Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cool people you should know: Jesse Rothstein

Jesse Rothstein is a Princeton economist who has written on a formidable range of topics: racial segregation, affirmative action in law schools, school choice, the value of SATs in predicting college performance, and the effects of students loans on career choices. You can find his papers here.

Cool findings:

* The SAT’s role as a predictor of freshman grades is quite sensitive to students’ background characteristics. Characteristics of students’ schools are particularly important, and account for a large share of the SAT’s predictive power.

* For example, SAT scores are much less predictive of collegiate grade point averages (GPAs) among same-race students from demographically-similar schools than they are in the population at large. For example, racial minorities and students from schools with high concentrations of Blacks, Hispanics, or low-education parents earned lower freshman grades than did White students from high income schools, even when SAT scores were similar.

* High school grades are equally predictive across and within demographic categories, suggesting that grade inflation does not erode the value of GPA comparisons across high schools.

(There is a good policy brief on his site that says more about this study - the bullets above are from this brief.)

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