31.3.11

SET UP TO FAIL.  Russell K. Nieli identifies the seamy side of affirmative action.
What our current racial preference policies do is ratchet upward the better-scoring black (and to a lesser extent Hispanic) college applicants into institutions higher on the selectivity scale than those they would have gotten into had they been white or Asian. The difference is always a question of which college a black or Hispanic high school graduate gets accepted to, not whether the high school grad gets accepted to college. It's never "Yale or Jail" -- there are colleges for high school graduates of every achievement level.
Read the whole thing, but note the Trenchant Observation of the Day.
 Many years ago Harvard psychologist Gordon Allport wrote an influential book on prejudice in which he described under what circumstances racial prejudice is enhanced or reduced.  A key ingredient for reducing racial prejudice, Allport's studies showed, was the commingling of people of a majority race who might harbor prejudices against a minority group with people of that minority group who are of equal or superior social status and achievement compared to the typical member of the majority group. 
And yet defenders of preferential policies prefer not to engage the tradeoff between inclusion and merit.  Regular readers know we've been raising that tradeoff for years.

No comments: