New admissions standards adopted by universities

EUGENE, Ore. By 2005, Oregon universities will prize skill mastery over SAT scores and high school GPAs when deciding who they accept. State-administered proficiency tests will replace the decades-long scoring method.

The Oregon University System”s plan titled the Proficiency-based Admissions Standards System will put higher education in line with a bill passed in the 1995 Oregon Legislature to implement more skills testing at the K-12 level. PASS participants will gain admission by demonstrating skills in subjects ranging from English and math to visual and performing arts.

Although the University will continue to use grades and SAT scores as admissions criteria after 2005, PASS students will receive preferential admission treatment.

“PASS won”t be the only way for students to be admitted into the University,” University admissions Director Martha Pitts said. “What it means is that if there is one space available for two students, and one of them has participated in the PASS system, that student will be the one admitted.”

She added that out-of-state admissions standards would not immediately change, but like the rest of the system, They “would be evaluated over time,” Pitts said.

Oregon”s change reflects a nationwide philosophical shift from test scores and grades to skill proficiency. Washington, Maryland and California are implementing systems similar to Oregon”s, and several state universities have tentatively agreed to accept each other”s proficiency-based admissions standards, Pitts said.

Other schools are moving toward tests such as the SAT-II, which is a series of separate tests in math, writing, foreign language, physics, chemistry and biology. Most require math and writing plus a third of the student”s choice. California University System Assistant Vice President Michael Reece said his system is also considering creating its own testing system to further emphasize proficiency.

“In this day and age, with the emphasis placed on achievement, we”re emphasizing achievement rather than some vague notion of aptitude,” Reece said. “The SAT-II demonstrates mastery of a specific subject matter. That”s why it”s preferred” instead of the SAT.

Historian faces more charges of plagiarism

PHILADELPHIA Stephen Ambrose, the well-known historian who recently admitted using wording similar to that in passages of University of Pennsylvania history professor Thomas Childers” “Wings of Morning” in his “The Wild Blue,” has been accused of borrowing passages from the late Jay Monaghan”s “Custer: The Life of General George Armstrong Custer.”

Forbes magazine is reporting that in his 1975 book “Crazy Horse and Custer,” Ambrose used similar phrases to those written in Monaghan”s 1959 work. The new accusation comes just one day after the publication of a Weekly Standard article in which Ambrose is accused of plagiarizing Childers” work.

Ambrose has admitted to using wording and passages in his latest book, “The Wild Blue,” that are at points nearly identical to “Wings of Morning,” an historical book written by Childers in 1995 about his uncle”s experience on a B-24 bomber crew during World War II.

In both books under question, Ambrose reportedly cited and credited the writers he has been accused of copying, but did not place quotation marks around the passages in question.

Officer dies after double transplant

DETROIT Tragedy struck the Wayne State University Police Department over winter break when it lost 15-year veteran Randy Guzowski.

Guzowski, 42, died Dec. 23 of complications from a kidney and liver transplant he received in November.

Compiled from U-Wire reports by Daily Staff Reporter Maria Sprow.

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