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January 20, 2014

"UNC Officials Lash Out at Academic Fraud Whistleblower"

In case you haven't been keeping up with what the nice Liberals at UNC-Chapel Hill have been doing to a lady whistleblower--"war on women," indeed--this article concisely relates the hugely discouraging story.

(If the former head of the African-American Studies department ever tells his side of the story, I predict there will be big, bad news for Chapel Hill. But, unfortunately, I also predict that one way or the other, he will not tell his story.)

The most recent developments are here. Pretty bizarre.

At the faculty council meeting Friday, UNC Provost Jim Dean said News & Observer staff writer Dan Kane misquoted him in a story on the controversy in Saturday’s paper. He also said that Kane did not respond to his request for a correction.

Misquoting and failure to respond to a request for a correction? Serious charges, no? But the next sentence is this:

After the meeting, Dean admitted that no one at UNC contacted The N&O to seek a correction. 

As they say in my neck of the woods, WTF? As to the claim of misquoting: for now, I'd bet heavily on the newspaper. 

But wait . . . there's more. The controversy is over whether some athletes admitted to Chapel Hill couldn't read well or were even functionally illiterate. 

The test Willingham used to diagnose reading skill, called the Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults, was a 10-minute reading vocabulary test that is not recommended alone to judge overall literacy, [Provost] Dean said.

Seems like a convincing rebuttal to the charge, yes? But, but . . . 

Willingham said in a phone interview after the meeting that the test is more than a 10-minute vocabulary test. It also includes a writing portion in which the athletes would have been asked to write a paragraph based on questions, she said.

“It was a combination of the SATA reading and writing (tests) and the SAT and ACT scores,” Willingham said of her data.

CNN’s report also used SAT and ACT thresholds as indicative of reading levels.

So, this seems to mean Chapel Hill is completely mischaracterizing the charge. And they follow it with this coup de grace:

But Farmer, the admissions chief, said UNC-CH evaluates applicants based on a wide array of criteria beyond standardized test scores, incuding grades and teacher evaluations.

Might grades and teacher evaluations be biased upward, especially for star athletes? Wouldn't some type of test(s) be the relevant--probably the only relevant--information as to whether someone can read? (After providing for the occasional student who has difficulty taking tests.)

And speaking of non sequiturs, let's close with this:

Shielda Rodgers, a nursing professor, said she is concerned about the impact on student athletes.

“I don’t want to see them victimized as a result of all of this media attention because they are really good students for the most part,” she said. The room erupted in applause.


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At home we'd say these administrators were "as busy as a cat covering sh*t on concrete." Prob ably work about as well.

Bring forth the data!! [That PowerPoint business really sounds hinky.]

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