Date: Nov 19, 2012 3:21 PM
Author: Dave L. Renfro
Subject: Re: Diversity Complaint against TJHSST

Robert Hansen wrote:

http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7925046

> Here is a piece by a former student and student body president
> of TJHSST ...


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/being-a-minority-at-americas-best-high-school/2012/08/14/f3c54fd0-e323-11e1-98e7-89d659f9c106_blog.html

> She is a minority with a disability and not very good at math.
> I am certain that it is the last item in that list that puzzles us.
> TJHSST is about math and science and not being very good in math
> and wanting to go to TJHSST is like not being very good in music
> and wanting to go to Juilliard.


[snip]

> Anita's final destination - she is majoring in English at
> Portland State University.


The following comes from the newspaper article/blog:

** I was a National Merit Semifinalist, graduated with a
** 3.14 GPA (yes, that's pi) and scored the equivalent of
** 1510 on the old version of the SAT.

Unless they're giving National Merit Semifinalist awards
and SAT scores away like candy during Halloween, this is
well within the top 1% of high school students and it's quite
an accomplishment for anyone, ESPECIALLY someone who is not
very good in math.

In fact, even with an 800 SAT verbal score, she would still
have had to score 710 on the SAT math, which while not anything
to write home about for mathy kids, it's still higher than
probably the majority of engineering majors at most major
U.S. universities. In fact, I think I might have scored 710
myself when I took the PSAT (I don't remember for sure right
now; however, at the time I had also worked through a 3-semester
calculus text on my own and had gotten college credit for the
entire calculus sequence through credit by exam), although I
had a weakness for geometry that I managed to overcome somewhat
when it came time to take the SAT for real.

I can only imagine she's at Portland State University because
they offered her a full ride and/or PSU is very strong in what
she wanted to study.

The 3.14 GPA doesn't mean anything to me, by the way, due to
the great variability of grading from teacher to teacher, let
alone from high school to high school. On the other hand,
a 1510 SAT score was probably achieved maybe once every 4-6 years
at my high school (graduating classes of about 120 each year),
and we had some students who did extremely well in college and
beyond. For instance, I think the highest SAT score in my high
school graduating class was 1330, and the person who got this
wound up majoring in both math and psychology, doing so with
a 4.0 average in 7 semesters (for personal reasons, he left
college for a semester, but still managed to graduate on time),
and was hired as a systems analyst right after graduation.

Dave L. Renfro