Tag: Affirmative Action

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. How Affirmative Action Falls Short

 

It has been fifty-six years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, legislation that took aim at the systematic forms of legal segregation that had long dominated large segments of American life. It did not take an expert in implicit biases to see the corrupting influence that officially sanctioned racial segregation had on public life, nor did it take a subtle analysis to understand the importance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in undoing the exclusion of African-American citizens from their lawful place in society. The effects of these statutory reforms were lasting and profound.

The passage of these landmark statutes did not put an end to racial conflict simply because they ended explicit forms of discrimination. Indeed, one of the toughest issues to resolve was the proper regime for dealing with labor markets. The great mistake of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was to adopt an explicit colorblind standard for employment under Title VII, which had the effect of slowing down the introduction of affirmative action programs that might have led to more African-American employees in the workplace, especially in unionized firms.

Those affirmative action programs received belated judicial approval in United Steelworkers v. Weber (1979), in which Justice William Brennan held that Title VII “does not prohibit such race-conscious affirmative action plans.” In Weber, Justice Brennan upheld a program that set aside 50 percent of the in-plant craft-training places for black workers until they achieved parity to the percentage of black workers in the overall labor force within that community. That decision was the second major piece of Title VII’s employment law regime, following the 1971 decision in Griggs v. Duke Power, which had previously adopted a strict “business necessity” test to justify a disparate impact that any facially neutral test or business practice had on racial minorities. Weber enabled affirmative action programs, while Griggs blocked discrimination against protected minority groups.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Before Standardized Testing

 

A bit more than a week ago, the regents of the University of California voted unanimously to approve Janet Napolitano’s proposal that the UC system cease using the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the ACT to help their admissions departments choose from among their applicants those most apt to profit from the instruction the universities in the system offer. This they did in the face of a UC Faculty Senate study confirming the utility of these standardized tests for that purpose and demonstrating that the poor showing of African-American and Hispanic high school students on these examinations had little, if anything, to do with test bias and much to do with poor high school preparation.

In theory, UC will now design its own test for applicants, but this can hardly be made to produce the results desired – for it will surely be unavailable to students from out of state, and no examination testing the candidates’ intelligence and preparation is likely to produce results dramatically different from what one secures via the SAT and ACT, which do an excellent job of predicting future academic success. In practice, all of this is obfuscation: for, as I argued on 18 May in “The Value of Standardized Testing,” the real aim of those who want to eliminate standardized testing or make it optional is to make it possible for their schools to practice that species of systematic racial discrimination that passes under the euphemism “affirmative action” without anyone being able to prove that this is what they are doing.

What, you might ask, did universities do before the SAT and ACT existed? Some had their own exams – which gave great advantage to those who could travel to the campus to take it. Others emphasized “character” – which, though in principle admirable, tended in practice to mean that to be successful an applicant had to belong to the appropriate social class. In much of the Ivy League, this meant that Catholics, Jews, and the like had no need to bother applying. As discovery in a recent court case against Harvard revealed, this is how that university excludes Asian-American applicants today.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Value of Standardized Testing

 

It has become fashionable in the world of higher education to advocate eliminating the requirement that prospective students take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the ACT and then submit their scores to the admissions offices of the colleges and universities to which they apply. Janet Napolitano, the President of the University of California (UC), has even proposed that at Berkeley, UCLA, and the other elite institutions in the California system such scores be ignored altogether.

The faculty senate at UC has come down on the other side after conducting, at Napolitano’s direction, an extensive study of the question focused on the utility of the tests and on the question of whether they are a source of racial discrimination. The faculty study concluded that the tests have been useful for distinguishing those who could profit from the courses of study at these elite schools from those who could not and that the existing racial disparities in their student bodies had to do chiefly with poor preparation and not with the tests themselves.

What, you might ask, is this all about? The answer is simple enough. High school grades no longer mean much. Grade inflation has ensured that. The SAT and ACT tests may not be infallible. There are able people who do poorly on standardized tests, and these examinations reveal little about the grit and determination of those who score well. But, on the whole, they do a pretty good job of measuring what they purport to measure – the quality of the young person’s preparation for college and his or her aptitude. And in the aggregate, as the faculty senate at UC discovered, they do an excellent job of predicting academic success.

Member Post

 

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/liberal-judge-lets-harvard-discriminate-against-asian-americans Burroughs, an Obama appointee, acknowledges that “Asian Americans would likely be admitted at a higher rate than white applicants if admissions decisions were made based solely on the academic and extracurricular ratings.” Instead, they are admitted at a lower rate than white and black applicants, and at a significantly lower rate than applicants of […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/harvards-legal-discrimination-11570143828?mod=MorningEditorialReport&mod=&mod=djemMER_h “Ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions,” wrote federal Judge Allison Burroughs. “Race conscious admissions will always penalize to some extent the groups that are not being advantaged by the process, but this is justified by the compelling interest in diversity and all the benefits that flow from a diverse […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Myron Magnet joins Brian Anderson to discuss his new book, Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution.

