Statistical Literacy


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Levels of Measurement

Do Athletes Get Special Treatment?

A report on intercollegiate athletics at a university that plays Division 1 addressed the issues of admission processes regarding academic and athletic programs. Specifically, this report discusses the trade-off between maintaining academic and athletic excellence. The Board of Trustees commissioned McKinsey & Co., a top management-consulting firm to do the research. One of the key findings was:

The standard for an athlete’s admission to Rice, as reflected in SAT scores alone, is lower than the standard for non-athletes by as much as 20 percent, with the weight of this difference being carried by the so-called “revenue sports” of football and basketball. Rice athletes are also admitted through a different process than the one used to admit non-athlete students (p. 24).

Based on what you have learned in this chapter about measurement scales, does it make sense to compare SAT scores using percentages? Why or Why not?

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