Affirmative Action - yea or nay?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by surferboy, May 27, 2005.

  1. surferboy

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    I, peraonally, am totally against it. Like, it was a good idea, especially in the 70s, but now, minorites have an equal shot to get into a good school, as long as, like everyone else, they apply themselves. It's not right that someone with a near perfect SAT scrore can be denied because a school hasn't met their quota. What's yer take on it?
     
  2. jonb

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    I'd be for preferences for people from lower-class backgrounds. Of course, with the corporate parties, you know that's not going to happen.
     
  3. Lex

    Lex
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    I wish I could say that the need for AA is gone, but I fear it is not. As JonB said--it is really more a class and socio-economic status issue than a race issue but in America we like to forget that there are actually millions of white people living in poverty and not doing well socially (we feel better thinking its all the minority population). Poor white kids from rural Boston and the Canton area of Baltimore score as horribly on standardized tests, on average, as poor black and Latino kids from the projects.

    No truly qualified person loses a school placement or scholarship over AA--that's just nonsense. What HAS happended is those people in the bubble--C students with drinking fixations and/or lackluster grades HAVE lost their spots to minorites who are high achieving. IF an A was an A was an A, Affirmative Action would not be needed. Unfortunately, we now know that it takes maybe 3-5 generations for sucess issues related to class at birth to be overcome. There are MANY hard-working students from minority and/or urban upbringings who never get a chance because of the school they attend.

    My mom had me transfered out of my elementary school into a school 3 blocks away that had a better curriculum and a GT program. Was I GT? Who knows. All I know is that my transfer led me to get accepted at the top middle school in the city, which in turn, led to me being accpeted at one of the top three high schools in the city (which led to Morehouse College and Johns Hopkins University). NO ONE from my elementary school (even people as hard working as I with similar grades and with whom I eventually attended High school) were accepted to my middle school simply because the school they attended was considered sub-par. That's a sad truth that I remind my colleagues on the Baltimore City School Board every chance I get.

    The NY Times just ran a series on this very subject (Class in America). A very good read (yes, you can access it online).
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    I am totally against affirmative action. I think that it all - the classroom and the workplace - should be based SOLEY upon experience and most especially DEMONSTRATED ABILITY. Period.
     
  5. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

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    Definitely.

    I believe in an America of many second chances. More equal access to opportunity is needed; students from lower economic backgrounds should be given special consideration in admissions. [Yea, I know the Supremes sorta knocked down the AA programs of the 20th Century.]

    Undoubtedly, there are many antedotal stories of seeming injustice related to college admissions. These are the ones that we hear; I wonder how many stories there are of the success of access to education resulting in significant contributions to society...the new drug, the role model for a neighborhood, the third grade teacher, etc.

    Sometimes access to special programs give exceptional results. In my first job after college, I worked with a woman engineer that managed to hide her technical competence well. She was selected for a management training program. I like many others was shocked/apalled. The explanation? Well, we need more female managers and supervisors and we have none in her specialty. A year or so later, it was a brilliant selection. She understood people having the problem of finding a solution to complex problems and how to coordinate a project.

    This may be a rare occurrence, but it would not have happened unless she was given the opportunity.

    jay
     
  6. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

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    Nixy,

    Someone with a near perfect SAT does not even have to apply to the top schools. They are calling him to come for an interview and offering scholarships.

    The ones that may feel hurt by AA are those who are above average but not near perfect.

    jay
     
  7. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    The one confusion I keep hearing in regard to affirmative action is that it is simply nothing more than a quota system for minorities and women. I imagine that the system in question is much more complication than being credited, and however far along you are on the "against" side of the issue, methinks the more likely you see it as a quota system. As far as I know, it's a system of specialized consideration for people who live at a systemic disadvantage -- race, nationality, creed, socioeconomic status, and hopefully sexual orientation fits in there somewhere, maybe, maybe not.

    Affirmation action is fine wth me so long as it doesn't lose sight of the wonderful opportunity that can come with being given a chance to succeed. Don't get me wrong. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians can all do well AND they can all screw up royally, and that applies all across the SES board. I imagine the kids who got into the good schools and given a nice ride to college only to squander their financial aid away either (a) purposely goofed off and drank too much or (B) weren't as prepared for the challenge as they had imagined.

    I went to a small lib arts school that netted around $20,000 a year and there was absolutely no way I could pay for it. Getting book money was hard enough.

    I'll tell you what. It's interesting to juxtapose the assumptions of being an AA-privileged student and actually living the life as that single minority in a class full of white kids. That's how Transy was for me. Some of my black friends and I joked that the KKK would only need one grenade to kill ALL of us if we were sitting at the same lunch table.

