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daijobu

College students from under-resourced schools

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It’s not just underprivileged. A good friend, a superstar with 5s across a dozen APs and a valedictorian from a good public school told me she could barely survive math at U Chicago because the jump from high school teaching to there in terms of quality was almost insurmountable. 

Maybe these colleges could add a prep year. I would hate to see the quality of instruction sinking.

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Its also rural schools.  No way to get an honors class, too many resources going to mandated ENL, remedial and special needs. AP was cancelled here years ago for most subjects, study hall is half the day for nonremedial seniors. Add expensive internet, underresourced libraries, its impossible to get the level of education the parents were offered.  The wave of the future is to send nonremedial students to community college for the courses they used to take in high school, before Common Core.  

I felt it myself in college...the chem I had in high school was gen ed, nothing else offered.  I had to do a lot of gap fill. Thankfully I could read well, and my indepenent study math in high school meant I could keep up in everything else.  second semester was challenging, had to gap fill Chem 2 and Physics 1...lotta work.  These days there is tutoring though, so helpful.

Edited by HeighHo
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57 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

It’s not just underprivileged. A good friend, a superstar with 5s across a dozen APs and a valedictorian from a good public school told me she could barely survive math at U Chicago because the jump from high school teaching to there in terms of quality was almost insurmountable. 

Maybe these colleges could add a prep year. I would hate to see the quality of instruction sinking.

It must also be school dependent. A friend went from one ivy to another (as a transfer? As a master or PhD student? I don’t know), and she said math was night and day. 

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24 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

It must also be school dependent. A friend went from one ivy to another (as a transfer? As a master or PhD student? I don’t know), and she said math was night and day. 

 Probably. I don’t know enough about this. I was just struck with her comment because one would assume a superstar from a good schools should be at least prepared for a rigorous college. Her words were “I knew I couldn’t succeed, but I just had to survive it somehow.” 

I can’t even imagine what a kid from underperforming school would feel like in a Stanford classroom. 

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On 2/21/2019 at 6:48 PM, daijobu said:

I just came across this article in the Stanford Daily, and I was impressed by it's frank nature.  And saddened.  

 

I do think this is a more of an issue when students from under-resourced high schools want to pursue STEM majors, especially at elite universities. Even with tons of support, they are likely to have to devote significantly more time to their studies, especially in the early years, than students from rigorous high schools. There is just so much material to master in a relatively short period of time and everything builds on information from previous classes. And that means they may not really be able to take advantage of all of the other things offered at college if they are going to pursue a rigorous STEM major. There are only so many hours in a day.

And unless they force well prepared students to take honors or higher level offerings of intro courses, some will not do it, as they want to protect their GPA due to the very competitive nature of professional school admissions or just want to have a life. And ultimately, there is just a certain amount of material that must be covered in these intro courses, regardless of whether it is basic or honors level, in order to prepare students for upper division classes.

Edited by Frances
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There is a huge problem with sending kids who are unprepared to these very high level institutions.  My one daughter is going to be graduating from a fairly highly ranked LAC this year and even there, where it is a rigourous school but not quite as rigourous as the college (top 10 university) that dh and I attended.  She has seen the lost kids and the kids who had to change majors.  At  her college,  (and I wonder how it is at Stanford too), public school students are in the minority.  Most of her friends attended private schools or specialized public school programs (like IAB).

And what is really sad is that often times those students would actually do so much better (and maybe become that doctor) by going to a less prominent school where the teaching was at a lower level.

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I have to say this kind of makes me glad that DD is likely to go to somewhere where she overmatches for scholarship reasons. Because while I don’t think she’s coming from an underresoirced school, I’d rather she find the classes a little easy and find challenge in research and honors projects and other high level opportunities that are often available, than struggle because I (or her community college class) didn’t do as good of a job of teaching X as “top prep school” did! (And I admit, I’m biased-I moved from a top tier, highly competitive college early entry program to a lower tier state U for scholarship reasons, and had a much better experience af the State U-largely because there were a decent core of smart kids who were also there for money reasons, and there wasn’t the large population of extremely rich kids who were partying on Daddy’s dime). 

