"oh, but we used a college book in my high school calculus class, and I got an "A"" is a common lament from those who struggle and fail in their college calculus classes. So, what is going on here? Answer: grade inflation
Many students are getting very good grades. So many, in fact, it is getting harder and harder for colleges to use grades as a measuring stick for applicants.
Extra credit for AP courses, parental lobbying and genuine hard work by the most competitive students have combined to shatter any semblance of a Bell curve, one in which 'A's are reserved only for the very best. For example, of the 47,317 applications the University of California, Los Angeles, received for this fall's freshman class, nearly 21,000 had GPAs of 4.0 or above.
That's also making it harder for the most selective colleges — who often call grades the single most important factor in admissions — to join in a growing movement to lessen the influence of standardized tests.
"We're seeing 30, 40 valedictorians at a high school because they don't want to create these distinctions between students," said Jess Lord, dean of admission and financial aid at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. "If we don't have enough information, there's a chance we'll become more heavily reliant on test scores, and that's a real negative to me."
Standardized tests have endured a heap of bad publicity lately, with the SAT raising anger about its expanded length and recent scoring problems. A number of schools have stopped requiring tests scores, to much fanfare.
But lost in the developments is the fact that none of the most selective colleges have dropped the tests. In fact, a national survey shows overall reliance on test scores is higher in admissions than it was a decade ago.
"It's the only thing we have to evaluate students that will help us" tell how they compare to each other, said Lee Stetson, dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania.
Grade inflation is hard to measure, and experts caution numbers are often misleading because standards and scales vary so widely. Different practices of "weighting" GPAs for AP work also play havoc. Still, the trend seems to be showing itself in a variety of ways.
The average high school GPA increased from 2.68 to 2.94 between 1990 and 2000, according to a federal study. Almost 23 percent of college freshmen in 2005 reported their average grade in high school was an A or better, according to a national survey by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute. In 1975, the percentage was about half that.
GPAs reported by students on surveys when they take the SAT and ACT exams have also risen — and faster than their scores on those tests. That suggests their classroom grades aren't rising just because students are getting smarter. Not surprisingly, the test-owners say grade inflation shows why testing should be kept: It gives all students an equal chance to shine.
The problems associated with grade inflation aren't limited to elite college applicants.[...]
More than 70 percent of schools and districts analyzed by an education audit company called SchoolMatch had average GPAs significantly higher than they should have been based on their standardized test scores — including the school systems in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, San Bernardino, Calif., and Columbus, Ohio. That raises concerns about students graduating from those schools unprepared for college.
"They get mixed in with students from more rigorous schools and they just get blown away," said SchoolMatch CEO William Bainbridge.
But the colleges most popular with Edina students already know how strong the school is: Students' median verbal and math SAT scores are 1170 out of 1600.
Hicks isn't willing to blame the concentration of grades at the top on spineless teachers, or on grade-grubbing by parents and students. Expectations are high, and grades are based on student mastery of the material, not a curve. Wherever teachers place the bar for an A, the students clear it.
"Everyone here is, like, 'if I can get an 98 why would I get a 93?'" said Lavanya Srinivasan, who was ranked third in her Edina class last year. Far from being pushovers, she says, Edina teachers are tougher than those in a course she took at Harvard last summer.
Zalasky agrees the students work hard for their high grades.
"The mentality of this school is, if you're not getting straight A's you're not doing well," he said. "There's just so much pressure on us day in and day out to get straight A's that everybody does."
So, what is going on?
Basically, I think that the answer is this: too many people associate "hard work" with quantity. And too many are afraid to make assignments/exam problems that require cleverness and ability to do.
In other words, in a properly designed exam, not everyone will be able to get an A, no matter how hard they try
But that stikes some as being "unfair".
Perhaps this is why I am so drawn toward athletics. When the gun goes off, you start running (or walking, or swimming, or cycling), and the winners are clear cut. When two teams play, the result is clear.
I wish it were more so in academia, at least at the lower divisions.
Yoga and Lap Dancing
I often visit the yoga.com message boards. I was a bit surprised to find the following thread there:http://www.yoga.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=22961&posts=20
Good Lord- what do you all think of this -
I found another yoga center in the town next to me, went to check it out, they have the usual yoga, pilates blah blah - but they also have a "learn how to be a stripper/lap dance" class - not just a one time "seminar", but a weekly thing.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am NOT a prude, I was a stripper myself for 13 years...but lap dancing being taught at a yoga center?? Is it just me or is that kind of against the whole...the whole...I don't know, the whole scheme of things. It just turned me off.
There were the usual "oh, I want to see that!" type of posts (I made one) and some "that isn't compatible with the spiritual aspects of yoga" posts as well.
The original poster made an interesting comment:
Ok, as a former stripper, let me say that strippers as a whole are lost souls - yes, there are always those that are "paying their way thru college" or saving up to "start their own business" but let me tell you from experience, those types are few and far between. The lifestyle is rampant with drugs, alcohol, and low self esteem. As far as it being an ego boost to have all those men lusting at you, I wish every stripper had ears good enough to hear from the stage what these men are actually saying about them. - it is neither flattering or positive in any way. It is degrading. I found this out when I stopped dancing and just started bartending in gogo bars, and could overhear most of the conversation amoung the customers.
