center throughout the summer, he is excited to spend Pride month celebrating himself, Griego said.

“I want to celebrate myself. Especially now in this political climate and the fact that Target's under attack. We go through Twitter comments and I'm getting this hate mail. It's so vicious in the world right now … But by existing, by being present, by celebrating who I am, I'm rebelling against that,” Greigo said.

Addison Key is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @addisonkey11 

Sun, 04 Jun 2023 19:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Abhishek Gunjan And His Brother Democratizing Legal Education And Providing Affordable And Effective Resources To Students Just a moment...
Wed, 24 May 2023 07:42:00 -0500 en-US text/html

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