Skip to comments.Feds investigate Florida's Bright Futures scholarships (SAT qualification discriminatory)
Posted on 03/25/2014 5:31:30 AM PDT by reaganaut1
The U.S. Department of Educations Office for Civil Rights has quietly revived an investigation of Floridas Bright Futures scholarships, a move that could reignite long-simmering complaints about the fairness of the popular program.
Since the programs inception, an outsized share of more than $4 billion in scholarships has gone to white or affluent families, at least some of whom were wealthy enough to afford college without any help. In recent years, state lawmakers concerned about rising costs of the program changed the standards to make the scholarships even harder to get, raising the minimum SAT and ACT test scores to levels critics charge will only further exclude poor and minority students.
State Rep. Erik Fresen, the Miami Republican who chairs the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee, said the program is unbiased and based only on the merit of individual students.
Bright Futures, from its inception, has always been race, gender and creed blind, he said. Whoever reaches the highest GPA and SAT scores receives the scholarship.
But the recent changes appear to have jump-started a dormant probe many thought defunct, including the testing expert who helped launch it 12 years ago. The Office for Civil Rights would discuss few details of its ongoing investigation but acknowledged that it requested information about Bright Futures last year from some Florida school districts, including Miami-Dade.
(Excerpt) Read more at miamiherald.com ...
Fine. No more scholarships for anyone. If they don’t like academic scholarships for high academic achievement, then they need to eliminate ALL scholar ships including those that reward athletic achievement. No more government grants either.
My daughter busted her behind keeping her grades excellent and volunteering 100’s of hours of community service to qualify. Sounds like the gemedats want some “pie”.
maybe white affluent applicants are the only ones who applied, ever thought of that
We know what the solution will be-lower the standards, have a two-tier system (lower for “minorities).
Including GPAs already biases it toward minorities, who tend to have a lower level of competition for grades in their schools.
If it were really merit based, it would be based straight on the SATs—or adjusted according to the average SAT scores at individual schools.
Oh, and students who score below 1170 on the SAT probably ought to be commuter students to a community college anyway.
Yep—that kind of tough love for the current college racket would more schools ‘affordable’ in a hurry.
Right, there is always the option to create a sliding scale system based on geography.
New Jersey has(had?) a similar scholarship program ( Bloustein Distinguished Scholarships) that gave scholarships to students who graduated in the top 5% of their class, so while the kids coming out as top 5% of Newark public schools were probably not as prepared for college as kids coming out of tony suburban high schools, it still spread the scholarship pie out amongst the state’s entire graduating senior class each year. It promotes the futures for a wide range of success stories, across all the socio-economic strata in New Jersey’s highly diverse population.
And the SAT and ACT are most definitely not merit based. Never have been, never will.
The SAT and ACT were designed to be merit based and are still the most equal and fair measures we have.
Show me the offended party! Show me the minority student who applied and was denied when a privileged white student got the award over the minority. Until such time dont bother me with statistics. Better use of your time would be to find and help minority students improve their grades.
Florida lawmakers chose to significantly raise qualifying test marks from a minimum of 970 three years ago to 1170 now on the SAT. The average Florida combined SAT score was about 982 last year.
Her students come out with higher test scores and better grasp on prepping and taking tests, but SAT scores are a very weak predictor of undergraduate performance in students who had private quality tutors to prep for the tests to get them into schools one notch above where they would have been accepted otherwise... So where is the merit on display?
Students taking multiple tests tend to test higher on subsequent tests no matter the coaching. It’s actually been shown that supposedly disadvantaged students receive coaching more often than those with wealthier parents.
And, of course, any student can go to the local library and study up on his or her own.
But even overlooking all of that, the FL standard is low enough, even with revision, to be giving scholarships to students who more appropriately should be taking remedial community college classes. And, if the SAT is imperfect, it is still by far the most even measure we have.
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