You might be right, but for the sake of argument I will countenance the most generous take on the SAT, because either way she should have gone to a different school, given the cirumstances.D.A. Ridgely wrote:Mmmm, well, I know the SATs are different than in my day, but I got genuinely shitty (of the "who gives a fuck?" variety) grades in high school in non-AP classes (which I wasn't allowed to take because of my shitty attitude and shitty grades which were in significant measure the result of being put in boring classes) and got + 1500 combined SAT scores (790 verbal, 730 math, if I recall). And I think I was hung over that morning, too.
Point being, that throughout most of its history, the SATs tracked general IQ tests pretty closely. Yeah, you had to have some basic knowledge and coming from a deprived environment (which, looking only at my home, I was) was a disadvantage, etc., etc. But no matter how they fudge the concept of aptitude by calling it assessment or whatever, if you got below 1100 combined on your SAT and, you know, didn't bother to retake it because you thought that was good enough, I think we do have a pretty good read on how smart you are.
At the risk of sounding like I'm against personal responsibility, what were the signs that she should have been able to pick up on? She got good grades and she had lots of adults telling her that this means she's really smart. She compared herself to her classmates and saw that she was more motivated and disciplined than most, and even you and I would agree that that's certainly something (though obviously not enough for success at a rigorous university). I'd wager good money that a top 10% admissions rule is accompanied by all sorts of propaganda telling kids in every school that everyone can succeed. What yardstick did she have for realizing that she's under-prepared when everyone around her was probably trying to instill confidence? Yeah, the SAT, but I will bet you a lavish spread at your favorite Texas steak joint that there were plenty of teachers and counselors telling her that SAT scores don't mean much, and the SATs are biased, and all the rest.Which in this kid's case doesn't mean she isn't smart enough to become an R.N. She's probably smart enough to have passed that statistics course because, as you said, it almost certainly wasn't statistics for math and science majors. But she probably also shouldn't have gone to UT Austin just as she shouldn't have gone to Cal had she been a Californian. There are lots of okay schools for prospective nurses to go to; there were enough warning signs (including the fact that she was surrounded by mediocrity or worse throughout school) that she should have been able to figure out that she wasn't ready for the most academically rigorous program she could get admitted to.
And she wants to be a nurse, so the ethos of helping professions is probably strong in her, and that will naturally predispose her to be receptive to warm and fuzzy messages.
Besides, she's apparently doing fine now...after getting into a program that gives her the environment of a smaller, more nurturing institution. You and I can step back and say that maybe she should have started at either a community college or a lower-tier state school, but everything around her is priming her for the message that ultimately she had what it takes to be successful at UT Austin, it's just that UT Austin hasn't done enough to make itself the sort of place that is conducive to success from day one.
My views are close to yours on most of these matters, but I've been "in the system" for 22 years and I'm contrarian by nature. It's not at all obvious to me that these points are discoverable by 17 year-olds in anything but the outlier cases.