Today, we received the results of the April ACT. While I was personally excited by our juniors’ performance on the science section, the results raised a number of questions. Our principal noted that the students who scored above a 30 were exclusively male. After a quick analysis, a teacher pointed out that females dominant the high GPAs. Why aren’t our girls scoring higher on the ACT, and why do our boys receive lower GPAs? In the discussion over email, it was noted that the high ACT males exhibit a lack of effort during class, but always do well on assessments. This raised the question, should the end result, the assessment, be weighted more than daily tasks, such as homework? Below was my contribution to the discussion.
Perhaps the answer is to provide a greater challenge for the students that excel in typical classrooms. While there are certainly classes in college that can be passed by only showing up to class two or three times, there are also classes that push a student extremely hard. I think of the student who earns straight A’s in high school but becomes a B student in college. It’s not that the student is incapable, it is that the student never put in the effort in high school, so he or she does not know how to put in the effort in college.
Providing two grades is an interesting idea. In addition to an academic report card, KIPP also provides a character report card. Effort, grit, etc., are all important character traits that correlate with future success. Developing character/drive in “naturally gifted” students creates men and women capable of even greater success in life. A 30 on the ACT may indicate a student will be hired by a Fortune 500 company, a 30 + character may indicate a student is capable of starting a Fortune 500 company.
Some colleges and educators use GPA as a rough measure of character. When thinking about the gender divide, I am curious whether ACT or GPA correlates better with college persistence. When examining students who attend schools with similar selectivity, is the student who was admitted with a higher ACT more likely to persist or is it the student with the higher GPA? Is there a gender divide in college persistence as well?
I think it’s worthwhile to consider the type of assessments. While tests are very important (ACT, GRE, Bar, etc), tests aren’t how you are evaluated in the workplace. Reflecting on my years in biotechnology, results were important, but so was my day-to-day work (designing, executing, and reporting experiments) and how I interacted with my co-workers. Perhaps within science, lab reports, the application of knowledge, should weigh more than exams, the mastery of knowledge.
Why don't guys cry? This is why we live longer.
Well, sometimes we just need to get away.
Whoever spray painted KONY on the cherry and spoon in Mpls. You are
my hero defacing a work of art to promote an extremely problematic and questionable campaign. This should not be tolerated, let alone lauded.
If you read to relax (Taken with instagram)