In order to do that kind of work and do it well and survive emotionally at the same time, you MUST be able to turn yourself off and become a sort of robot. This is not a healthy way to be. Maybe some of you will argue that alot of jobs or situations in life could be that way, but when you are selling sex or even just your sexuality, it is different. I met a few women in the business who had no problem at all with the work, who didn't need to seperate themselves from it, who didn't need 3 shots of Cuervo and a few beers to look like they were actually enjoying themselves, and let me tell you - those women were scary!!
I think that it is my feelings about the ugliness I saw and experienced in that business that made me have such a strong reaction to seeing this class offered at this particular studio. I also understand it is my choice not to go there. The classes being offered are not for strippers but for housewives or women who otherwise want to be more entertaining in the bedroom. And I have no problem with that - you have to keep sex interesting, and men are visual creatures - plus, the stripping etc can be fun for the female too, so I say go for it....but NOT in a yoga center. Not sure who mentioned in an earlier post about purity, but that word hits it right on the head with me. I want to go to my yoga classes, walk in the door and take a deep breath of all that yoga is to me now, and immerse myself in it. I feel anything outside of that would be a distraction to me in such a place.
Well said. I admit that when I visited the red light district of Amsterdam (a quick walk through), I felt no joy. Instead I felt pain for the ladies.
I admit that I have a somewhat negative reaction.
Of course, I like seeing physically fit women doing stretches. But this type of stuff strikes me as a "hey, look at how enlightened I am; I can take an erotic dancing class".
There is nothing wrong with that, but it isn't the kind of place where I would go to learn yoga. I would rather any sexual thoughts that pop into my head be a very small, subtle part of the experience rather than the focus of it.
But, a quick google search produced many such places:http://www.coursejunction.com/course_detail.cfm/id/12618
|ourse Cost: || $89.00 || || || |
| Course Name: || |
Stripping Workouts/Striptease Lessons & Lap Dancing Classes
Exotic dancing is much more than dancing sexy. Come gain the confidence to express your authentic self. This class is about you finding you. It’s learning how to reach deep within yourself to find your inner beauty and grace and combine these into sensual movements that only you can express.
The non-intimidating style of the class helps you to overcome inhibitions and fosters your confidence and self-expression. All of our instructors are trained to create an environment that is supportive, not competitive.
This class will empower you to:
-Experience the benefits of a confident walk -Create an immediate impression as you enter a room -Project your intentions through body language. -Send and receive nonverbal messages through eye contact -Explore your self expression and be more spontaneous -Attract others to you -Overcome inhibitions and feel beautiful -Feel powerful and free
Dress comfortably in workout gear as your basic outfit and bring an oversized button down shirt and a pair of heels.
**There is no nudity in any of our classes.** The Art of Exotic Dancing Workout is Four 1 hour classes. $80 The Core Workshop I is three hours in length. $89.00 The Core Workshop II is 2 hours in length. $89 Chair Moves is 2 hours in length. $89
Due to the sellout nature of our classes, pre-registration is required. Change and cancellation fees may apply.
“By taking the class, I realized what I had was exceptional. I learned whatever I am or have isn’t right or wrong…it’s mine and is to be celebrated and cherished. No matter what we look like, what we do or how long we’ve been on this Earth, we are extraordinary women with great things to offer the world. We learned to hold our heads high, walk with confidence and with that people would watch us in a new way. Seduction, through dance, was amazingly fun, but we learned the power of our confidence was far more seductive.”
- Molly, Age 41 Mother of 4, Wife
| Instructor(s): || |
Karen Cooper, Laura Klekar, Clarissa Pierro, Rachel Sand AOED Instructors are Everyday Women
Rachel Sand, Dallas hails from Philadelphia. She was the star instructor in the Northeast and brings her enthusiam to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Rachel is in the corporate sector working in downtown Dallas. She previously was a recruiter for a catholic college in Philadelphia.
Laura Klekar, Ft. Worth-Laura is a scientist who has made a huge impact in the Ft. Worth area. She has been an inpiration to many of her friends and now the dance community.
Karen Cooper, Irving/Southlake – AOED Instructor, 20+ yrs ballet experience, Leader in the Dallas dance community, Entrepreneur
Clarissa Pierro, Dallas/Rockwall – AOED Master Instructor, Art of Exotic Dancing Licensee, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur
| Course Provider: || |
The Art of Exotic Dancing for Everyday Women In 1998, two dozen women took the first AOED class and a phenomenon was launched. In just a few short years, tens of thousands of women have taken the course, purchased the video and read the book. Our class attracts women of all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities – the commonality is that each is seeking to unlock a realm inside. We are always happy to share our story and introduce you to the women who have taken the class. The instructors and students, diverse in ethnicity, age, size, shape, and local, are part of the vibrant community of women that are attending transformative workshops, Bachelorette parties, private retreats, private lessons, and other special events. The classes and workshops happen every month in each city, since 1998 and continue to explode throughout the U.S. and U.K. Run by Everyday Women for Everyday Women.
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