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BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas

Beccy 16 Jan 03 - 08:50 AM
Tiger 16 Jan 03 - 09:00 AM
Beccy 16 Jan 03 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Gern 16 Jan 03 - 09:46 AM
Bobert 16 Jan 03 - 10:17 AM
mack/misophist 16 Jan 03 - 10:23 AM
Beccy 16 Jan 03 - 10:23 AM
Ron Olesko 16 Jan 03 - 10:29 AM
dick greenhaus 16 Jan 03 - 10:49 AM
GUEST 16 Jan 03 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Big Mick....cookieless for a day or two 16 Jan 03 - 11:08 AM
catspaw49 16 Jan 03 - 11:16 AM
Mary in Kentucky 16 Jan 03 - 11:58 AM
harpgirl 16 Jan 03 - 12:08 PM
Ebbie 16 Jan 03 - 12:27 PM
Amos 16 Jan 03 - 12:46 PM
Bobert 16 Jan 03 - 01:00 PM
Mary in Kentucky 16 Jan 03 - 01:08 PM
Nigel Parsons 16 Jan 03 - 01:13 PM
Ron Olesko 16 Jan 03 - 01:15 PM
GUEST 16 Jan 03 - 01:28 PM
Bobert 16 Jan 03 - 01:41 PM
Mary in Kentucky 16 Jan 03 - 01:42 PM
Nerd 16 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM
Ron Olesko 16 Jan 03 - 02:29 PM
PeteBoom 16 Jan 03 - 02:30 PM
Bobert 16 Jan 03 - 02:37 PM
Beccy 16 Jan 03 - 02:38 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Jan 03 - 02:40 PM
Ebbie 16 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM
NicoleC 16 Jan 03 - 02:46 PM
Amos 16 Jan 03 - 02:49 PM
Ron Olesko 16 Jan 03 - 03:39 PM
Nerd 16 Jan 03 - 04:35 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 03 - 04:52 PM
NicoleC 16 Jan 03 - 04:56 PM
Ron Olesko 16 Jan 03 - 05:05 PM
Bobert 16 Jan 03 - 05:32 PM
Nerd 17 Jan 03 - 12:27 PM
DougR 17 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM
Nerd 17 Jan 03 - 04:08 PM
Bobert 17 Jan 03 - 04:21 PM
DougR 17 Jan 03 - 04:29 PM
Bobert 17 Jan 03 - 04:32 PM
harpgirl 17 Jan 03 - 05:56 PM
harpgirl 17 Jan 03 - 07:11 PM
BH 17 Jan 03 - 07:27 PM
Tinker 17 Jan 03 - 11:01 PM

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Subject: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Beccy
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 08:50 AM

Let's talk about University of Michigan's racial quota system. Do you think it's fair? Unfair? What's your reasoning?
I'm not asking for any flaming regarding the Bush administration's action on the subject. If you bring it up in this thread I shall steadfastly ignore you. I want to talk about the system on its merits or lack thereof.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Tiger
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 09:00 AM

Of course it's unfair - and illegal, too.

Now, who's gonna tell me it's more complicated than that?


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Beccy
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 09:20 AM

I'm with you on that, Tiger. I just wanted to see if someone could explain, in a calm manner, why they support it. So far, I've only seen incendiary rhetoric in favor of UofM's system. I want a reasonable voice to tell me why it ought to be there.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 09:46 AM

Affirmative action is necessary because there is still systemic discrimination in this country; because minority applicants are still at a disadvantage in our educational system, in the opinion of this long-serving educator. It is not a 'quota' system, despite the rhetorical over-simplifications of the hysterical on this subject. And while we're at it, I resent the original poster's efforts to spin the responses on this thread by prohibiting commentary on the President's ill-advised actions. The President will lose whatever goodwill he gained from stomping on Trent Lott by interfering with the Court's work and siding with those who have resisted the diversification of our society. Pity those white applicants who long to be considered a discriminated class: they don't want to admit that their race (and mine) still holds all the cards. Unqualified minority students don't gain acceptance in UofM, and there are empty classroom seats waiting for qualified white students. "Steadfastly ignore" those who disagree, if you choose, but affirmative action is a small and reasonable step to level a playing field made muddy by years of racism and neglect.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:17 AM

Well, first of all, the word "quota" is not really an accurate term. The goal of the admissions offices at universities, especially those that are supported with tax dollars, is to have a student bodt that somewhat mirrors society in terms of demographics. Back in the old days we had "white colleges", then we had "white colleges with token minorities". Then America stepped up to the plate and made a stand that if segregation were to be ended that their needed to be a plan in place where a porportionate number of minorities would make up student bodies. This was, in my opionion, a logical extension of the civil rights movement toward an "integrated" socieity.

So this isn't just about providing an opportunity for minorities to participate in higher education it is also an opportunity for white students to learn in an atmosphere that closely resembles the real world.

Is it perfect? No! Is it totally fair on a case-to-case basis? No. But it is an attempt to bring the country a little further down the road in opening opportunities for *all* of it's citizens.

The alternative is a return to tokenism, racism and segregation. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

And I might add that the wealth and infastructure that all Americans enjoy has been created disporportionately from the labor of minorities and still is today. One must keep in mind that God provided mankind with no *wealth* but resources and frtom those resources *all wealth is created by labor* of man.

