I feared this would become personal. Tempting though it is to rebut your arguments tit for tat I am not sure it will necessarily be productive. If necessary I will, though I prefer to look past your anger which now seems aimed directly at me.
Let’s back up and look at the assumptions underlying this program. The first is that minority students are not getting adequate preparation in their home schools. You assert that this is true in the well-staffed, well-funded Madison school district because of institutional racism. You believe your visual review of a school proves your point. That’s not particularily strong evidence. This isn’t about ability but preparation and motivation. West is tough on all kids, just for the record. (And for the commenter below who mentioned that a kid with a 3.6 from West might not be in the top 10%, you’re exactly right–one B in four years and you’re out of the top 5%, two B’s and you’re out of the top 10%, historically anyway. But then what does that say for the student with a 2.75 at West who can get into UW through the PEOPLE program?)
Here is why I commented. What troubles me is whether this will be a fruitful program or just a bandaid, which is why I expressed the hope that this was designed in a way to measure genuine success as defined by actually graduating from college.This is assumption number one, that this program is not just about getting minority students on campus but actually successfully graduating. And I don’t think it out of line to then ask whether it is a cost-effective program.
But more important, at least what could be gleaned from the story, it sounds to me like UW alters its admission requirements for those who attend faithfully the PEOPLE program. I have a big problem with a different set of rules for those participating in a program not open to all students.
As I said in my first post, I had first-hand experience tutoring minority students from Milwaukee. They clearly needed the kind of advance preparation this program offers. Thus, I am not opposed to a summer program, but I have serious questions about bending the admission rules. Moreover, it is beyond me how someone could successfully attend and graduate from UW with such low admission scores. I say that as someone from a blue-collar family who was a Wisconsin honor scholar, Phi Beta Kappa/honors undergrad, UW MS (teaching assistant) and UW law degree, (to succumb for a moment to a tit for tat.)
I am also here to tell you that my children did not for the most part feel supported in MMSD. Welcome to the club, in other words. However, they did have the advantage of an intact, financially secure family, college-educated parents and alot of opportunities low-income kids miss out on. So let me repeat that I’m not opposed to offering college prep classes to kids who need it. But I still think they need to meet the same standards at the end of the day. Otherwise, we may as well gift them with a college diploma, skip the four/five year investment of time and energy, and just strip away the facade that this is supposed to be about advanced education.