Monday, May 5, 2014

NY Times asked 80-20's . . .

New York Time emailed to asked 80-20 PAC's Advisor, Haibo Huang,
Ph. D in Physics and 80-20's expert on college admissions, this question: 
       "Is it time to move to income-based affirmative action?"
Haibo sent back a short but powerful reply:
"Yes, it's time to move on to merit-based college admissions with
socioeconomic considerations. Racial preference is divisive and helps
the wrong kids.
According to 2004 data, 86% of African American students in highly
selective colleges are middle or upper class. Race-conscious admissions
tend to enhance such socioeconomic statistics. In Fisher v. University
of Texas at Austin, plaintiffs challenged the use of race in admissions,
arguing that Texas's race-neutral "Top Ten Percent" creates sufficient
racial diversity: 4.5 percent African-American and 16.9 percent Hispanic
in 2004. Yet the university argued that a "race-conscious" plan is still
needed to bring in affluent minorities to create diversity within diversity,
and an incredulous Justice Kennedy retorted "So what you're saying is
that what counts is race above all." By contrast, here in California where
racial consideration in state university admission is banned, California
schools must work harder to achieve diversity and instead focus on
socioeconomic status. It's working; in the 2011-12 academic year,
approximately 40 percent of students on University of California campuses
were Pell Grant recipients for needy families. In addition, ~42% of UC
student admitted 2007-2008 has both parents without a college degree.
The result: More poor black and Latino students are gaining access to
higher education.
Judging people by their skin color is morally repugnant. It is not fair
to pass over better qualified students based on innate characteristics. It
violates the 14th Amendment. It stigmatizes the so-called beneficiaries
in the eyes of others. It fosters victim mindset, removing any incentive
for excellence. It mismatches students and institutions, causing high failure
and dropout rates among the “beneficiaries.” It papers over deep-rooted
social problems, condemning under-privileged kids to a permanent cycle
of dysfunctional schools.* It compromises academic mission and hurts U.S.
competitiveness in the global economy. The secondary school students
ranked 30th in math and 23rd in Science out of the 65 countries in the
2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. The
US Education Secretary Arne Duncan called it "an absolute wake-up call for
America". And we are still short changing ourselves with racial preferences?
True diversity is the diversity of ideas, the celebration of our differences;
it's not clumsy attempts to equalize everything. If the United States is a
melting pot, why is it necessary to identify each ingredient?
I have a dream**. Do you? (*The author thanks Mr. Roger Clegg for his inputs.)"

Forward this e-newsletter, if you benefited from reading the above.
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S. B. Woo, a volunteer
President, 80-20 National AsAm Educational Foundation
**A reference to Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.'s famous statement: "I have a dream that
my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged
by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."