Student characteristics predict university graduation odds

Jonathan Kantrowitz, T N T : The Network Thinkers, Aug 02, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Sometimes the state of research in education depresses me. Other times it makes me angry. What, for example, are we to make of this? "Tim Gramling, LP.D., conducted research on characteristics of more than 2,500 students from the full population of one large, for-profit university and found that higher GPA, fulltime enrollment status, black race (over whites)... weighed most heavily in accurately predicting higher graduation odds." So - what? If we want to increase GPA, we should recruit more black students? That's absurd, just as would be the equally offensive proposition that skin colour lowers GPA. 'Black' (or 'white', or 'Hispanic', or the ubiquitous 'Asian') should not be used as research categories. We are supposed to be scientists, not phrenologists.

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