Friday, September 24, 2004

College Entrance Discussion

Here is a discussion I am having with Jed (great guy from what I can tell) are having at Boots & Sabers:
More Racial Preference BS

From the AP:

University of California officials have raised the bar for admission to the prestigious system, despite protests the decision will hinder enrollment of disadvantaged students.
“Educate, don’t segregate!” students chanted as the Board of Regents voted 14-6 Thursday to raise the minimum grade-point average from 2.8 to 3.0, effective fall 2007.
Why not just chant “We’re f***ing ignorant, but we’re minorities, so let us in!”
Proposals to raise standards have rekindled debate over the system’s policies and the generally low admission rates for black and Hispanic students, especially at the top campuses of Berkeley and Los Angeles.

“This is another hurdle,” said regent and state schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell. “It’s another roadblock to opportunity."
There is no roadblock here. The minimum standard is an objective number. You want more minorities admitted? Get them better educated.
Raising the GPA affects fewer students, about 750, but drew much more opposition. Opponents noted the changes disproportionately affected blacks and Hispanics because their numbers are much smaller.

“This is not about percentages,” Linda Salinas, a UC Berkeley student, told regents before the vote. “This is about changing the course of human lives."
Spoken like a true Berkelian - a touchy feely statement that makes no sense, and doesn’t even remotely approach the merits of the argument.

My reply:
Jed, what you fail to realize is that schools often are brands--have name recognition that can propel people further in life.

If I went to a school in Watts with no textbooks and lower standards of learning and the better grades are given to athletes I would be upset because GPA is not objective--it’s a number--but it’s not objective.

Also, I question why some of the people who go to tough secondary schools are up in arms because what’s a C at one school might be an A at another.

That’s why, frankly, minimum standards can only be used if they are 100% objective: i.e. you can’t run in the olympics unless you meet this time.

But with school...GPA, being subjective, is not always a true measure of college success.

Don’t forget that just this spring they tried to pull a black validictorian down by going back and changing two white students’ final grades to rank them higher.


Jed's very decent response:
I agree that grades are subjective, and that’s why I favor standardized testing as the primary means of determining who gets admitted.

But, as long as schools are going to use GPA as a factor, minorities who have historically made lower grades need to realize that not every move toward limiting admission is targeted at them. There’s not a Klansman behind every tree here, and crying “RACISM!” everytime an admissions policy is changed is counterproductive in the long run.

My last reply:
Jed, have you ever considered the fact that some teachers give lower grades to minority students because they are minorities?

Personal experience: I was in honors english in the 10th grade taught by a Mormon woman--Ms. Warnick. She went to the registrars office during Christmas break and had every minority student (6) and the one pregnant white student removed from her class because we were not honor student material.

No, I received an A the first quarter and a B+ the second semester--which put me in the top half of the class.

My mother (white, father is black) nearly lost control of her senses and confronted this woman the second day of the second semester.

I was the only person who got back into the class--but all five other minority parents thought it was due to their performance.

So it’s not something that minorities need to “just accept” because since it was an honors class it counted as a 5 point class towards a 4 point GPA--so my A was better than other As and so if those minorities stayed in that course thier GPAs would be higher.

Also, standardized tests, like the SAT are not on their face discriminatory, but they do discriminate. Please let me explain how:

When you test that a person can reasonably pay Kaplan or whatever to coach them how to take the test--that means the test gives a greater advantage to those who can afford to pay $300 bucks to get the training.

Now I was blessed; I almost maxed out the SATs without training or coaching. But I did see all the more affluent people in my town have their parents pay all that money and their kids bumped their scores up the second time they took it by about 100 points.

People who are poor cannot do that. Therefore, tests that are coachable are in fact biased towards those that can afford the coaching.

I am no liberal! but if you look at some basic tenets of college entrance, there are systemic disadvantages to impoverished communities--that, because of past racism--are predominantly minority.

Please think about that.
What do you think? I want to hear your opinion here and I will share that with Jed. I think that some conservatives, in their fight against any type of action that considers race because they feel most people are fair, sometimes forget the reality that does need remedy.

No comments:

Bookmark Widget