Anothergrad, three points, and then I'm off this thread:
1) I can't speak to what efforts USAFA senior staff have taken to reach out to the grad community with a candid, accurate assessment of Prep School grads' performance. I do know that for every reunion there's a briefing held by senior staff, and questions from the audience are welcome, either in that public forum or afterward, one-on-one. Failing that venue, there's always public affairs, and their contact info should be readily found on USAFA's website.
2) Since I know USAFA has guidelines but no strict requirements for admission, it actually does not surprise me that the Prep School is in the same boat. In fact, I have heard there is significant overlap in composite academic scores between students selected to go to the Prep School and students selected to go directly to USAFA from high school. So to compare the average Prep School grad's performance and incidence of honor probations to those of the average cadet who came directly to USAFA from high school is kind of comparing apples to oranges.
If data were to be presented comparing academic performance and incidence of honor probations between Prep School grads and students entering USAFA directly from high school who had comparable composite academic scores, and if the Prep School grads' performance were shown to be worse across the board than comparable cadets who went directly to USAFA (ie same composite academic scores), then I would agree the Prep School has some problems that need to be addressed. However, until and unless such data is presented, I would be wary of drawing too many conclusions from an article that presents only one side of the story such as this one.
3) One last comment on budget: although the overall budget figure may be correct, it is possible some creative math employed to arrive at misleadingly high cost per candidate. As an example, let's say that in 1 week a family of 5 (mom, dad, and 3 kids) spent $150 on groceries, $100 on the monthly cable/internet/phone bill, and $100 for the rest of the month's utilities. How much did it cost to house and feed 1 child for 1 week?
You might be inclined to say $450, but that would hardly be accurate because $200 was spent on monthly costs, not weekly costs, and because the child probably didn't eat all $150 in groceries.
That is all. Happy life, everyone!
Anothergrad, I'm not disputing the 2005 audit report. What I am saying is that there is no data quoted in the article to support the contention that the cost per student and other pieces of information reported in the 2005 report have either not changed or gotten worse, as you contend.
As a grad, I'm sure you're aware that, like the rest of the federal government, USAFA has experienced budget cuts. What makes you think this is not also true for the Prep School? Further, what data specifically supports your contention that no attempts have been made by USAFA to improve the areas called out in the 2005 report?
You are mixing facts reported in previous years with supposition about what may be happening now, I'm assuming because there are no statistics provided in this article to refute your suppositions (which does not mean they don't exist, and actually gets to the point I was originally trying to make).
I find it really interesting that some grads, rather than trying to support USAFA leadership in the challenges they face by approaching them directly and in private in a constructive manner, feel it is more effective to attack USAFA leadership publicly in forums like this one.
Anothergrad, I'd be inclined to say you might have a point if I knew for sure that the cost per student, graduation rates etc quoted in the article are correct. I'm willing to bet they are not. I'm also inclined to believe maybe there's some broad over-generalizing here.
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