    And yeah, I was that only black dude in the class a lot of the time, and whenever race would come up, the kids would rather shut up and risk not offending me versus actually taking the time to see how someone else's world works. (Not that my life is all that interesting...) And there were more than enough kids who were living off of their parents' old money, and pass or fail, they were going to end up working with their fathers and staying financially secure. That miffed me more than anything because I felt like those students didn't give a damn about being at this great school, and that someone out there -- especially someone who couldn't afford it -- would give their left AND right nuts (or ovaries) to attend.
     
  8. Dr Rock

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    I think we should just put retards in charge of everything. they couldn't do a worse job than the supposed "elite" which is currently running the country.
     
  9. surferboy

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    Yah, I totally gave a bad example. Oh well.
     
  10. Dr. Dilznick

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    I'd like to see a source for that claim.
     
  11. BobLeeSwagger

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    The large disparity in the quality of schools is a major culprit here. Many schools have difficulty providing enough textbooks and don't prepare many students for college, while others are relative powerhouses. That doesn't make for a very even playing field, although as has been mentioned, this is often more a matter of socio-economic status than race. I don't know that affirmative action is a worthwhile stopgap solution for that, but I don't know that other options are better. And it's rare that a straight-A student is passed over so a minority can get in. It's almost always less extreme than that.

    I'm far more opposed to the preferences given to relatives of alumni. While affirmative action basically tries to give the disadvantaged an extra opportunity, legacy admissions give a free pass to someone who already has extra advantages. I'm not one of the fanatical Bush-haters, but you cannot convince me that he deserved to get in to Yale. If major universities like Yale and Harvard weren't so dependent on the support of elite alumni, they'd know they should be embarrassed.
     
  12. surferboy

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    I totally disagree wit hthe preferential treatment of the children of alumni as well. I believe everyone should make it based on merits, and not based on quotas or who their parents are. Or if their rich daddy built a building. I think everyone should be on a fair playing field.
     
  13. Lex

    Lex
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    I'd like to see a source for that claim.
    [post=315465]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]

    Doc--I'm a doctoral student in education at Johns Hopkins Univeristy. I have worked in education and special education for over 11 years as a teacher, assitant principal and now--an educational data specialist and reaseach coordinator. I have been studying standardized test scores for some time. If you have access to a university's portal to Education Full Text, do some searches. I have an 10-inch stack of articles that I am gathering for my disseration (which will focus in standardized tests and Students with Disabilties as I am a former special educator). It's not a claim--it's a scientifically proven fact over and over again.

    Test scores rise and fall with class. Since schools are funded by property taxes, students in more affluent areas go to schools with more money and more resources and better teachers (who want to be there and have usually requested transfers--affluent school have very little teacher turn-over). People with higher education and/or higher paying jobs are able to buy homes there (because high test scores increase housing values) and they have children who enter better equipped school better prepared and who, on average, score higher on standardized tests. Which, in turn, raises property values.

    On the flip side, students in rural areas or uban areas are surrounded by vacant housing, higher property taxes on a smaller tax base and go to schools with fewer resopurces, older books and novice teachers becasue most veteran teachers transfer out of urban schools once (IF) they last the 3-5 years necessaary to have the rank to bump someone in another school. Did you knw that students from lower SES hear roughly 50-70% fewer words than students from middle and upper middle class backgrounds? do you an y idea what that disparity means when you enter school without the same language experiences as your fellow students?


    When the achievement gap is analyze as a whole--it appears that all black and minority students trail all white students significantly in all subject and grade levels. However, when those data are disaggregated by socio-ecominic status--you se that porr white and minority student score simialry in these tests and measures and that middle class minority students' scores , while not always equivalent to white students' scores --are not ***significantly*** lower.

    *** I use significantly here in the statistical sense, meaning that if p< .05 or .01, there is only a 5% chance that the differences ARE significant but a 95% confidence that they are not.

    The problem with these class issues is that there are many students from urban backgrounds (black , white and latino) that ARE hardworking, and have involved parents (who can not afford to move them away from the problems persea), who go to schools that don&#39;t afford them the same opportunities as their middle class age-mates and who are overlooked simply because of where they live and what school they attend.

