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Does Affirmative Action in College Admission hurt students its intended to help?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by J2hapydna, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    "Affirmative action in higher education is a perennial lightning rod for controversy. But until recently, there has been little hard data about how and if racial preferences work.

    In Mismatch, law professor Richard Sander and journalist Stuart Taylor, Jr. draw on extensive new research to prove that racial preferences put many students in educational settings where they have no hope of succeeding. Because they’re under-prepared, fewer than half of black affirmative action beneficiaries in American law schools pass their bar exams. Preferences for well-off minorities help shut out poorer students of all races. More troubling still, major universities, fearing a backlash, refuse to confront the clear evidence of affirmative action’s failure.

    The controversy over affirmative action will take center stage this fall, when the Supreme Court hears Fisher v. Texas. Mismatch—a bold, nonpartisan, and scrupulously researched exposé of a well-intentioned policy’s flaws—will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the real impact of this contentious social program."

    Mismatch by Richard Sander

    THE SOLUTION:

    The book suggests that, “Instead of recommending that minority students go to the most prestigious school they can get into, high school guidance counselors should recommend that each student go to a school where he or she is likely to do well academically. An HBCU may be such a school. Guidance counselors, in short, should try to reduce some of the lack of fit between the level of academic preparation of minority students and the schools where they enroll.” -pg 47


    Do you agree?
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  2. It hurts not only those it was intended to help, it also hurts those who get shortchanged by being denied opportunities that they might have deserved. In many cases it also changes the way universities are run in their entirety - for example, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, when Harvard adopted AA policies, professors stopped giving bad grades to black students and, to justify or conceal it, stopped giving those grades to white students as well. Over time, grade inflation became commonplace. The result is that while Harvard is still difficult to get into (at least if you're white), the intellectual environment is far less competitive these days.
     
  3. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    Then again, perhaps it equalizes the hurt Blacks and Hispanics feel when they are shortchanged in acadmic resources in their schools.
     
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  4. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    How about the fact that Harvard was a lot less competitive without women and minorities before the 60s? Do you really think some of the white men who got into schools such as Harvard could get the scores on the SATs to get in now? What kind of grades do you think George Bush had to help the curve?
     
  5. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    Do you mean Harvard is the only school where they can have opportunities to learn? Are there no other schools they can attend where they can learn the same things?
     
  6. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    .

    Yes, but there are national standardized exams such as GRE, MCAT and GMAT etc that measure what a Harvard grad leans, that have to be passed that did not exist under the old boy network, right? Also, there are SAT exams, SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests that give universites a much better picture of the academic abilities of an undergrad candidate than before the 60s.
     
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  7. GRE, MCAT, GMAT, and SAT matter very little in the larger scheme of things, and in fact, many elite universities even "add on" to the SAT scores of applicants base on race:

    http://www.princeton.edu/~tje/files...on Preferences Espenshade Chung June 2005.pdf

    I myself, a White American of Greek descent, had a 1600 on my SAT's, a 4.0 GPA, was on the starting lineup of my high school's soccer team, played in the band and was engaged in a lot of other extracurricular activities. I also had over 1000 hours of community service under my belt, which included everything from being a coach for a kid's karate team at the local community center, to waiting tables at a local retirement home. I also worked 20 hours a week during the school year, and almost near full time during each summer.

    Out of the 12 schools I applied to, I got into 2 - Merrimack College (which admits nearly everyone) and Elmira College, whereas blacks and hispanics with lower grades, almost no extracurricular activities, or community service got into Ivy League schools, or got into state schools with full "diversity" scholarships.

    I think you know the answer to that. I wasn't implying anything of the sort. I was just using it as an example of how affirmative action had lead to grade inflation.

    Harvard was and is still competitive if you're a white male. Bush got a 1200 on his SAT, which for his time was considered quite good. Even today, it would correlate to an IQ score of about 123, which is roughly 1.5 SD above average. So George Bush might not have been an Einstein, but he certainly wasn't dumb, either. These days Harvard basically jumps at any black or hispanic that applies, and as a result if you're from an "under-represented" minority there is almost no competition, since you have a better chance of getting in.

    For example, the acceptance rate for whites at MIT is 15.9, while for blacks it's 31.6%. At Brown, it's 15.9 versus 26.3, and at UPenn, it's 21.2% s 30%.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  8. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    In the Abigail Fisher v. UT case infront of the Supreme Court, it is a white student applicant who did not get in on a 100% straight merit program (under which 75% of the students get into UT), who is suing UT for not making room for her under the "academics isn't everything" holistic admission policy, reserved for 25% of students. So, it is actually unqualified whites like Abigail Fisher who cannot get in on straight merit who feel hurt when the backdoor is closed on them because they feel whites are entitled, who go around complaining and making a lot of noise the system is not fair.
     
  9. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    How does that make the white men before the 60s who kept women and minorities out and did not take any standardized tests better qualified than the applicants of today? At least we know the degree of preference now. Or should I take it that you have stopped lamenting for the good old days when only white men received preferences without any objective nationalized standard as the better way to go?
     
