Kids: Then and Now

Other discussions not related to the Permanent Portfolio

Moderator: Global Moderator

User avatar
pugchief
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3718
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:41 pm
Location: suburbs of Chicago, IL

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by pugchief » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:58 am

What's gonna happen when some company (which also wants to be woke) goes looking for a physics major, hires one of these students, and then finds out they don't really know any actual calculus or physics? Are they going to still keep them around, pay them $100,000/year and let them do nothing of substance?
User avatar
Cortopassi
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2080
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:28 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Cortopassi » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:08 am

You guys are doing this whole woke thing a bit much.

Physics 41E

Physics 41E ( Physics 41 Extended) is an 5-unit version of Physics 41 (4 units) for students with little or no high school physics or calculus. Course topics and mathematical complexity are identical to Physics 41, but the extra classroom time allows students to engage with concepts, develop problem solving skills, and become fluent in mathematical tools that include vector representations and operations, and calculus.

Anyone think offering this is an issue if kids have come from a school district where there isn't a boatload of AP level courses? I know I didn't graduate high school knowing calculus!
--------------
Physics 94SI, is not a physics course, really, but it is a seminar course that covers physics. Kids can't use it as the physics requirement.

Physics 94SI: Diverse Perspectives in Physics: A seminar course, also initiated by Meyer and Patel, where physics faculty members from diverse backgrounds share the story of their lives and careers. This course meets over lunch and includes Q&A sessions after each presentation.
User avatar
ochotona
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3177
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:54 am

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by ochotona » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:56 am

Another kids then and now observation:

I had rotator cuff surgery, and joined a gym to rehab. Too much Aikido, I suppose. Anyway, the kids lie on their backs on the exercise mats and roll through content on their phones. It's almost like they're getting ready to go to bed. Not much exercising going on!

(While just outside, they're doing drug deals in the Planet Fitness parking lot).
User avatar
Kriegsspiel
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2876
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:20 pm

Cortopassi wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:08 am
You guys are doing this whole woke thing a bit much.
Let me see if I can get you on my side.

First, look at it from the student perspective. Stanford is essentially saying "we have kids that want to major in physics, but they don't have the knowledge to even start our program." So they created a new class to tutor kids through it. That's gotta be one of the most expensive ways to impart high school knowledge there is! That kid is going to be paying Stanford University prices to get up to a pre-freshman level of understanding, if even that. Or, they are taking out student loans that, in all likelihood, us taxpayers are going to be on the hook for.

Now, a more rational approach to achieve the same goal of getting under-prepared kids ready for undergraduate physics and calculus courses is the time-tested method of doing it at a cheaper community or junior college. It's like if you have a medical problem, like you're fat, have sore joints, and high blood pressure. You go to a doctor and tell them to solve your problem, and they prescribe you medication and plastic surgery, Expensive stuff. The type of solution I'm talking about with the college stuff would be if that person stopped buying unhealthy food and soda and started working out a bit. Like, you could go the more expensive route, but there is a different way. If you thought the expensive route was the only option, or the best one, then you might appreciate someone telling you about a cheaper way to arrive at the same place.

To lead me into my next point, what are the student's advisors telling them? What I'm picturing is some 18 year old kid, doesn't know shit about the real world, who took "little to no" calculus or physics classes in high school... getting it in their head that they want to major in physics and become a physicist. That's not a *bad* thing, per se, since some of them might have been studying calculus and physics in their spare time while attending a high school that didn't have the classes or something. But that evidently isn't what Stanford is finding. They're finding that these kids can't even pass the basic classes and fail out. We can't expect university advisors to advise kids to switch their major to something easier because they're woefully unprepared, or to tell them to save some money and go to a community college or get a tutor for a while then come back in a semester. But when you are a hammer, all you can do is hammer nails. They're going to make their own class so they can milk more tuition.

And that's my second perspective; Stanford is using a diversity smoke screen to virtuously fleece kids of money. Instead of treating everyone the same and letting kids who can't hack it cut loose and find something they have a higher aptitude for, they string them along with the pre-undergraduate class and the other bullshit class mentioned, about faculty diversity. This isn't just aimed at Stanford's advisors, but their high school ones and parents too. What is going on there? Like I said above, Stanford employees aren't likely to go against their own interests, so guidance counselors and parents who don't tell kids that if they want to major in physics, they should take some relevant courses are really fucking them over. They're also fucking them over if they're saying something like "oh, don't worry that you didn't take any relevant classes, you can just take the remedial course once you get to Stanford!"

