With very little news, outside of the standard propganda, in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) March 28 – April 1, 2022 Spring Break, District Deeds decided to dig deeper into a subject that affects all SDUSD Students and families.
This week we looked at the SDUSD Mission…
…and then chose a “Mission” for ourselves.
Our “Mission” today is twofold:
- To look at the negative repercussions educationally of recent “dumbing down” summer school, grades, and graduation requirements by the SDUSD.
- To look at the collusion by the SDUSD and California State colleges to lower admission requirements to cover up the gross education negligence of the SDUSD leadership and turn it into a cash machine for mutual financial gain.
To clearly expose that path of financially motivated collusion, we have chosen an article from CalMatters that tells the full story of the intentional dumbing down of admission requirements by California State (Cal State) and University of California (UC) colleges to massively increase admissions revenue on the backs of unprepared SDUSD “graduates”.
This week have provided the full article from CalMatters but we strongly urge our readers to click on the title (in red) to read the full article online for themselves.
MARCH 31, 2022, UPDATED APRIL 1, 2022
Cal State joined the University of California in ending its use of an admissions test for freshmen. Now the system is creating a new set of eligibility criteria, the first change since 1965. The plan is to focus on student high school grades and life experiences.
In the acronym soup of California public higher education, gone are two three-letter combos that led legions of students to plug their noses annually: The SAT and ACT are (functionally) no more.
After the California State University system formally ditched the SAT and ACT as admissions requirements last week, the state is now the first — and only — in the United States to have no public university accepting standardized test scores for admissions.
The Cal State system followed in the University of California’s footsteps, which swore off the SAT and any other admissions test last year.
Cal State officials and the system’s academic senate cited studies showing that high school grades better predict how well students will perform in their first year of college than test scores. Other data showed that predictive power only went up marginally when test scores were combined with high school grades; the makers of the SAT say the test’s predictive boost is significant. Critics have also long maintained that the SAT rewards students who have the financial resources to hire tutors or enroll in prep courses to improve their test scores, leaving low-income students at a disadvantage.
Both the UC and Cal State system are now “test-blind” — a rarefied club of 86 academic institutions and systems nationwide. Another 1,825 other campuses don’t require test scores but will still assess them if a student submits that information, a concept known as “test-optional.”
So, what will the era of admissions without tests look like at the nation’s largest public four-year university?
The future of Cal State admissions
Until the COVID-19 pandemic, the system’s 23 campuses chiefly admitted students based on a formula of high school grades and ACT or SAT scores. Only in the last two years, after suspending its SAT requirement during the pandemic, has the system relied on other factors.
The system’s Admissions Advisory Council plans to submit a final set of admissions eligibility criteria to the California State University Office of the Chancellor by late spring.
The recommendations will largely reflect the work the system did during the pandemic to replace its testing requirements with additional information about an applicant’s high school grades and socio-economic factors.
Currently, the minimum eligibility requirement is a 2.5 grade point average for California high school graduates and a 3.0 if the applicant isn’t a state resident. Another is to complete the required 15 courses in math, English, science, history and other subjects, known as A-G courses. Some campuses accept slightly lower GPAs but consider other academic and socio-economic factors.
The Admissions Advisory Council — in the first change to the system’s eligibility index since 1965 — is instead proposing that the minimum eligibility criteria include four factors:
- the students’ GPAs for the 15 required courses;
- whether students passed more than 15 of the required courses during their time in high school;
- whether students attend either a high school that is near the Cal State campus to which they’re applying or attend a high school with a high percentage of students who receive federal meal subsidies because they’re low-income;
- other socio-economic and interpersonal factors, such as whether students worked during high school, had no one else in their family complete college, had family commitments or volunteered.
The system is now developing the minimum GPA and weights for these factors. Once published, campuses will be able to use a formula to calculate whether applicants are eligible for admissions. It’s a quantitative approach that resembles use of an eligibility formula during the SAT era. Officials may continue to tweak it over time.
The Cal State system will roll out its new criteria gradually, giving it time to communicate the details to high school counselors. Current high school juniors who apply to enroll at a Cal State in fall 2023 will be admitted based on the current minimum eligibility criteria. Today’s high school sophomores seeking entry into a Cal State for fall 2024 will be admitted based on the current criteria or the new eligibility index in the works — whichever is more advantageous for them. Students applying for fall 2025 admissions will be governed by the new index.
Abandoning test-based criteria couldn’t come sooner for low-income students, said Cal State trustee Krystal Raynes, an undergraduate at Cal State Bakersfield.
“I remember saving up my lunch money to take both the PSAT and the SAT because my parents didn’t know what that was and didn’t want to spend money on me taking a test,” she said at the March board meeting, a day before the trustees voted unanimously to ditch admissions tests. “Meanwhile I knew students who were prepping with tutors in junior high, so there’s definitely that economic gap there.”
Criteria for more competitive campuses
But minimum eligibility isn’t enough of a cut-off for numerous Cal State universities. Right now seven universities are fully impacted, a technical designation meaning a major, program or the whole university receives applications from more qualified students than there’s space. All but seven campuses have at least one major program that’s impacted.
