Friday, June 22, 2018

Australia: A new/old route to university enrolment

The ATAR is nationally-based evaluation of High School achievement.  It is a percentile score given between "less than 30" up to 99.95 (in a minimum increment of 0.05) which denotes a student's ranking relative to their peers upon completion of their secondary education. For example, an ATAR score of 99.0 means that the student performed better than 99% of their peers. 

The True Reward program admits students to Western Sydney University, a "new" university.  It considers students based on their HSC score, not their ATAR. It appears to be a less scientific evaluation of High School Performance, much like old-time reliance on unweighted exam results

Knowing he was doing his best, Shawcross felt confident he would perform well in his exams, particularly those for the subjects he was most passionate about – legal studies and history – but not entirely sure he would attain the ATAR score needed for the degree he really wanted: the Bachelor of Policing (Leadership Program) at Western Sydney University (WSU). WSU is the only university in metropolitan Sydney to offer the degree.

To give himself the best chance of fulfilling his ambitions, Shawcross applied for a place under WSU’s True Reward initiative, an early offer program that considers students on the basis of their HSC score rather than their ATAR. The program is unique in NSW and generated more than 1900 student enrolments in 2018, its inaugural year.

“The ATAR scaling process can be confusing and not always a true reflection of students’ performance in individual HSC subjects,” says Angelo Kourtis, vice president (people and advancement) at WSU.

“As a result, we believe talented and capable students are missing out on receiving an offer to the degree of their choice. At Western Sydney University we believe in the unlimited potential of every student and the importance of rewarding hard work. In our opinion, the current ATAR scaling system does not support this broadly enough.”

Kourtis says the True Reward program has been in development for a number of years. The university looked closely at its current students to determine the link between their performance at university and the related subjects in the HSC. It conducted a comprehensive analysis of students who maintain a grade point average necessary to successfully complete their degree, correlating this with subject band performance in the HSC.

“Our early offer program not only gives HSC students the chance to plan their futures early, but also considers the results that truly matter. We believe this is the first step towards a more transparent entry system that will set more young people on the path to success, and the future they have worked hard for and deserve,” Kourtis says.

Shawcross won the place he wanted on the basis of his HSC achievements: Band 6s for his strongest subjects: legal studies, ancient history, modern history and studies of religion, and Band 5s “for all the rest”.

Shawcross is now at the end of his first semester and looking forward to exploring his future career options. “I have always wanted to do something that involved the legal system,” he says. “And in policing, there are a lot of different avenues you can go down.

“I’m not exactly sure which area of policing I want to go into yet, riot squad or bomb squad or tactical response or even prosecution. The paths are all very interesting.”


MS-13 gang presence at a public school: William Wirt Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland

For some reason, The Washington Post recently ran an article on something important: the MS-13 gang presence at a public school on the outskirts of our nation’s capital, William Wirt Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The media’s usual approach to the diversity being inflicted on us is: Don’t report this! It’s better if no one knows.

Maybe the left has decided it’s too late to do anything about the transformation of our country into a Third World hellhole, and Trump couldn’t stop it even if he wanted to.

The Post reported that, like many schools up and down the East Coast, MS-13 has turned Wirt into a battleground. There have been near-daily gang fights, rampant drug dealing, one reported rape, gang signs on the walls, one shooting — more in nearby schools — and teachers afraid to be alone with their students.

At least two students are required to have security officers assigned to them, walking them from class to class and watching them during lunch hour, on account of MS-13 threatening to kill them.

How many different categories of immigrants require special law enforcement officers devoted to them? Thanks to mass Muslim immigration, the FBI has terrorist watch lists in ALL 50 STATES.

That’s why whenever there’s a terrorist attack, the FBI says, Oh yeah, we were watching that guy. And now we have police bodyguards for kids at schools wherever “unaccompanied minors” have been dumped by our government.

In addition to the free school lunches, transportation, housing and health care to pay for all this wonderful diversity, immigrants are also massively ratcheting up law enforcement costs.

It would be enraging enough if bad things were happening to our country and the immigrants were paying for it. But we’re paying for it. Wait — you are offering to bring gang warfare, drug cartels and terrorism? We’ll go top dollar for that! Put your wallet away! Your money’s no good here!


Women ahead in STEM

A new study released Monday from the American Enterprise Institute hammers liberal talking points that men dominate the various fields of STEM.

According to Mark J. Perry who analyzed college graduation rates in 2016, women earned over 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, setting a 25.6-percent gender gap against men.

“There were 134 women graduating from college [in 2016] for every 100 men,” Perry said, citing U.S. Department of Education data.

But particularly in several STEM fields, women are even further ahead, earning around 60 percent of biology degrees.

“If you count just biology, mathematics, and physical sciences (e.g., chemistry, physics, etc.) women earn a majority (53 percent) of those of those STEM degrees,” Perry said. “It’s really only when you include engineering and computer science that men have an overall majority of STEM degrees.”

Perry noted the upward trend of women earning the majority of bachelor’s degrees in the U.S., which began in 1982: “Women now have an uninterrupted 35-year record.”

And while data is not yet available on specific fields for 2017, the DOE reports that women earned 57.3 percent of all bachelor’s degrees that year.

Other fields where women earned the majority of degrees include family and consumer sciences (88.3 percent), social services (82.5 percent), agriculture (52.4 percent).


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