Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

February 28, 2007

Top 10 Percent–we meant income, not grades

Filed under: education — texased @ 9:02 am

People are upset since 72% of the admissions at UT Austin have been under the top ten percent law forcing many students to attend places like UT San Antonio instead.

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Texas/Southwest:

But Democratic Sens. Royce West of Dallas and Rodney Ellis of Houston said they remain unconvinced that any change is necessary.

“Someone’s going to have to show me it’s broken and needs to be fixed,” said West, who filibustered a bill in 2003 that would have capped automatic enrollment at 60 percent of the freshman class.

I love the irony of this. The same people who are whining about UT’s inability to recruit valuable poets or artists because they aren’t in the top ten percent of their class are the same ones who initiated the forerunner of NCLB.

So all of a sudden, they realize that there are ways of valuing an academic experience other than grades and test scores? Then there are those who point out that not all high school programs are created the same–some are more rigorous than others. Really? Why is that? Regardless of why these differences might exist, our legislators want to make sure that the student in more white, upper middle class competitive programs don’t suffer compare to others. Well, how about making sure all programs are financially capable of being equal instead?

Then there is the enormous elephant in the room as pointed out by West and Ellis. What’s broken about the system? No one has claimed that these students are failing at a higher rate. Maybe because they aren’t?

(HB 588)
FALL 2003


  • The limitation of college admissions test scores as a predictor of freshman year performance continues to be illustrated by these reports insofar as mean SAT scores for the top 10% and non-top 10% groups in the entering class of 2002 were virtually identical (1226 and 1222 respectively), but the top 10% significantly outperformed the non-top 10% group. The mean freshman year GPA for the top 10% was3.24 compared to 2.90 for the non-top 10%. (See Table 6.)
  • Since 1996, among all racial/ethnic groups, top 10% outperformed non-top 10% students even when the non-top 10% groups had higher SAT scores. (See Tables 6a-d.)
  • Since 1996, top 10% outperformed non-top 10% students at each of the University’s colleges and schools.

It appears that this policy has finally proven that individuals in the top 10 % do better in college than those with higher SAT scores but not in the top 10%.

So who is being hurt by this policy? Where’s the problem? The problem is that some children of wealthy and semi-wealthy Texans aren’t “measuring” up and their parents can no longer count on sending their kids to UT. Standards are okay as long as it doesn’t affect their children’s ability to go to the college of their choice.

I do like following proposal the best. According to the San Antonio Express News, “House Bill 794 links the percentage of minority students accepted under the top 10 percent rule to the number of minorities already enrolled at the school the previous semester or to the percentage of minorities on the school’s football team.”



  1. your an idiot. you obviously don’t understand this or are just to ignorant to see how wrong this is. A person should be admitted based on merit, not some arbitrary number. The kids in my school who are top 11%-15% would be top 5% hands down at 95% of any other texas high schools. why is it minorities need extra help to get in to college? they go to the same schools and have the same resources. Will no one will admit that education is just not as important to the black and mexican culture? how else do you explain it. This law will most likely keep me out of college, even though i am more intelligent and have done much better then more then half of the accepted class. Do we live in a socialist society where a person is no longer judged by what they do but where they live? Thats ludicrous. All the law is doing is keeping the kids who deserve to go to college out of college. I’m also a minority, and this law in no way helps me. In fact it may be a true detriment to my future. The fact that anyone supports this law just shows the selfish we are as a society.

    Comment by Cody — February 18, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

  2. And you don’t understand that this isn’t just about “minorities” unless you include all the white kids at small and rural schools that are now getting in that didn’t before.


    Comment by texased — April 15, 2008 @ 8:20 am

  3. Greetings all members,

    I would just like to say hello and let you know that I’m happy to be a member – been a lurker long enough 🙂

    Hope to contribute some and gain some knowledge along the way….

    Comment by FinancialServicesRenoNV — March 28, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

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