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This was my husband's experience. We both graduated from a very underresourced school with a close to 50% drop out rate. My dh was 5th in the class, good at math and  science. Got to the Naval Academy and started out in Aerospace Engineering, dropped down to Mech E, and then tried to change to Economics. They refused and he scraped by with a 2.6 and decided never again.

He was so not prepared for that level of rigor. Our teachers in HS were begging kids just to come to school, promising passing grades if they would just come to class at least twice a week. It was crazy.

i fared better because I majored in English. But I remember sitting in some classes so surprised at all the background knowledge the other students had compared to me. You don't know what you don't know. It was humbling. 

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I wonder if CC will become a refuge for kids who want to learn but are stuck in underperforming high schools. There is a movement toward that here for sure. It seems to me that states have not been able to "fix" high schools and bridge the divide in quality of teachers/classes offered. CA community colleges function at a fairly high level, so maybe the answer to the high performing kids in underperforming high schools is to help them (applications, transportation....) get a better quality education through DE. I don't know. It pains me to see kids not live up to their potential because of poverty or poor resource allocation. 

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9 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

I wonder if CC will become a refuge for kids who want to learn but are stuck in underperforming high schools. There is a movement toward that here for sure. It seems to me that states have not been able to "fix" high schools and bridge the divide in quality of teachers/classes offered. CA community colleges function at a fairly high level, so maybe the answer to the high performing kids in underperforming high schools is to help them (applications, transportation....) get a better quality education through DE. I don't know. It pains me to see kids not live up to their potential because of poverty or poor resource allocation. 

 

What we are starting to see is that the wealthy who can't get a seat in DE will send their dc to CC in 11th and 12th, as CC is full pay here for high schoolers, then on to U.  The poor grad their child from high school after 11th, then go to CC or U with financial aid.  From CC for the poor/middle class, we are seeing either applying to a service academy or grad and do night school for Bachelor's, or transfer to an engineering program at a 4 year ( a 2-3 pgm, with co-op).   Essentially CC is turning into 11th and 12th grade magnet school...but it doesn't have enough seats for all qualified high school students. 

Edited by HeighHo

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1 minute ago, HeighHo said:

 

What we are starting to see is that the wealthy who can't get a seat in DE will send their dc to CC in 11th and 12th, as CC is full pay here for high schoolers, then on to U.  The poor grad their child from high school after 11th, then go to CC or U with financial aid.  From CC for the poor/middle class, we are seeing either applying to a service academy or grad and do night school for Bachelor's, or transfer to an engineering program at a 4 year ( a 2-3 pgm, with co-op).   Essentially CC is turning into 11th and 12th grade magnet school...but it doesn't have enough seats for all qualified high school students. 

 

CC is free for DE students in California. I see that this is very state specific, so maybe at least in CA the poor could get a chance for a better education. 

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Sadly, this is unsurprising to me. It wasn't until I read the other thread that I learned there are 4 year universities that still offer Algebra/Geometry level courses for credit. Even 20 years ago, that just wasn't a thing at our school. If you went into calculus or biology without having done the AP course in high school first, you were pretty much screwed. My bestie graduated from a DoDEA school that didn't offer AP Cal and she was on their highest track. She ended up having to switch majors from MechE to Physiology. In our district now, you can DE beginning 10th grade but it's $50/credit hour plus books.

Edited by Sneezyone
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This is not a new phenomenon. Between my freshman and soph years at Boulder, the school brought in a pile of students from low income schools. The concept was to bring them up to speed, but of course, catching up on 12+ years of poor education didn't work. The kids figured out within a week that they weren't going to make it, but since they were being paid to be there, started to party. The dorm was a very scary place that summer. It was sad--those kids might have succeeded at say, Adams State, but were lost in Boulder. So, they came out at the end of the summer thinking they couldn't hack college studies. They set those kids up to fail. 

Many kids, even from high-performing schools, have trouble transitioning. USNA has a phrase: "High school hero, Academy zero."  My dd found out that her year-long university calc classes covered what USNA covered in 6 weeks! No way would she have survived if she hadn't already had the material. Youngest is surviving a coding class right now because she had 18 credits at our local uni first. 

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