Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bill would put Regents in charge of college admission standards

A Kansas University student makes his way toward the dorms on Daisy Hill in this file photo.

A Kansas University student makes his way toward the dorms on Daisy Hill in this file photo.

February 12, 2009

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— Several legislators Thursday expressed apprehension about a bill that would put the Kansas Board of Regents in charge of admissions standards at state universities, including Kansas University.

The current admissions standards were set in state law by the Kansas Legislature and governor in 1996.

State Rep. Deena Horst, R-Salina, said if the regents were in charge, she feared a situation where “KU could be the Harvard of Kansas and Emporia (State University) might be lower on the totem pole.”

But Regent Gary Sherrer, who led a task force on admissions policies, said if the regents tried to do that, the political reality is that the Legislature would stop it.

Sherrer argued in favor of House Bill 2197, saying the regents, in charge of higher education, should be the body that has the responsibility for setting admissions standards.

He said the higher education system would be much more efficient and responsive to changes in academics if the regents could set those standards.

The measure would allow the regents to establish admission standards that could be different for each university in accordance with each institution’s educational mission.

If the standards are more rigorous than those in current law, they would not go into effect before the 2014-2015 academic year.

The House Higher Education Committee is expected to vote on the bill Monday.

Currently in Kansas, students may be admitted to a regents university if they have graduated from an accredited high school and have either an ACT score of 21, rank in the top third of their high school class or earn at least a 2.0 grade-point average on a prescribed curriculum.

KU has been pushing for a change in admission standards, saying the existing ones are too lenient and outdated.

Some members of the Higher Education committee said they favored giving the regents more authority.

State Rep. Shirley Palmer, D-Fort Scott, said the regents stay on top of higher education issues and should be the ones making decisions about admissions standards.

Comments

fearsadness14 6 years, 6 months ago

Getting a 2.0 in high school is a joke. This needs to be raised tremendously for there to be any hope of the younger generations competing with the developing educational powerhouses in Europe.

konzahawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Deena, In case you haven't noticed. KU is already the Harvard of Kansas and Emporia IS lower on the totem pole. This bill needed to pass about 20 years ago.

There are far too many politicians trying to "dumb down" KU to the rest of the regent schools. As a result, there are far too many "students" at KU who don't belong. They flunk out after a year, wasting both the taxpayers' and their parents' money.

deskboy04 6 years, 6 months ago

I think that admission should be open to anyone who graduates from a Kansas high school. KU wants to have high standards for admission, but they don't care how smart we are when it comes to sending them our tax dollars.

Sigmund 6 years, 6 months ago

KU wants to be Harvard? That is laughable! Go ahead take it private and not a single tax dollar more and see how long that lasts. KU is a first rate Basketball/Party school, a second rate undergraduate school, and a third rate research school. How many KU students end up going to JCCC so they can be taught Algebra by someone who speaks and understands English.

gccs14r 6 years, 6 months ago

The problem is students who need to take Algebra in college. They should have had at least a year of Calculus in high school, not to mention Chemistry, Physics, Philosophy, four years of at least one foreign language, a grounding in classic literature, and a reasonable treatment of world history. Kids who don't have that level of prep need to spend some time in a community college before trying to enter a four-year program at a full university.

Omegatron 6 years, 6 months ago

"Currently in Kansas, students may be admitted to a regents university if they have graduated from an accredited high school and have either an ACT score of 21, rank in the top third of their high school class or earn at least a 2.0 grade-point average on a prescribed curriculum."

Unless they are willing to change the entire educational system, this shouldn't change because education is uneven throughout the state and the entire country for that matter.

Poor districts cannot properly educate children to the same standards that the wealthy districts can. That's been proven time and time again.

If they want a rich kid only school, build it, leave KU open to the public.

gccs14r 6 years, 6 months ago

Raising Regents system standards will force the K-12 system to raise theirs.

boltzmann 6 years, 6 months ago

I think that many of the people on this board are missing the point. Just because you pay taxes into a university system doesn't mean that your kid has the right to go to any university in that system independent of their own lack of ability - they should be able to go to some unit in the system. To make all universities have equal admission requirements is extremely inefficient and detrimental to the educational mission and economic health of the state.

Many 18 year old's simply do not have the maturity (even if they have the ability) to function in a research I university environment, such as K-state or KU. It is better for the students, the state and the tax payers to have them go to another university, such as Fort Hays or Emporia - or even one of the very good community colleges that we have - to develop that emotional maturity and demonstrate ability for a couple of years. If they do that then transfer to KU or K-State is warranted.

Having a student, who lacks maturity and is unprepared, go to KU or K-State and flunk out in the first year is a waste of the students, parents and taxpayers money. There are better ways. One problem the lack of rational entrance requirements causes is that it also shortchanges the students at KU and K-State who are able, prepared and mature because professors in introductory classes often have to teach to the bottom 30%, with the result of boring the rest to tears.

Peetro1981 6 years, 6 months ago

Life isn't fair - this new mentality of level playing field and "everyone wins" is ludacrist and why we are seeing of generation of kids that don't want to work for anything and expect to be given more than they earn.

There is no way all universities should have the same admissions standards. There is reason we have a variety of higher education institutions and a reason hundreds of kids drop out of schools that they aren't ready for yet.

aequitas 6 years, 6 months ago

Sigmund - care to provide any evidence to support your statements?

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 6 months ago

"Sigmund (Anonymous) says… KU wants to be Harvard? That is laughable! Go ahead take it private and not a single tax dollar more and see how long that lasts. KU is a first rate Basketball/Party school, a second rate undergraduate school, and a third rate research school. How many KU students end up going to JCCC so they can be taught Algebra by someone who speaks and understands English."

So you mean Algebra = English? Algebra should be taught in Arabic in the first place if you insist that someone has to speak perfect English (with American Accent) to teach Algebra. I bet your "speaks and understands" English mean that our students are too stupid to understand accents from another country. If this is your only language, better get to learn how other accents sound like. Every country has an accent, including the United States of America... we call that American accent.

lesleydiane 6 years, 6 months ago

Anyone expecting a decent education from a state university is in for disappointment based on the current standards.

valgrlku 6 years, 6 months ago

I remember all too well my freshman year there, nearly twenty years ago. I graduated from a very small rural Kansas town where the high school did not offer advanced math courses such as calculus. I struggled a bit my freshman year, due not only to demanding coursework (which included "teaching" myself Algebra, a course to which I was assigned based on the ACT which tests students on advanced math to which I had never been exposed) but to the adjustment to life away from home. With perseverance and hard work, I was able to graduate. Of course, I couldn't get a "real job" with that B.A., so...

George_Braziller 6 years, 6 months ago

My high school didn't even offer the option of taking a foreign language but I agree that it should be required. Trying to learn one from scratch when you are 20+ years old is horrible. I went through it and had to take 16 hours to meet my degree requirements. It just about killed me.

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… The problem is students who need to take Algebra in college. They should have had at least a year of Calculus in high school, not to mention Chemistry, Physics, Philosophy, four years of at least one foreign language, a grounding in classic literature, and a reasonable treatment of world history. Kids who don't have that level of prep need to spend some time in a community college before trying to enter a four-year program at a full university.

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