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Author Topic: curves? i dont get it.  (Read 17710 times)

majorporcupine

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2006, 02:47:36 AM »
haha, this cooley vs. harvard stuff is getting out of hand and funny.

anyway, the thread was initially about how GPA is not neccessary in law school.  undergrad is a different story for a number of reasons, but we arent arguing whether the LSAT is a good indicator of law school perfermance or whether undergrad GPA is a good indicator either.  what i was trying to say is that regardless of how u got to law school, once your there law school GPA becomes fairly worthless as a result of curves.

they really just dont make much sense.  a class should distribute itsself evenly as a natural result of the class.  if it doesnt and students perform equally, they should be graded equally.  if you have a class of 10 students and they are all some type of super genius students, it doesnt make sense to fail any of them, and vice versa if u have a class of idiots they should all fail.  there shouldnt be a distribution between them with mandatory A's, B's, C's, etc. 



Wow, I didn't realize I opened up such a can of worms with an off-hand comment about Cooley vs. Harvard.

For your last point, though, I think there should be a curve.  Getting into Harvard already gives you the "super genius" boost; your grades should reflect how you did relative to that competition.

Of course, grades in general are just stupid.  :D

paran0id

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2006, 03:07:08 AM »
it's been pointed out before that gpa is still necessary to distinguish distance between ranks. #1 may have a 4.0 and #2 may have a 3.0. If all the data you had was 4.0 and 3.0 you would think the students were worlds apart. If all you had was #1 and #2 you would think the students were very close together. In a more realistic situation, students in the 50-33 range may be very tightly grouped while students >33 and <50 may be distant from 'the pack'.

this, of course, does not mean that the #1/4.0 at cooley would be a #1/4.0 at harvard. much of this arguement lies upon the fact that the professors who teach the classes typically grade the classes. student X may answer a K hypo at cooley and be awarded a perfect score because it was incredible (by cooley standards and the standards that the professor sees student to student / year to year). given the same hypo and the same answer, a harvard prof might grade the answer an A- or a B+ or even lower, because he expects to see answers of a higher quality.

to tread into the retarded analogy region again (nobody liked my midget thing... i shouldve included a yellow brick road): assume basketball shooting was a class. at cooley, most of the guards shoot 30%. There's a few that shoot 55 or 60%, and they are exceptional. Their coach thinks they're the sh*t and they get A's. at Harvard, everyone shoots at least 50%. most shoot 75-85%, and the best shoot 95%. the harvard coach wouldn't dream of giving an A to someone who shot under 90%. he routinely gives Cs to 45-65% shooters. if the top cooley shooters (55-60%) transferred to harvard, their A's become C's.

or imagine the AAA baseball batter that hits .550 with 40 HRs. he might be the best in the AAA league because he's batting against AAA pitching. if you bumped him to the majors would you expect him to hit as well? of course not.

to put it blunty: Cooley is the sticks. HLS is the bigs.

RootBrewskies

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2006, 04:57:50 PM »
this thread has become pointless because of the gross over exageration that is going on.  first of all, the difference between #1 and #2 is not going to be so spread apart that it is going to matter that greatly.  obvioulsy #1 looks better on a resume than #2 but most law firms arent going to hire someone based simply on rank alone.  if #1 and #2 show up for the same job its probably going to come down to the interview, not their GPA. 

obviously #1 at harvard counts for more than #1 at cooley or most other schools, simply due to the reputation of the school. 

the arguement that i am giving is that with the way that law school works and how selective it has become in recent years, most schools are going to find themselves with a group of students that will before equally, and some that will excell and some that will fall behind.  this is why a curve shouldnt be neccessary.  it should happen naturally.  students can still be ranked against one another, but why should it be neccessary for someone to receive a C or D if they are performing at a B level?  simply because of the curve?  that doesnt make sense. 

grade students and give them the grade they deserve, the class ranking will show where students stand in their class, GPA doesnt show that anyway.  GPA should be used to show at what level your performing, class rank should be to show how you are performing in comparison to everyone else.  why there are curves simply doesnt make sense. 

it only functions to hurt the job prospects of students at schools with difficult curves, and that is a school purposely putting its students at a disadvantage.

tjking82

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2006, 07:19:23 PM »
The problem is that the students don't all take the same classes, and thus aren't taking all the same exams.  As you probably experienced in undergrad, the easiest way to get good grades is to take easy classes.  These can be either easy because the professor grades easy, or easy because the professor writes an easy exam.  In either case, the students have not necessarily performed exceptionally; rather, it is the setup of the class that has allowed many good grades.  Acing an easy exam is not an exceptional thing to do, especially if everyone is doing it.  Why then should the student get an exceptional grade, such as an A?  Along these same lines, why should a student who has mastered the material, yet had a professor who wrote one hell of an exam, get a C just because the exam was hard, or the professor subscribed to the "nobody's perfect, As are for perfect" theory?  And if you're okay with this non-curved system, how can you expect any students to take worthwhile but difficult classes?