    Here are the 2004 Readingproficiency percentages as required by NCLB for Baltimore City 5th graders by ethnicity and SES (lunch status):
    • STUDENT, %Advanced, %Proficient, %Basic

    • Am. Ind.
      • 4.0 Ad
      • 44.0 Prof
      • 52.0 Basic
    • Asian
      • 30.3 Adv
      • 39.4 Prof
      • 30.3 Basic
    • African Am.
      • 9.0 Adv
      • 40.0 Prof
      • 51.0 Basic
    • White
      • 15.5 Adv
      • 43.1 Prof
      • 41.3 Basic
    • Hispanic
      • 7.1 Adv
      • 36.5 Prof
      • 56.5 Basic
    • Free/Reduced Meals
      • 8.3 Adv
      • 39.7 Prof
      • 52.0 Basic
    • Non-Free/Reduced Meals
      • 14.8 Adv
      • 42.4 Prof
      • 42.7 Basic
     
  14. db03

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    Ok,

    Having read the posts, I&#39;m going turn into the typical opinionated Irishman and say I think we have the fairest system in the world.

    In order to gain access to University one needs to complete a series of exams at the end of their School years. Its normally seven exams, and the grades you receive will equate to points.

    For example, IF wanted to do law, and its 500 Points i would look at my results to see if I had enough points

    A1=100
    A2=90
    B1=85
    B2=80
    B3=75
    C1=70
    C2=65
    C3=60
    D1=55
    D2=50
    D3=45

    I would need quite high grades, Your best 6 grades are considered and if you have sufficient points, you can do the course you want. No essays, application forms or quotats to be reached.

    All you are is a number, the University doesnt even know if you are male of female,

    It is all to do with ability, if you are smart enough to do the Degree, then you can do it, simple as that.

    Our University is also free, which is another plus.
     
  15. MisterMark

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    I&#39;d like to eliminate all preference programs that are based on skin color or ethnic background. I do think there&#39;s room for preferences based on low income. I&#39;m not sure how that could be determined for college admissions, but it&#39;s got to be better than simply looking at an applicant&#39;s "race" and pushing that individual to the head of the line.
     
  16. Lex

    Lex
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    Chimera--
    This is how the state publishes the data. I am not saying that these data, as reported are or are not significant. I am simply saying that these global gaps (the ones in my prior post) are data in aggregate form. To really look at data--it should be disaggregated. Of course, these data are only reported in the manner that satisfires the Federal gov&#39;t so they are only as disaggregated as the Feds require.

    Free/Reduced meals means ALL Students who receive free or reduced lunch (black white, whatever) versus all students who don&#39;t. Specifically--all students in low SES (free/reduced) have those proficiency levels on average (Black, white, hispanic, etc). Combining Proficient and Advanced students (thus creating a group who are all on grade level in reading), you can see that 52 % or free/reduced students of all races are below grade level in reading while 42% of paid students of all races are below grade level. Also--these data are for ALL 5th graders in the city, regardless of race or SES. If you dissagrregated either the race data by SES of the SES data by race-these trends ususally hold--the poorer kids, regardless of race, score lower than the more affluent kids and more similarly to each other.


    All of these data are available on any state&#39;s Dept of Ed websites. An closer analysis would be to examine the within-group differences of students at an affluent school versus those at a poor school.
     
  17. Dr. Dilznick

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    I don&#39;t.



    "As Prof. Turkheimer and his colleagues understand, poverty and "low SES" hardly explain everything about differences in achievement. As was reported in the November issue of AR, whites from families with incomes of less than &#036;10,000 a year (this is less than half the median of &#036;22,000 a year in 1997 dollars for the subjects in the Turkheimer paper) had average SAT scores 123 points higher than the black average, and no fewer than 46 points higher than blacks from families with incomes in the &#036;80,000-&#036;100,000 range&#33; If, for poor children, environment overwhelms genes, why do poor whites outscore rich blacks? SAT scores are not the same as IQ scores, but they track them very closely. In fact, because they reflect the results of training and instruction, they should be biased in favor of wealthy blacks who can offer their children more enriched environments than those of white children from families that make less than &#036;10,000 a year."

    http://www.amren.com/0401issue/0401issue.html



    ^Yeah, I know, consider the source. I was just wondering if there was any truth to it. I&#39;d appreciate it if you could post a link to an article that discusses this subject.
     
  18. jonb

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    Well, all the people I&#39;ve met who complained about affirmative action got at best double 300s on the SAT and maintained a D average.

    As far as those reading numbers go, maybe income is a factor? The free/reduced lunch data indicate as much. Of course, since we&#39;re pretending it&#39;s the 19th century, the proper response is to say that the lower class are innately genetically inferior.
     
  19. jonb

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    The lower classes could just as easily be superior. In fact, people from the lower classes do all the work.
     
  20. Lex

    Lex
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    I can&#39;t post links to Ed Full Text studies because you would not be able to access them. Here are some decent articles that focus on SES.

    http://www.ncrel.org/gap/library/text/statesdiffer2.htm

    http://www.ncrel.org/gap/ferg/does.htm
     
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