The Cal State admissions policy plan is to allow these oversubscribed programs to continue using a combination of up to 21 different admissions factors to admit students. These overlap partly with the newly proposed minimum eligibility criteria but include other variables, such as grades in specific high school subjects, whether students qualify for an application fee waiver and their military status. No campus uses all 21 factors for admissions.
Like the minimum eligibility index in development, all of these factors are data the Cal State application already collects. The system software is sophisticated enough to calculate the admissions scores for each campus based on the admissions criteria they select.
Though the Cal State system admits 93% of the California high school students who apply, several campuses are far more selective. Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and San Diego State, the most competitive, admit only a third of their California freshmen applicants.
Spotlight on admissions criteria at popular campuses
Presently six of the 23 Cal State campuses won’t consider any in-state student with a GPA below a 2.5. Even within this group, campuses are using multiple factors to handle their influx of applicants by balancing academic and socio-economic factors.
“Unequivocally, I think it is a great move” to remove admissions tests, said San Diego State President Adela de la Torre. “If we’re going to talk about diversity and inclusion, you have to have metrics that reflect a broader set of criteria.”
The San Diego university expanded its criteria for admission for students entering last fall. Half of the admissions score is based on the GPA a student earned in the 15 required courses for entry. The other half includes the grades in math and science courses, foreign language, history and whether a student comes from a local high school. The university also gives extra points for signs of socio-economic hardship among students applying from nearby high schools or entering special programs for marginalized students, like for foster youth.
San Diego State will largely keep this formula beyond 2023, but like other campuses, it may change its weights and add more admissions variables over time.
Long Beach State guarantees admission to local high school students who meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Other students will be held to a higher admissions standard. All impacted Cal State campuses give some kind of admissions priority to applicants attending local high schools. Long Beach State has more than 50 public and private high schools in its local service area.
At Cal Poly-Pomona, 86% of the points in the admissions formula come from academic factors and 14% are based on non-academic areas.
Unlike the UC, Cal State has no admissions readers
The UC campuses hire hundreds of part-time application readers who undergo training to go through every application. The Cal States have no readers and never did. And unlike the UC, the Cal State application doesn’t ask students to provide essays or extended written responses.
UCLA hires 200 part-time readers who earn stipends of $1,350 to $2,500 depending on the number of applications they review. The university received nearly 150,000 freshmen undergraduate applications for fall 2022 enrollment, the most in the country. Other UC campuses shared that they bring on 50 to 160 readers; the numbers vary depending on each campus’s application volume.
The price tag for readers at UCLA is between $400,000 and $500,000. Meanwhile, the entire operating budgets of the admissions offices at Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo range from about $2.2 million to $2.4 million, respectively.
Cal State campus admissions officials will occasionally review individual applications, such as when a denied student files an appeal. Admissions teams also spot-check applications to see if students omitted required information. Plus some music and performing arts programs require applicants to submit portfolios that faculty then review.
DISTRICT DEEDS SYNOPSIS:
Getting rid of the SAT and ACT for easier admissions to college…sounds like a GREAT ideal..right?
Just like easier High School graduation standards…a GREAT idea for Students, especially in areas of poverty…right?
California wide state colleges get a lot more unprepared student customers to apply and be admitted generating MILLIONS of dollars of new admissions and class fee revenues.
District leadership can spread propaganda, receive massive funding from both the state and federal governments with no strings attached and get re-elected/retained for higher grad rates and higher college application/admission rates.
Teachers are happy that they no longer have to use actual performance (like turning in assignments) for grades and can pass a Student in a class and have their own performance measured on something called “mastery level” which has no set or uniform standards from classroom to classroom or school to school. EVERYONE can be a top student and graduate if they have achieved the mystical “mastery”!!!!
According to local SDUSD propaganda outlet Channel 7/39:
According to data presented by the district, under the old grading system, teachers fail minority students more than White students – a lot more.
Academic grades will now focus on mastery of the material, not a yearly average, which board members say penalizes students who get a slow start, or who struggle at points throughout the year.
Another big change, teachers can no longer consider non-material factors when grading. Things like turning work in on time and classroom behavior will now instead count towards a student’s citizenship grade, not their academic grade.
So, instead of identifying the REASON that predominantly white teachers fail predominantly minority students, they choose to base student performance on how they “feel” about the student effort and deliverables.
Students are happy that they got their diploma and can be admitted to college with no actual performance measurement reporting (like entrance exams, SAT or ACT) except having a friendly Teacher and someone to complete the college application for them.
ALL of the above are happy that they, in the SDUSD, can simply replace a flunking five month, full semester class for a Student with a 3 week summer school class using “mastery” instead of actual measurement of performance using the curriculum or textbook.
Everybody’s happy nowadays…right?
Ultimately no, not really.
At least not for the Students who lose all their college tuition to pay for remedial college classes and then must drop out for not being able to even pass them.
A least not for those Students who forego college and cannot get a job at mimum wage because of zero math or english skills and then desperately turn towards crime.
The reality is, in the SDUSD, the diploma and graduation rate is an illusion not an achievement.