Putting facts to theory:  Student A takes a hard exam, gets a 70.  Student B takes an easy exam, gets an 85.  It is simply unfair to give Student A a C and Student B a B+ without looking at the difficulty of the exam.  How can we gauge the difficulty of the exam?  We look at how the class fared as a whole.  You're never going to have an entire class of slackers, so if the median grade is a 60, the exam was really hard - a 70 on this exam is excellent.  On the other hand, you're never going to have an entire class of overachievers, so if the median grade is a 93, the exam was easy, and an 85 on this exam is poor.  This way, the student who was more excellent - the 70 student - got the better grade, and who can argue with that?  Also, you nip the "high school shop class" mentality in the bud - that is to say, nobody takes Mickey Mouse classes that they have no interest in simply to get good grades, and additionally, nobody has incentive to avoid difficult but interesting classes.

It's an imperfect system, I will grant.  However, keep in mind that curves are individualized to each class - if the class is very spread out, the professor can give lots of As and Cs, whereas if the class is closely bunched, the professor can give out lots of Bs, all without changing the curve median.  It isn't as though there is some machine unfairly distributing grades. 

At any rate, it's gotta be better than letting professors influence the job prospects of their students solely based on their own whim in how hard an exam to write.

this thread has become pointless because of the gross over exageration that is going on.  first of all, the difference between #1 and #2 is not going to be so spread apart that it is going to matter that greatly.  obvioulsy #1 looks better on a resume than #2 but most law firms arent going to hire someone based simply on rank alone.  if #1 and #2 show up for the same job its probably going to come down to the interview, not their GPA. 

obviously #1 at harvard counts for more than #1 at cooley or most other schools, simply due to the reputation of the school. 

the arguement that i am giving is that with the way that law school works and how selective it has become in recent years, most schools are going to find themselves with a group of students that will before equally, and some that will excell and some that will fall behind.  this is why a curve shouldnt be neccessary.  it should happen naturally.  students can still be ranked against one another, but why should it be neccessary for someone to receive a C or D if they are performing at a B level?  simply because of the curve?  that doesnt make sense. 

grade students and give them the grade they deserve, the class ranking will show where students stand in their class, GPA doesnt show that anyway.  GPA should be used to show at what level your performing, class rank should be to show how you are performing in comparison to everyone else.  why there are curves simply doesnt make sense. 

it only functions to hurt the job prospects of students at schools with difficult curves, and that is a school purposely putting its students at a disadvantage.

bulletproof

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2006, 12:44:00 AM »
This thread is like reading a really well written opinion for a case followed by an excellent dissent.  I find myself saying "good point, that makes perfect sense" and then saying "hmmm, ah yes - this one is right".  haha.  Anyhow I'm not a big fan of curves either, but I can see how in law school it makes sense.  In the end I think the argument for taking an interesting class with a difficult exam vs. a boring one with an easy exam just might be the best argument in favor of the curve.  The biggest problem I have with a curve is the fact that it encourages some students to go nuts and bury everyone else.  You'll see this more in the case of legal writing memo, or App Ad paper, etc than on a test.  While we should all be doing top notch work, I dislike the fact that the guy or gal, with no life, completely over does the project and distorts the curve in the process.  I appreciate a page limit more for that reason than for the fact that it makes the paper shorter to write.

tjking82

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2006, 01:24:34 AM »
This thread is like reading a really well written opinion for a case followed by an excellent dissent.  I find myself saying "good point, that makes perfect sense" and then saying "hmmm, ah yes - this one is right".  haha.  Anyhow I'm not a big fan of curves either, but I can see how in law school it makes sense.  In the end I think the argument for taking an interesting class with a difficult exam vs. a boring one with an easy exam just might be the best argument in favor of the curve.  The biggest problem I have with a curve is the fact that it encourages some students to go nuts and bury everyone else.  You'll see this more in the case of legal writing memo, or App Ad paper, etc than on a test.  While we should all be doing top notch work, I dislike the fact that the guy or gal, with no life, completely over does the project and distorts the curve in the process.  I appreciate a page limit more for that reason than for the fact that it makes the paper shorter to write.

I agree that grades should always be assigned based on the quality of one's work and not on the quantity.  I don't know about you guys, but this hasn't been a problem for me, largely because my legal practice is not graded. ;D ;D ;D  Nonetheless, this is typically taken care of on exams by either a page limit or a time limit.