The way I see it, the students are both unprepared, and they're scrambling at the last second in an incredibly cost-ineffective way, and the university is enabling them, because unless there is a hit to their reputation (which I think is unlikely, because the "increasing diversity" smoke screen is effective), they aren't going to be the ones who suffer the consequences.
Anyone think offering this is an issue if kids have come from a school district where there isn't a boatload of AP level courses?
Kids can still be intelligent and prepared without AP classes; the only AP class I took in high school was English, it was useless, but I did just fine in college. That said, I'd hope that smart kids who are motivated to become physicists (definitely a specifically nerdy major) would find a way to get into an AP program, or take college classes in HS, or get a tutor, or SOMETHING to help them prepare. But I do think it's a whole 'nother discussion talking about how high schools fail kids.
I know I didn't graduate high school knowing calculus!
Me either, but I had no plans to major in physics :P
Last edited by Kriegsspiel on Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. . . Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work.
- Ecclesiastes
User avatar
Kriegsspiel
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2876
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:22 pm

ochotona wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:56 am
Another kids then and now observation:

I had rotator cuff surgery, and joined a gym to rehab. Too much Aikido, I suppose. Anyway, the kids lie on their backs on the exercise mats and roll through content on their phones. It's almost like they're getting ready to go to bed. Not much exercising going on!

(While just outside, they're doing drug deals in the Planet Fitness parking lot).
To be fair, lazing about looking at your phone is pretty standard behavior for Planet Fitness. Whenever I see kids at my local gym they're crushing it.
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. . . Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work.
- Ecclesiastes
User avatar
Cortopassi
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2080
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:28 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Cortopassi » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:12 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:20 pm

That kid is going to be paying Stanford University prices to get up to a pre-freshman level of understanding, if even that. Or, they are taking out student loans that, in all likelihood, us taxpayers are going to be on the hook for.
I disagree here. I would tend to assume those that have not had that level of math or physics in high school come from disadvantaged areas, and are likely getting into Stanford at little or no cost. Part of me applauds these universities that try to give kids with potential a chance, who would never otherwise have a chance.
Kriegsspiel wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:20 pm
They're finding that these kids can't even pass the basic classes and fail out.
Are they? I've not read anything on the retention rate of kids brought in this way.

I don't think this is aimed at suburban kids who want to go to Stanford, but got a 20 on the ACT. I think this is aimed at kids who maybe got a 20 on their ACT but show some potential and from from areas where Stanford is not even in the realm of possibility. I could be 100% wrong.
User avatar
Kriegsspiel
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2876
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:04 am

Cortopassi wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:12 pm
Kriegsspiel wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:20 pm
They're finding that these kids can't even pass the basic classes and fail out.
Are they? I've not read anything on the retention rate of kids brought in this way.
I was going by what Stanford said in their press release, "we lose a larger number of Black, Latinx and Native students, as well as women of all races, in the first two years of undergraduate study."

But they're cloaking it in a diversity shield: "A lot of that is due to the lack of community and overall climate. People from underrepresented groups often do not feel welcome in physics classes." *

In order to obtain more money: "To address this problem head on, Wechsler and six other physics faculty members formed the Equity and Inclusion Committee. . . Wechsler joined Heising-Simons Foundation’s Physics and Astronomy Leadership Council. That position, which aims to help the foundation diversify physics in the United States, provided her with grant money that she could use to fund local projects."