Magnet contends that Justice Thomas’s originalist jurisprudence offers a path forward for recovering our nation’s “lost Constitution” and restoring America as a free, self-governing nation made up of self-reliant citizens.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I’ve had a twitter account for many years but have just started using it actively. With March being Women’s History Month, the corporate virtue signalling tweets have been prominent. Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. American Inventors

 
Edwin Armstrong on the beach with his wife and his portable superheterodyne radio 1923

Yesterday, @richardeaston wrote a post Affirmative Action in Inventions in which he noted that in recent years a black female, Dr. Gladys West, has been given credit for inventions associated with GPS for which the credit belongs to others. I was going to comment on Richard’s post; but, my comment got too long and I think this post can stand on its own.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Affirmative Action in Inventions

 

Last June, I attended my monthly nonfiction writers meeting. Afterward, I spoke to the black gentleman sitting next to me. He mentioned that he’d just found out that a black woman invented GPS. I said that was strange since my father invented it. He chuckled and said that I was holding out on him. I looked it up and a Dr. Gladys West was the person. It appears that she worked on refining satellite orbits and models of the earth. She did valuable work but is one of hundreds or thousands of people at that level. I dismissed it; errors about the origins of GPS are rife and in spite of my extensive writings about it I’m a relatively obscure person.

More recently, the articles about Dr. West have multiplied and an unrelated erroneous documentary about the origins of GPS was released.

Glenn C. Loury of Brown University joined Jason Riley to discuss the persistence of racial inequality in America. Their conversation took place at a Manhattan Institute event in New York City entitled “Barriers To Black Progress: Structural, Cultural, Or Both?

Professor Loury, who has also taught at Harvard University and Boston University, is a professor of economics, with a focus on race and inequality. He’s published several books, including The Anatomy of Racial Inequality and Race, Incarceration, and American Values.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Harvard’s Asian Exclusion

 

It is with decidedly mixed emotions that I wade into a discussion of the high-profile case of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, in which a large cohort of Asian American students has joined forces to challenge Harvard’s admissions process on the grounds that it discriminates against them.

The source of my mixed emotions lies in a simple dichotomy. As a matter of first principle, I think that Harvard University (and all the other preeminent universities that have leapt to its defense) should have the absolute right to determine the students whom they admit and the grounds on which they admit them. By the same token, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides explicitly to the contrary: “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Start with the matter of principle. My defense of Harvard does not rest on any necessary affection for diversity. Rather, it starts from the simple premise that Harvard is not a common carrier or a public utility. Like every other private university, it should be entitled to run its own establishment as it sees fit, given that it operates in a competitive market. My purpose is to defend Harvard on this unfashionable ground, while repudiating the grounds on which it chooses to defend itself. Harvard and its supporters at peer universities “speak with one voice to emphasize the profound importance of a diverse student body for their educational institutions.” Sadly, it is quite worrisome that these leading universities entertain no diversity of opinion among themselves on the role of diversity in academic institutions. In practice, they care only about diversity of race and ethnic origin and show little or no interest in intellectual or political diversity.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Penn Law’s Amy Wax on Being Ousted from Her First-Year Class

 

Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she specializes in social welfare law and policy as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets.

Professor Wax has become a controversial figure because of her politically incorrect comments advocating in favor of bourgeois values and the WASP culture from which they stem, and in her claims that black students had generally performed at lower levels than other students in her classes in context of a conversation about the downsides of affirmative action — comments that got her ousted from teaching the first year civil procedure class for which she had previously won an award for “teaching excellence.”

Richard Epstein discusses the history behind America’s anti-discrimination laws and explains why they’re not well-suited for the modern economy

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Mark Steyn is always funny. In a recent column, he dealt with a new injustice which has recently emerged: ~The #MeToo movement has spread to the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club. Their big dog show opens today, but you might want to think twice about going along: It’s a Harvey Dogstein Mirabarx production, with a PBS […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Confederate Statues, Affirmative Action, and Cheap Racial Virtue

 

Facilitated by media manipulation and exploitation, people have lost perspective trying to outdo one another in their moral condemnation of racial supremacy witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia.

(Because the media finally found actual white racists to cover, rather than smearing white people who reject their coercive, politicized agenda as racists, this was a big story.)

Member Post

 

The Supreme Court upheld the University of Texas affirmative action policy (i.e., the “Sorry Whitey, your better grades don’t count” rule), and who the deciding vote was should shock precisely no one at this point. The vote was 4-3, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing the majority opinion. Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

So Glenn Beck wrote something about the recent meet-up between Facebook and Conservatives. According to Beck, the Conservatives basically wanted affirmative action for their group with diversity training, and some Conservative leaders demanded (in Beck’s view) that Facebook hire more Mormons, because 2% of the country is Mormon while also taking 6 months of the employees’ time for […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.