RC1.2

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2006, 08:44:58 PM »
Why are people wasting their time comparing harvard and cooley? Obviously they arent equal.  maybe cooley has a few students that could be top students at harvard but as a general rule, the students who are accepted to harvard are simply more qualified students than the ones at cooley. 


Yes. That is true. But the fact that a top student at Cooley would not have a harder time to be at the top at Harvard remains unchanged. One had to take into account the fact that some very good students with high undergrad GPAs end up in lower tiered law school because of their low LSAT scores, not to mention that many law students at top schools get there only because of a high LSAT score, although they did suck as undergrads. Well, you all know what a "good" indicator of academic ability LSAT is ...

BLACK, LATION/A, NATIVE AMERICAN AND OTHER UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY STUDENTS WHO OVERCOME THE INEQUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY IN K-12 EDUCATION AND THE RACIALLY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES TO EARN THE SAME GPAs AS THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS SCORE FAR LOWER ON THE LSAT - FOR BLACK STUDENTS, THE GAP IS 9.2 POINTS ON AVERAGE. IN OTHER WORDS, A BLACK AND U-M GRADUATE WITH A 3.7 GPA WILL SCORE 9.2 POINTS LOWER ON THE LSAT THAN A WHITE U-M GRADUATE WITH THE SAME GPA.

http://www.umich.edu/~daap/facts.htm#3

alan

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Here It Is The Other Link
« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2006, 08:54:24 PM »

... ok i'll admit i merely skimmed the article, but i didn't see anything about a correlation between LSAT scores and performance. If anything, it's complaining about being biased against woman/minorities (i'd never heard the woman arguement before). Was there a single sentence I missed or something? I'd expect any arguement that attempted to show the LSAT was not indicative of performance to be heavily supported with data. Such an arguement would require a lot more than a single sentence.

Thanks for the irrelevant link though. Good job. Keep it up.


EVEN AS MUCH AS 10 POINTS UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF SCORING IS INCONSEQUENTIAL IN PREDICTING THE RELATIVE SUCCESS OF STUDENTS IN LAW SCHOOL.

http://www.saltlaw.org/StatementLSATBrochure.pdf

tjking82

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #48 on: March 06, 2006, 09:12:57 AM »
Why are people wasting their time comparing harvard and cooley? Obviously they arent equal.  maybe cooley has a few students that could be top students at harvard but as a general rule, the students who are accepted to harvard are simply more qualified students than the ones at cooley. 


Yes. That is true. But the fact that a top student at Cooley would not have a harder time to be at the top at Harvard remains unchanged. One had to take into account the fact that some very good students with high undergrad GPAs end up in lower tiered law school because of their low LSAT scores, not to mention that many law students at top schools get there only because of a high LSAT score, although they did suck as undergrads. Well, you all know what a "good" indicator of academic ability LSAT is ...

BLACK, LATION/A, NATIVE AMERICAN AND OTHER UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY STUDENTS WHO OVERCOME THE INEQUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY IN K-12 EDUCATION AND THE RACIALLY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES TO EARN THE SAME GPAs AS THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS SCORE FAR LOWER ON THE LSAT - FOR BLACK STUDENTS, THE GAP IS 9.2 POINTS ON AVERAGE. IN OTHER WORDS, A BLACK AND U-M GRADUATE WITH A 3.7 GPA WILL SCORE 9.2 POINTS LOWER ON THE LSAT THAN A WHITE U-M GRADUATE WITH THE SAME GPA.

http://www.umich.edu/~daap/facts.htm#3

As is typical of the Defend Affirmative Action Party, you've quoted interesting facts without proving anything.  GPA and LSAT test entirely different things.  You've proven that Blacks perform relatively poorer on the LSAT than Whites with equivalent GPAs.  But you haven't proven that this is anything other than a fair test of logical prowess. 

For example, I can eat cereal just as fast as my brother, but he eats hot dogs faster than me.  Can I jump around and yell "Damn it, hot dogs are biased against me!"  No.  Can I alternatively yell "Hot dog eating shouldn't be considered in determining who goes to Speedeating school!"  No.

Additionally, you haven't proven that the LSAT shouldn't be used as a major component in law school admissions.  (It correlates better with law school success than does GPA, you know.)  ADDITIONALLY, if that LSAT gap WEREN'T there, it would do away with much of the justification for Affirmative Action.  DO YOU WANT TO DO AWAY WITH AFFIRMATIVE ACTION???  I'm guessing not.

tjking82

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Re: curves? i dont get it.
« Reply #49 on: March 06, 2006, 09:15:34 AM »
BTW, the website you linked to is a perfect example of terrible legal argumentation.  It begins by being conclusory as all hell, and never backs any of these statements with proof.

I f-ing HATE the DAAP.  Champions of ignorance and propoganda.