* You don't need to create a new class with extra tutoring for academically unprepared students because they don't feel welcome. I'd suggest they don't feel welcome because they have a (legitimate) case of Imposter's Syndrome. Affirmative action also affects qualified people, because others might assume they were affirmatively actioned instead of having succeeded based on their own merit. This was one of the downsides of AA as described by Charles Murray in The Bell Curve.
Kriegsspiel wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:20 pm
That kid is going to be paying Stanford University prices to get up to a pre-freshman level of understanding, if even that. Or, they are taking out student loans that, in all likelihood, us taxpayers are going to be on the hook for.
I disagree here. I would tend to assume those that have not had that level of math or physics in high school come from disadvantaged areas, and are likely getting into Stanford at little or no cost. Part of me applauds these universities that try to give kids with potential a chance, who would never otherwise have a chance.
I don't think this is aimed at suburban kids who want to go to Stanford, but got a 20 on the ACT. I think this is aimed at kids who maybe got a 20 on their ACT but show some potential and from from areas where Stanford is not even in the realm of possibility. I could be 100% wrong.
First off, I want to change my interpretation to mean that the students who come in unprepared would take the special class in order to catch up with the prepared students, since it looks like the class satisfies the same requirement as the one that doesn't require the extra resources. It's still tough to keep up if you're starting further behind though.

Second, I had to go check and see if non-affirmatively-actioned kids who get 20s are even admitted to Stanford (even though I assumed you were being hyperbolic). This site says the average composite score of incoming freshman is 33. If you're scoring a 20 on the ACT, it appears you don't really deserve to get into Stanford on your achievements. I mean, Stanford has admitted that they have trouble recruiting football players because of their stringent admission requirements. And when I think of kids being admitted to college based on excelling in something other than academics, I think of sports, particularly football and basketball, because those actually bring in money for the universities. Going back to what I said about Imposter's Syndrome, how much worse would it be on Stanford's campus, surrounded by extremely smart and high-achieving people, than on a campus where you were admitted alongside other people like you?

Third, if they are getting a full ride scholarship, it doesn't really make sense to applaud the universities. It's not like they're eating those costs; they're transferring them to paying students or to taxpayers. It's easy to be magnanimous with other people's money.

I do want to come back to where you said
I would tend to assume those that have not had that level of math or physics in high school come from disadvantaged areas, and are likely getting into Stanford at little or no cost. Part of me applauds these universities that try to give kids with potential a chance, who would never otherwise have a chance.
Stanford has an acceptance rate around 5.5%. They can't take everyone; there are a limited number of seats in their classrooms, limited dorm space, etc. For every unqualified affirmative-action admission, some kid who deserved to go there is rejected. Isn't it logical that it's better for our society if we can get the most qualified kids into our best universities?
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. . . Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work.
- Ecclesiastes
User avatar
Cortopassi
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2080
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:28 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Cortopassi » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:35 am

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:04 am
Isn't it logical that it's better for our society if we can get the most qualified kids into our best universities?
Krieg,

I don't really disagree with anything you've said.

When I went to school, 1985, I do not recall the name of the program, but there were some kids in the dorms brought in through some similar style AA program. I don't think they made it through to graduation. So there's no way the system is perfect by any means.

But... I just dropped off my daughter at Notre Dame on Sunday. It is so white. With a good smattering of Asians of all types, and a relatively small handful of black kids.

When we visited Illinois, Vanderbilt, Dayton, Marquette, generally the same mix at all, except for Illinois having a much larger amount of non-US Asians.

There's nothing that I can think of other than the environment that they grow up in affecting the seemingly lower rates of blacks in these schools. I want someone to figure out how to fix that, so there's no need for a Physics 41E, or an AA program! I know it is difficult.
User avatar
Kbg
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1683
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Kbg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:22 pm

Well if we are going all libertarian here, Stanford is a private university and in theory can do it how ever they want to right?
User avatar
Kriegsspiel
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2876
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:31 pm

Yes.
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. . . Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work.
- Ecclesiastes
User avatar
Xan
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2810
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:51 pm

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Xan » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:18 pm

The federal government succeeded in converting virtually all "private" colleges and universities into effectively public institutions via grants several decades ago. The only truly private universities are the handful like Hillsdale which reject government funding completely.
User avatar
Kbg
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1683
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: Kids: Then and Now

Post by Kbg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:57 pm

Xan wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:18 pm
The federal government succeeded in converting virtually all "private" colleges and universities into effectively public institutions via grants several decades ago. The only truly private universities are the handful like Hillsdale which reject government funding completely.
No the government did not, the universities did. I really get tired of this argument, just because the government sweetens the pot for something and ties strings to it, that does not equate to the government mandating it. There is a huge difference.
Post Reply