Monday, 11 August, 2008

More admission nonsense

The front page of today’s Times of India announces that Percentiles favour SSC students hugely: Data, and the article argues, “Now there is statistical evidence to prove that the percentile system has given an unfair advantage to state board students vying for junior college admissions with ICSE and CBSE students. 

Just a handful of students from the non-state board have made it to the premier colleges this year, reveal figures submitted by the state government to the Bombay high court. 

In fact, the data submitted after the close of the second round of admissions shows campus composition has altered dramatically this year.” 

This goes on and on, without sparing a thought that the evidence may actually be showing the exact opposite of what they claim, that is, the percentile system is fair to SSC students. And non-SSC board students had an unfair advantage all these years when their marks were not converted into percentiles.

Either knowingly or unknowingly, ToI is oversimplifying a complex issue, that too one that’s sub judice.  

What saddens me most is that the world’s largest selling English newspaper can publish this tripe without checking with a statistician. I can’t imagine how one worth his salt would have let it pass without adding an encyclopaedia of qualifiers.  

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