A video in Public School Review titled “Are High School Graduates Ready for College? Studies Are Dismal“ says:
This 2014 video uses data when the SAT or ACT were REQUIRED for admission.
With relaxed high school grading/promotion standards and no SAT/ACT is it possible that student readiness for college has actually improved?
The simple answer is NO.
So now, in Cal State and UC, admissions is has become an illusion also, not an achievement.
But We’re Number 1 according to Finishing the First Lap: The Cost of First-Year Student Attrition in America’s Four-Year Colleges and Universities
That’s right, $490,800,000 spent on dropouts. And, based on the historical temerity of California Department of Education and the SDUSD, that number is VASTLY understated.
We surmise that those millions of dollars are just a “drop(out) in the bucket” when combined with lost labor and social services expenses for uneducated SDUSD graduates.
After reading the full Cal Matters article and reviewing all the included links we came up with a “follow the money” path to fit the newest changes to both high school graduation criteria and college admissions. This “follow the money” path allows the SDUSD and Cal State/UC institutions to rake in millions of dollars from the neediest, most unprepared students with a useless diploma that have huge negative gaps in the required basic skills of math and english.
Here is how the California/SDUSD Education Shakedown works:
Step 1: Change high school and college qualifications
Eliminate all ways to measure Federal, State, Local District, District Employee and Student performance:
- Elliminate A – F grades
- Eliminate curriculum requirements and replace them with Teacher perception of “Mastery”.
- Eliminate real Summer School with state defined curriculum and textbooks and instead use 3 weeks of mixed level project concept assessment.
- Allow unproctored distance learning that allows the Student to use well educated friends and relatives to complete assignments and tests.
- Eliminate all standardized tests to eliminate any evidence that the Student is totally unprepared for college or work.
- Base funding on enrollment and not on attendance.
This step in business is called Market Expansion:
Market expansion is the process of offering a product on a larger scale in an existing market or making it available in a new market. The strategy behind it starts with analyzing existing and future channels of distribution and concludes with adopting measures to increase reach and sales in the markets of interest.
The big problem is that when you expand the market to unqualified “customers” (i.e.: Students with a poor education) it creates an education funding bubble. A recent example in the United States was the housing bubble in 2008. According to Investopedia:
- U.S. government-sponsored mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made home loans accessible to borrowers who had low credit scores and a higher risk of defaulting on loans.
In this case, for SDUSD Students:
- The SDUSD, local Community Colleges, Cal State and UC make COLLEGE accessible to Students who have low grades and a higher risk of defaulting (flunking) college classes.
Many of the unqualified students have to waste their tuition funding dollars on remedial college classes to just get to college level classes because the SDUSD has failed them.
Unlike the housing bubble that negatively affected thousands of homeowners at the same time, the Education funding bubble is a silent killer that attacks the most financially vulnerable familes one by one, day by day., semester by semester. And the SDUSD education industry knows that.
Step 2: Payoff the SDUSD, local Community Colleges, Cal State and UC organizations
In California this bubble is funded with California/Federal Taxpayer dollars and via non-profit Grants, Scholarships, State/Federal tuition loans and other vehicles created by special interest groups (i.e. Teachers Unions and Education Industry corporations) to get their party members elected (School Board and beyond) and promote their political (Democrat/Republican) agenda.
For San Diegans, that payoff funding strategy has propelled every elected government entity (SDUSD School Board, City Council, State legislature, Governor) to Democrat super majorities.
As far as K-12 education, absolute power has corrupted the Democrat Party in San Diego absolutely.
Step 3: Hide all College Dropout by High School results and associated costs
Despite extensive research we have not been able to uncover the number of college dropouts by School District or High School. We also have been unable to find the amount of money that SDUSD graduates have wasted on remedial classes in college.
We believe there is a reason for that.
If Voters/Taxpayers were informed as to the number/percentage of dropouts from their local high school and the real amount of money lost by students via remedial classes and dropping out, the ongoing exodus away from the SDUSD would be accelerated and the payoff for corrupt local politicians, like the SDUSD School Board, would end.
SDUSD Stakeholders are already voting with their feet and running away from the SDUSD. That running away would turn into an all out sprint if ALL the REAL high school and college student performance/retention/financial/drop out data was released.
The SDUSD and their State/Federal cronies have a lot to lose with full transparency, which is why they refuse to provide it.
Following the money in the SDUSD seems to always end up in the same place.
In the back pocket of the corrupt SDUSD Board of Education and senior leadership.
While the neediest Students and Families suffer.
To paraphrase unqualified flunky Superintendent “Lovey Dovey” Lamont Jackson stolen catchphrase, the unprepared SDUSD “graduates” he helped create as an area superintendent never have and and never will be “seen and heard” by him or his corrupt Board of Education superiors.
And neither will the rest of the SDUSD Students while he is in office.
Just another Lovey Dovey Lamont Lie.
Now for our quote of the week dedicated to all those SDUSD Student and Families betrayed by the corrupt SDUSD senior leadership. An ORIGINAL quote plagiarized by new Superintendent “Lovey Dovey” Lamont Jackson.
“People need to feel seen, heard, and valued to have the desire to grow.” ―
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