More on grading scales, and me on TV!


ABC-7 here in DC came out to campus today to chat about grading scales. Of course after taping for 20 minutes or so they only included a statement (with my jacket looking oddly askew) that we (meaning admissions offcer-types) know how to read grades, and left out the kind of cutting, in depth analysis I usually tried to provide. That’s probably because most of my answers took about ten minutes (the reporter did keep mentioning it was a short piece…I must have missed the hint!).
What I wanted to say, again, was that we do put grades in context, and that there’s very little or no evidence that grading scales are the issue. Weighting grades has a much more evident impact, as do questions regarding use of class rank. Even then, we do read schools in context, but of course the numbers can be influential, and I think the impact, however small, is likely to be more pronounced when looking at scholarships than at admission.
Also, I begged her to mention that admission isn’t that complicated, but it is unpredictable, so students shouldn’t get all tied up in wanting just one place. (Of course, I WANT to say that it’s fine to get fixated on one school, if that school is Mason, but that would just be wrong). I may have complicated things by mentioning as an example that a school might be looking for oboe players because double-reeded instrument players are hard to find, and you can’t possibly know if that is the case, and I think that’s the point when I saw her eyes glaze over and decided she was definitely thinking that covering court cases is a lot more exciting than listening to a dean of admission.
But I got to be on TV again, and my kid thinks that is unbelievably cool. Even if my suit looked kinda bad. Be seeing you.

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4 Responses

  1. Do you have a link to the video yet? 🙂

  2. Thanks for asking – the link in the original post should take you right there, but if not try http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0808/543537_video.html

  3. Jacket skewed, albeit only slightly, and with only a soundbite, you still sounded deep, profound and reassuring of the process.

  4. The story would have been much more useful if it had more Dean Flagel.

    More Flagel = Higher ratings.

    You’d think TV people would know that.

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