SL 734

IMG_6457.JPG While Jonah and Steve are out fishing, I’m home on marching band duty today, driving the little guy back and forth to practice and a game. He’s doing so, so well. I’m extremely proud of him for muscling through this hot weather. Hopefully, he won’t pass out tonight in the wool uniform and the heat.

So, what am I reading?

New research about autism is finding that there isn’t one kind of autism, but many, and that neurotypical siblings may share the same autism mutations as their siblings with autism, but for some reasons those genes aren’t turned on in the NT kid.

The discrimination case against Harvard around Asian-American applicants has gotten support from the Justice Department.

Scotland is providing free sanitary products for students.

Would you buy property in Miami? How about the Jersey shore?

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9 thoughts on “SL 734

  1. Harvard seems to me clearly to be stacking the deck against Asian American kids. If they can come up with some kind of flim-flammery which a judge will buy that says it is okay, somehow, to discriminate in favor of Jamaican-Americans and Nigerian-Americans and against Hmong-Americans, maybe they will be allowed to keep doing it. I think a whole lot of problem is because the Ivy League has restricted entry so badly: if we made tax exemption on endowments conditional on expanding the entering class for an institution by no less than five per cent per year, or establishment of branch campuses (“Harvard in Houston” “YrekaYale”) we would do more to get quality education to kids who have worked hard and deserve an opportunity.
    I like John Roberts’ line, “The way to stop discriminating by race is to stop discriminating by race”.

  2. Harvard doesn’t want to look like Caltech or UCLA. They want to look like America. Their problems are: (i) it isn’t clear that looking like America is legal and (ii) they have been fairly disingenuous about the methods they use, both of which factors will hurt them in litigation.

    It also isn’t clear that looking like America is a particularly appropriate goal for a university. You can understand a president wanting a cabinet that looks like America, or a police department wanting a police force that looks like the city it serves, but the student body of a university is not an entity that faces the public. I think intellectual and scholarly excellence is a worthier goal.

    1. Y81, ” fairly disingenuous about the methods they use” is a remarkably … emollient … way to say ‘liars liars pants on fires’. You should be a lawyer or something, with a style like that!

      I kind of think Hillsdale should be able to decide what it wants to be, because they don’t take a dime from the Feds. Harvard has taken the king’s shilling, though, so I think it ought not have free rein in deciding what it wants to look like.

    2. I think it’s fine if Harvard tries to look like America; it’s the lack of transparency that’s the problem. As far as the scholarly excellence argument goes, I don’t think it’s a problem to get a diverse group with 1500 on the SATs (or whatever it is now) and impressive extracurriculars – there are plenty of really smart kids out there. The diverse-1500 class is to my mind just as likely to be intellectually excellent.

      If you want all 1600s, maybe it’s an issue, but the question of how much smarter are the 1500s than the 1600s, is it really just a matter of test prep, etc. (My brilliant nephew is signed up to take them for the third time to try to get a perfect score, a gaming of the system not everyone can afford.)

      The real diversity problem, to my mind, hits at the elite or semi-elite colleges farther down the list. There’s no problem for Harvard to admit 10% African American or 10% Latino – they take only 2000 students total. The same is probably true for the top 5 SLACs. But at the SLACs in the next tier, it’s a lot harder to be diverse and keep up academic standards. I know some people who work at these institutions and it is really a struggle.

      1. “But at the SLACs in the next tier, it’s a lot harder to be diverse and keep up academic standards. I know some people who work at these institutions and it is really a struggle.”

        And that’s how you end up with the mismatch problem: kids at second tier institutions who are absolutely out of their league, struggling and angry, when they would have been fine at third tier institutions. I will say that when I was a TA for Ec 10 at Harvard there were some kids (white) in my section who were out of their league – whether they were legacy admits, or athletes or their parents had bought their way in I don’t know. But I’m not convinced they had been done any favors by being there, either.

        I didn’t go to the College, but one of my friends who did said of the non-merit admits “We knew who didn’t belong there”.

      2. I was a TA at Yale and the only C student I ever had was a white daughter of two very famous people. But yeah, mismatch is a terrible problem.

  3. dave s. said,

    ” I will say that when I was a TA for Ec 10 at Harvard there were some kids (white) in my section who were out of their league – whether they were legacy admits, or athletes or their parents had bought their way in I don’t know. But I’m not convinced they had been done any favors by being there, either.”

    You know that shady anti-ADHD med documentary?

    As I recall, one of the people associated with that was a (white) celebrity kid who went to Georgetown and struggled. Georgetown is literally one of the worst places on earth to go if you’re not a super bright, super focused, super organized kid–and you need to be ALL of those things.

    https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/entertainment/movies-and-tv/sxsw-doc-take-your-pills-explores-a-different-drug-crisis

    “Schwarzenegger was one of those students. She was diagnosed with ADD as a child and briefly took Adderall in high school before stopping because of the side effects she experienced. When she headed off to Georgetown University, she struggled to keep up with the rigorous academic course load and began using the drug again. After graduating from college in 2013, she found herself reeling from her transition off of Adderall.”

  4. Laura wrote,

    “New research about autism is finding that there isn’t one kind of autism, but many, and that neurotypical siblings may share the same autism mutations as their siblings with autism, but for some reasons those genes aren’t turned on in the NT kid.”

    I’ve been wanting to give a plug to this book:

    I don’t know how that’s going to come through, but the title is “Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Autism Spectrum, Tourette’s, Anxiety and More!: The one-stop guide for parents, teachers, and other professionals

    Obviously, the treatment of any particular issue is not as deep as in a stand-alone book, but you get a facinating look at the interrelations and overlaps between different issues (the levels of comorbidity between different conditions can be astonishing).

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