Entrance Test and the Emperor's New Clothes

The actual number above 60%

Originally an email report

The college admits students as low as a 400 equivalent on the TOEFL. This is equivalent to 24 out of 60 correct on the reading section, or a 40%. What would happen if the college reported only those students who exceeded 500? 500 represents 60% of the questions being ansered correctly. Using the equation (OpenOffice.org format):

=IF(AND(G2>=24;H2>=36);"College Pass";"College Fail")

Where G2 is the structure score (0.6*40) and H2 is the reading score (0.6*60) one obtains the following result:

High School College Fail College Pass Total Result College Fail College Pass
Berea 23 1 24 96% 4%
CCA 1 8 9 11% 89%
CHS 259 9 268 97% 3%
CSDA 10 3 13 77% 23%
KHS 84 42 126 67% 33%
KSC 8 1 9 89% 11%
Mizpah 21 1 22 95% 5%
NCHS 11 11 100% 0%
NICHS 27 2 29 93% 7%
Ohwa 7 3 10 70% 30%
OIHS 20 8 28 71% 29%
PATS 14 10 24 58% 42%
PICS 218 107 325 67% 33%
PLHA 38 38 100% 0%
PPSD 14 9 23 61% 39%
PSDA 10 12 22 45% 55%
SCA 26 16 42 62% 38%
SNHS 88 1 89 99% 1%
Weno 112 1 113 99% 1%
Xavier 26 26 0% 100%
YHS 65 38 103 63% 37%
YSDA 5 5 100% 0%
Total Result 1061 298 1359 78% 22%

Note that the fail column precedes the pass column, my bad: F comes before P in the alphabet.  Anyway, only 33% of KHS "passed" at a 60% level.  Note that this is NOT the cut points used by the College.  I gather the above cut points are a 500 while the ones we used are down at 470, we have used 470 as the top of the IEP and the bottom of national campus admission since 1997 or 1998. 

Admission to the college, however, INCLUDES IEP admission, which reaches down to 400.  And those are the numbers we report as admitted. 

Heck, we CANNOT use a 60% cut unless we decide to close the national campus. We get 50% of those we invite and 50% of 298 would be 149 students, half of what we are staffed for.  Of course closing the national campus is always an option from the viewpoint of the state campuses. ;-)

I think we need to:

By the way, the rank order for the above is:

High School College Pass
Xavier 100.0%
CCA 88.9%
PSDA 54.5%
PATS 41.7%
PPSD 39.1%
SCA 38.1%
YHS 36.9%
KHS 33.3%
PICS 32.9%
Ohwa 30.0%
OIHS 28.6%
CSDA 23.1%
KSC 11.1%
NICHS 6.9%
Mizpah 4.5%
Berea 4.2%
CHS 3.4%
SNHS 1.1%
Weno 0.9%
YSDA 0.0%
PLHA 0.0%
NCHS 0.0%
Total Result 21.9%

With CSDA just above the average and KSC ten points below the average.  The top public high school is Yap HS, followed by KHS, and then by PICS.  Note the averages are in the 30's: a deep F on a report card.  I think this is at the core of what Paul is trying to say: the high schools are now convinced they are producing college level students and in truth they are failing very badly. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Paul Hadik"
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2003 10:58 AM
Subject: Entrance Test, Kaselehlie Press, and the Emperor's New Clothes

I read with interest the article in the latest edition praising the Educational Improvement in the FSM based on our latest Entrance Test results. I realize that we have corrected the error and I don't doubt a call has been placed to the paper to print a correction and maintain our integrity. What I would like to comment on is our usage of the phrase: "passing the entrance exam".

Example: The article mentions that 92% of Kosraeans passed the test. There is quite a bit of backslapping going on over here. I conducted an informal survey of adults asking them what they think "passing the test" means and they all believe it means that 92% of Kosraean seniors will be allowed to do college level work next year.

But we all know this is false.

In an earlier post Dana informed me that about 2/3 of Kosraean seniors (non-Upward Bound) weren't able to answer 7 of 10 basic math questions correctly. But where is that mentioned in the "92% passed the test"?

Dana has also clarified for me the usual standard of "passing" (which I believe changed a little this year with the dropping of Listening and adding of the essay)Two scores of 470 or above and one score no lower than 400. If I recall correctly on the essay the "passing" score was a 2 out of a possible 6. Math scores play no part. So to clarify, a student could score a 470 (or about 55% of questions answered correctly) on the structure section; a 405 (or about 30% of the questions answered correctly) on the reading section; write an essay that was graded as a 2 (barely competent)badly fail the math test and still be reported as "passing the entrance exam" and heralded in our national newspaper.

Am I really the only one seeing a problem with how we are reporting this? If we don't want these students to have to repeat the entrance exam fine, but let's report this distinction honestly. 92% of Kosraeans won't have to repeat the test. Of those 15% will be able to take college level math, 20% will be able to take college level Expository Writing and 35% will be able to take college level Advanced Reading. The rest will take IEP and other assorted remedial classes to prepare them for college level classes (I made these numbers up although they are fairly close). In doing this we honestly report to the High Schools and Education Departments the true level of their students and the improvements still necessary to be made.