  10. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    Well if you are claiming that Blacks and Hispanics get a boost on the SAT and you were already at 1600 with a 4.0 then they would not have had an advantage over you in this department, so you were obviously academically qualified. However, qualified is never good enough, 85% of applicants are qualified. At this point the question would be how did you do on your SAT Subject Tests? How many AP tests did you take? What were your scores on them? Did you win any major national math or science competitions? You could also have been recruited if you were good enough in sports.
     
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  11. Drolefille

    Drolefille PolyPanGeekGirl

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    I'm doing my best to stay out of this argument, but I want to point out that the SAT does not measure IQ. "IQ" tests barely measure an intelligence quotient of any kind - and it seems more and more evident they are learnable skills not inherent ones.
     
  12. One story out of thousands. For every "unqualified" White student, there are probably thousands of qualified Whites. I've seen very few under-qualified whites or Asians in my experience, while I cannot say the same about blacks.

    I took the AP tests in Calculus I, Calculus II, Spanish, Physics B, World History, US History and Chemistry. My school did not have an "official" AP program (we had only an "Honors" program that anyone was allowed to be in, regardless of GPA). Got 5's on all tests except World History and US History, where I got a 3 and 4 respectively.

    The only SAT Subject tests I took were in Writing and in Chinese (mainly self-taught)

    What were your scores on them? Did you win any major national math or science competitions? You could also have been recruited if you were good enough in sports.

    Yes, I was a state champion in a math competition but I couldn't go on to the nationals because my parents couldn't afford the travel expenses, and my school wouldn't didn't give me financial assistance because it as too far away.

    Let's stop pretending there was some sort of conspiracy to keep women and minorities out. Blacks and other minorities have been going to Harvard, Princeton and other elite universities since well before the 60's. If anything the only group who is under-represented at elite universities is Christian Whites. Also the point about the SAT is moot since the SAT was first used in 1926 and became widely accepted in the 50's.
     
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  13. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yup. I've known at least four (all of them White) pre-med students who adopted much the same strategy as that, but with a twist. As undergraduates, they would not attend the most prestigious schools they could get into, but rather go to schools where they were all but certain to get straight A's. Later, they would successfully apply to the most prestigious med schools with perfect transcripts. That leads me to suspect that Blacks who go to schools were they are more likely to succeed will probably gain the benefit of having superior transcripts when they eventually apply for jobs.
     
  14. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    It is the one that is infront of the supreme court and if she wins, proves my point not yours. Apparently, they could not find you or the mythical examples you are referrring to.
     
  15. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    State level victories do not mean much to world class universites. You could always have sent scores from AMC and AIME if you did well on them.

    I am Asian, but I do not lack a sense of social justice, so I do not go around whinning about it. I did not go to school in the US, but my son is a National Merit Scholar with 7 APs with 5s on all of them but one. He is taking 5 more APs this year and expects 5s on all. He has also taken AP Computer Science, AP Chemistry and AP Biology that you did not. Getting a 1600 on the SAT is not out of the realm. (He has taken 3 home prep tests this year and scored perfect scores on all.) However, as Sunstone points out, it does not matter which school one attends, professional goals can be reached at many schools. We certainly did not bring him up to let logic like this warp his sense of what is right and wrong. He has other significant academic achievements that make him stand out that I don't want to mention on the internet. The SAT and AP are not considered significant by the way. He goes where he goes, it is not a reason to criticize AA.
     
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  16. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    If it is moot then look at the average SAT scores for the Harvard class of 1950 and compare it to last year's average. Perhaps, you cannot remember how the subject came up, but you said grade inflation is allowing students to pass who should not. To which I said potential employers and graduate schools can use GMAT, GRE, LSAT and MCAT to measure the abilities of a Harvard graduate.

    GWB had a 1200? My son had 1380 when he was a sophomore.
     
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  17. If you're Asian, you should know that AA hurts Asians in some areas even more than it hurts whites. I can sympathize with Asians because my parents are actually first generation immigrants as well. I went to high school with many Asians who were just as strong academically if not more so than I was, but who had similar experiences when they applied to universities.

    But of course I suppose you will continue to be politically correct and support a system which discriminates against those who actually work hard, and awards the parasites of society because of the color of their skin. I know that people say that legacies should be abolished, and I agree too - but legacies only account for a very small amount of admissions in the long run.

    Take a look at these statistics while you're at it.

    http://www.ridingthetiger.org/2011/07/05/the-statistics-of-affirmative-action/
     
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  18. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    American universities are not run by Blacks and Hispanics. These are private institutions that are working in their own best interest. If you could get past your personal sense of loss you would see that what they are doing is what is best for the future of our country, picking the best students.

    I support a system in which a private institution, using it's own standards, can tell people that they did not work hard enough and rejects them, even if they are white applicants who threaten to corrupt a democratic system and turn it into a tyranny of the majority. From one point of view, it was White men who were the real parasites [who kept women and minorities out of top schools] who cannot seem to understand that the days of White privilege in America are over. I hardly think the average Black or Hispanic at Harvard should be characterized as a parasite of society. I also think you fail to appreciate how much better they are than the white / Asian applicant that is rejected. I think you are blinded by the pain that comes with the knowledge that you were not as good as them.
     
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  19. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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    Average SAT Verbal score Harvard..... (1952) 583.

    Now that is what I call White Privilege.
     
  20. J2hapydna

    J2hapydna New Member

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