The inherent irony of affirmative action

As it happens, though, the Court has already taken social-science research into account — and in Grutter, it almost certainly took bad social-science research into account. Why might that be.

On the ballot that year was Washington State's Initiativea clone of California's Propositionwhich prohibited race-preferential admissions policies in state colleges and universities.

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How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit Itone consequence of widespread race-preferential policies is that minority students tend to enroll in colleges and universities where their entering academic credentials put them toward the bottom of the class.

College grades generally contribute more. In arriving at its conclusion in that "separate but equal" school systems are inherently unequal, the Court relied in part on the now-famous doll experiments of Kenneth and Mamie Clark, intended to test the self-perception of young African-American children brought up in the Jim Crow South.

If performance on a certain kind of test is a qualification for a job, and racial groups do not perform equally well on that test, one could argue that, notwithstanding the racial disparity, performance on a test is an indication of some kind of merit.

As it happens, though, the Court has already taken social-science research into account — and in Grutter, it almost certainly took bad social-science research into account.

The study created a firestorm at Duke.

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Now it is becoming evident that it was all a mistake. It found that the single most important cause for minority attrition from science at the selective institutions studied was the "relatively low preparation of black aspirants to science in these schools.

It is a lively, original, and provocative effort, but ultimately unconvincing. For example, Grutter permitted Michigan to use racially preferential admissions policies to admit a "critical mass" of African-Americans and Hispanics to its overall student body.

They inherently discriminate against non-members, and, if someone is going to be excluded, it is likely going to be someone from the out-group. The authors purport to show that attending a school like Princeton rather than a school like Penn State adds to the income of black students.

The Shape of the River's own figures show that black men with SAT scores between and and black women with SAT scores between and are likely to earn more if they stay away from the most elite schools.

The Sad Irony of Affirmative Action

Affirmative action came about because it was the only means of assuring that equal racial group outcomes resulted from equality of opportunity—an expectation, he argues, which was present in fair employment thinking from the outset.

These analogies, however, are inapt. If he attends Penn State, his SAT scores will put him exactly at the 75th percentile in the entering class using figures from U. In employment, Title VII of the Act established an individual right to equal treatment without regard to race or color.

Thomas Aquinas College Inverted Ironies In the debate over affirmative action, irony is usually the device favored by opponents. Much hinges on this argument.

And while undergraduate GPAs for affirmative-action beneficiaries aren't quite as disappointing, that is in part because, as explained below, affirmative-action beneficiaries tend to shy away from subjects like science and engineering, which are graded on a tougher curve than other subjects.

But so is getting good grades. tionment.

The Irony of Affirmative Action

Other types of affirmative action programs exist for characteristics such as gender, religion, sexual preference, and physical impairment. Still other affirmative action programs exist for athletes, residents of particular states, children of alumni, and the like. 9. Harvard and affirmative action are caught in a bind in this.

For the first time, minority students are alleging that they are harmed by a race based admissions process. If the case goes to trial, it is hard to believe the plaintiffs will not prevail. Opponents of affirmative action regard using discrimination to end discrimination as an example of “the disease as cure,” as Justice Scalia put it.

But John David Skrentny in The Ironies of Affirmative Action attempts to use a deeper irony in defense of affirmative action. It is a lively, original, and provocative effort, but ultimately unconvincing. Potential affirmative-action recruits with an interest in science and engineering will continue to be told that Duke is the school for them.

They will not be told that their chances of success in their chosen fields would be greater at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nov 19,  · Shelby Steele reveals the inherent racism of affirmative action policies and the dehumanizing effects it has on black people.

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The Inherent Irony of Affirmative Action Affirmative action was originally implemented with good intentionsit gave disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students moreopportunities that they otherwise would not have gotten, so why should itbe considered bad?

The inherent irony of affirmative action
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