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J.B. Schramm Calls For National Yardstick To Measure College Enrollment and Retention

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J.B. Schramm Calls For National Yardstick To Measure College Enrollment and Retention

Washington, D.C., May 7 - Ashoka Fellow J.B. Schramm, who is helping students from economically depressed areas to enter college, recently called for a national yardstick by which to measure how well colleges enroll and retain poor youngsters. "We are seeing increasing national interest in this idea, which would make an enormous difference in college access and equity," said JB.

At present, standardized scores are used to determine a college's ranking. This puts most poor kids who are high potential, but mid-tier students at a disadvantage. While Admissions Deans want to enroll such students, they know that Bs and Cs and mediocre SAT scores will give the college a lower rank. In an Op-Ed piece published in The Miami Herald, J.B. writes, "It's time to refocus college rankings to credit institutions for how well they educate, not how well they recruit. Such a shift in the measurement of college success would help schools focus more on their true mission." There are some signs that this is picking up. "Governor Jeb Bush has pushed for tracking high school students' college enrollment as a means of measuring school success. Florida's Talented 20 Program guarantees freshman spots to the top students in every high school, irrespective of standardized scores. The University of California is considering eliminating the SAT in favor of a more holistic review of freshman candidates. And earlier this month, the College Board called for a revamped SAT to more comprehensively measure student strengths."

Read To Serve Students Better, Change College Rankings

To read about J.B. Schramm's work please visit his Ashoka profile.