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Old 05-23-2010, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,039,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
What was your math level? Have you completed Algebra II or pre cal in middle school, or at least Algebra and Geometry? Was your science fair project a hard science or engineering? Did you win the overall Science Fair or win in your division? Which programming languages do you know? Do you build and program your computers? What have you done that indicates a passion for engineering, math or science?
I know a lot of kids who recently went to TJ and who did none of those things. Basically they aced the test.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:20 PM
 
6 posts, read 16,380 times
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[quote=JEB77;14300236]

I'd offer the following comments or observations:

4. These trends have been accompanied by changes in the qualifications of the applicant pool - toward more, not less, rigorous Math courses. In 2005, 55.8% of the admitted freshmen had only taken Algebra 1; this spring, only 20.6% had only taken Algebra 1, and the remainder had all taken Geometry or more advanced courses. So, if some have posited, TJ is becoming an elite school for those who aspire to law or business careers, these students surely have to demonstrate their mathematical ability first.

JEB77,

The main and perhaps sole reason why more students admitted to TJ have completed geometry in middle school is because FCPS has dramatically increased the percentage of students it is allowing to take Algebra 1 in 7th grade and Geometry in 8th grade.

Back in 2004-05, under 3% of 8th grade students were allowed to take geometry. That was the last year of a three-year period when FCPS central staff were trying to eliminate the ability of kids to take Algebra 1 in 7th grade. Consequently, plenty of strong math students in FCPS applied to TJ who had only taken Algebra 1 in 8th grade, back in 2004-05.

Today, over 10% - maybe even 12% - of the FCPS 8th graders take Geometry or Algebra 2/Trig. That's because FCPS changed the requirements for kids to take Algebra 1 in 7th grade. With that change, the only question is why 20% of the admitted students had only taken Algebra 1. Perhaps it's largely the students from private schools, many of which still want all their students to wait until 8th grade to take Algebra 1.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:32 AM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,122,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I know a lot of kids who recently went to TJ and who did none of those things. Basically they aced the test.
Ok, while I doubt that is all true, the poster who I was addressing had not done well on the test. Acing the test, getting all the answers or only missing one or two, helps tremendously, assuming the grades are decent enough.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:48 AM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,122,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffy62 View Post
It seems that this issue comes up EVERY YEAR after the admission data is released. I don't understand why the racial make-up of the school is such a big issue -- if the students in question weren't Asian -- would it be such a big deal???? If the issue was reverse, not enough Asian students but a majority of black/hispanic/white students -- would it be an issue? I don't think so

Since TJ is a "math and science" school -- I have always felt that it should be strictly based on the test score only.
No, too few Asians is never a problem. Too few Blacks is the problem. Hispanics too, secondary to Blacks. It's all about the administrations views on race. It's VERY important to them. VERY.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Unlikely as Asian families generally don't encourage involvement in group or community activities to the same extent as other groups. This is a major complaint about the Asian community here. They seem to make little to no effort to involve themselves in civic affairs or with charities outside of their own ethnic communities.

Has a study been done of what became of kids who went to TJ versus other FFX County high schools? Would be interesting to see how many of the white TJ kids really went on to math or science related college programs and careers. There should at least be some data on which colleges they went to.
First, nearly all the Asians are involved in sports, often tennis, track, and baseball. A few play basketball and football. Most are also in the Orchestra. Asian students usually play piano and a stringed instrument.

Just knowing the college does not tell you if the student majored in physics or French Lit or engineering. TJ will never look for data on what the students majored in because most girls do not major in math, engineering, or science, with bio-something being the exception. Some girls do major in bio-medics or biology or marine-biology. The major of girls who graduate from TJ do not major in math, science, technology or engineering, as do most of the boys. For that reason alone the administration will not look for data on what TJ kids do in college.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:48 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,624,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
First, nearly all the Asians are involved in sports, often tennis, track, and baseball. A few play basketball and football. Most are also in the Orchestra. Asian students usually play piano and a stringed instrument.
That doesn't seem to be the case this year. For example, of the roughly three dozen boys on the TJ JV and Varsity baseball teams, maybe 2-3 are Asian. On the other hand, many of the members of TJ's top-ranked tennis teams are Asian.

