The Fancy Pants Harvard GSE Paper
Bev Taylor, Founder of Ivy Coach, has published an editorial in “The Huffington Post” entitled “Turning the Tide in Admissions: A Fancy-Pants Harvard Paper That Inspired a Yawn” that we figured we’d share with our readers. We bet you could tell someone from Ivy Coach was behind this editorial from the title alone, right? You know we have our opinions. The piece, of course, focuses on the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s “Turning the Tide” report, which called for changes to the college admissions process. And while we believe some of these proposed changes are commendable, most of the recommendations are, as Bev writes, “about as novel an idea as root beer floats.”
As Bev writes in the piece, “Duh is the most appropriate response to the collective wisdom of the Harvard scholars who may not be able to change a lightbulb but can put together a twenty-five page report best suited to ignite a campfire.” Indeed Bev breaks down the report point for point, recommendation for recommendation. As an example, here’s how she breaks down this recommendation: “The first recommendation of the report supports ‘meaningful, sustained community service.’ As the report reads, ‘This service can take the form of substantial and sustained contributions to one’s family, such as working outside the home to provide needed income.’ This is about as novel an idea as root beer floats. For decades, college applicants have earned respect in the college admissions process for work experience. And working to provide needed income for one’s family is not only commendable — it’s long given a boost to underprivileged applicants to highly selective colleges, a sought after group. After admissions officers sift through dozens of applications from entitled kids, the applicant who works to support his family is a rose in December.”
Check out the other recommendations of the Harvard GSE report and see how Bev breaks them down. Agree with her assessment? Disagree? We’re curious to hear from our readers so let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Oh, and Bev, it was Stephanie in “Full House” who said “duh.” Michelle was only copying her older sister. Duh!
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As you have commented before, standardized tests are one of the only ways colleges can truly compare students so it makes sense these will be required.
I have read about a big push in some high school districts to limit the amount of AP’s kids can take in order to reduce some of the stress and workload which I think is mainly an attempt to try and reduce the accomplishments of Asians. Do you not think the colleges should de-emphasize community service altogether or at least give it no more weight than playing soccer/tennis/etc at a competitive, but not top 10 in the state, level?
It seems that the best candidates for the elite colleges are going to be kids who have found their “passion” early as it is difficult to win Math Counts/qualify for the USAJMO, play travel soccer and tournament level tennis. In order to succeed and be “pointy” most kids should pick one and excel but many kids would not want to do so.