I've discussed this with a couple whose son currently attends TJ and has been on several sports teams. Their impression was that many of the Asian families only want their children on teams if they are sure to play and distinguish themselves. It's viewed as a waste of time to be on a team but not get a lot of playing time. For whatever reason, it's apparently more of an issue with the boys than the girls.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:43 PM
 
257 posts, read 498,883 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Unfortunately that's not really true. Most upper middle class white kids realize that business and law pay a heck of a lot more than science and math careers (even in medicine) and are socialized by their families to go those routes.
Well, if you scratch the surface of the issue, I think you might see that the issue isn't quite so clear.

First, if you google "top paying careers" the options frequently mentioned are various medical specialties that require an MD.

Second, if you restrict your criteria to "bachelor's degree only" many of the top paying fields are all math, engineering, or computer science based. Those that you listed generally require some sort of post-undergraduate study to get anyway. You won't get anywhere with a BBA or "pre-law" degree. You will get places with a math, engineering, or comp sci degree.

Third, one really needs to compare the median incomes with many of these fields. The legal jobs that pay "a heck of a lot more" aren't just hanging out there for anybody who wants them. You need to come out of a top law school with a top GPA, and even then, the hours required are insane. Sure, making $120k right out of the gate is great, but if that's $120k in Manhattan and you're working 80 hours per week to get that much, well then maybe it's not so great. If the definition of "business" is an MBA, well, getting one is no guarantee of anything. So, like law, to get that MBA to really pay the big bucks, you need to go to a top school with a top GPA... On the flip side, it's not hard to make a solid income with a math degree... and the quality of life is much better to boot.

...coming from a math major who is happy he didn't take on $100k in law school debt.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:24 AM
 
320 posts, read 613,535 times
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This was posted on the TJ site:

<<All semifinalists then were evaluated for admission based on consideration of the following parts of the final application packet (weighting for each included in parentheses):
  1. Essays (Average of two) (25%);
  2. Student Information Sheet (20%);
  3. Teacher Recommendations (Average of two) (20%);
  4. Math portion of the Admissions Test (20%); and
  5. 7th and 8th grade Math and Science Grade Point Average (15%).
No other materials were considered for any applicant.
The student’s essays, student information sheet, and teacher recommendations were reviewed in three separate evaluation processes. In each of these separate processes, all semifinalists were randomly assigned to a team of two trained educators who independently evaluated the materials using rubrics designed specifically for that evaluation. A third reader was available to review materials, when necessary, and final ratings then were based on the two highest scores given to the applicant.
Once all review processes were completed, the final evaluations of the components listed above were weighted, as described above, to identify the 480 strongest applicants. Those students were offered admission to the Class of 2014. >>
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:45 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,046,748 times
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Interesting.
But the students who made it to the semifinal phase had good grades and test scores. My guess is that the teacher recommendations correlate strongly with the numbers -- teachers tend to be enthusiastic about the students who perform well in their classes. Essays written by 14 year olds in non-controlled conditions will reflect a heavy amount of parental or teacher influence, so not sure that they will be particularly revealing, especially if they are relatively short. The student information sheet probably looked very similar for many students -- they love science and math, their most important accomplishment was winning the 6th grade science fair or a math contest, etc. The kids with driven parents know exactly what the admissions folks want to see here, and they will make sure to provide it.
So it looks to me as though the process is largely driven by the numbers, as perhaps is inevitable with so many applicants whose age has given them little opportunity to demonstrate their potential or ability other than by grades and test scores. I still think that they could skip this time-consuming exercise and make random choices from the semifinalist pool.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,039,871 times
Reputation: 6824
One wonders if it turns into a mostly Asian academy whether it will lose its appeal to kids in the other groups. I can imagine a lot of them resisting their parents' attempts to make them go there.
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