Yes, it's easy to jump on the bandwagen agains "affirmative action". Millions of dollars have been spent by ultra conservatives in various think tanks and PR firms and the buzz words have been paraded so that folks who are either too busy or too apathetic can get the simple concepts and parrot them. But, like anything that involves compassion and progress, it does take a larger perspective to fix probelms.

Einstein said that a "problem cannot be fixed with the same consciousness that created it".

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: mack/misophist
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:23 AM

I support the Mich U system, and other similar ones, because at the present time, it's all we've got. A stopgap measure is better than nothing at all. It's somethimes unfair, it may be technically illegal, but it's all there is.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Beccy
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:23 AM

Thank you, Bobert. I'll think about what you said and reply later. My kids are tugging at my pantlegs.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:29 AM

I find it ironic that George W. was a student at Yale PRIMARILY because he earned credits by being the son of an alumni.   Where do we start to level the playing field? Race? Religion? Relatives?


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:49 AM

You know, college used to be more than a playing field, level or otherwise. It was a place to learn. If you start admitting students on any basis other than an ability to learn, you're just lowering the educational standards of the college. The New York Education system is a prime example of this.It once was a wonder; now blunder is more like it.

The place to level playing fields is in projects like HeadStart, where
disadvantaged students can get special attention well before college. If the only object is to make sure that college degrees are distributed according to ethnicity, you might as well just give a diploma out with a social secutity card, and save a lot of money.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:58 AM

Ron is into the meat of it.

Let's begin by examining the system. It is not a quota SYSTEM. Notice that I highlight the word "system" instead of quota? That is because the system is the same one that has been used for years and years. It awards points on the basis of certain criteria. This is not new. These types of systems have been in place for years. It simply adds a criteria of race for some of the points, 20 to be exact. This morning Bill Bennett was on the tube explaining how that is inherently unfair, but then went on to say that it was, or could be, OK for someone to get extra points if their father made a huge donation. Then he turned around and said that race should never be referenced. Here is where the contradiction lies. We must never use race, only consider excellence, but we can't get excellence out of a system that discriminates. People who have advantages, such as money, can get a break but groups that don't have those advantages should get no break.


This system does not discriminate on the basis of color, it only factors in the race in an effort to maintain a system that looks more like society. Most people that are complaining fell down in other areas. Had they done better in those areas, the 20 points would not have made a difference. They need to accept responsibility and quit crying about a system that seeks to accomplish an admirable goal. From a purely business sense, it is much more desirable to gain ones education in a diverse surrounding if one is going to compete in a world whose demographics are changing very quickly.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: GUEST,Big Mick....cookieless for a day or two
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 11:08 AM

That post was from me. 'puter problems for a few days...


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 11:16 AM

Several have hit on the situation. It is simply a system that can be used and is needed to level the field. Dick remembers otherwise, but the days of level fields are long past. Here in Ohio we are unable to come up with a legal state funding plan for public schools because of a lawsuit filed by a "have not" school which under previous plans could not hope to improve. Interestingly enough, every plan since then has been vetoed or ruled to be unconstitutional in the state. The "have not" school was virtually all white, but the lawsuit spoke across race. The level field does not exist and until, as Dick also suggests, we improve things at the younger levels, than some type of affrimative action is needed.

UofM may be unconstitutional or illegal, but it is needed. It is not a quota.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 11:58 AM

But if we attempt to level the playing field, say, in Head Start, kindergarten, elementary school, high school...when and where does it end? I believe we are doing more harm by the "cradle to grave" attempts at leveling. What is the incentive to eventually perform? We have watered down our educational requirements until they are meaningless. (And as a teacher I was told that I would not give failing grades...ever...and of course "we" don't lower our standards either. Even teenagers catch on to this one quickly.)


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: harpgirl
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 12:08 PM

As I understand it, this rating system is in place to prevent or deter unfiar admissions. Detroit, from which Michigan draws heavily in terms of admissions, is predominately black. Why not put in place a system which more fairly draws from the surrounding area? Why shouldn't the birghtest local people be given some advantage when they must compete with out of state kids, who bring more money to the table in terms of tuition?

As for Bush, sorry Beccy, but I believe Bush is doing his damnest to reestablish an advantage everywhere for his minority: white wealthy males. I think he should stay out of it. He's a pretender to begin with, and he has no business taking it upon himself to inject his conservative white male agenda on the University of Michigan.

I grew up in Grosse Pointe Michigan, went to one of the most exclusive high schools in Michigan (The University-Liggett School), was a legacy, and was wait-listed at Michigan. My first roommate at Stockwell hall was a black woman, smart as a whip, and she left school because the psychological adjustments were too difficult at that time. I have a right to my opinion about Bush, and I graduated with two of my three degrees from The University of Michigan. But hey, maybe I've been a social worker for thirty years as a result of my education at Michigan. Would anyone rather I became Mrs. Earbore?????   (Don't answer that, Pat!)) hg


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 12:27 PM

Last night on Nightline there was a good discussion on this. As Big Mick and others above have said, 'quota' is quite misleading. I had thought that black applicants were automatically 'spotted' 20 points, and it's not so at all. Race is only one of the points that makes up the 20; others derive from belonging to any minority group, or pursuing an unusual subject of study, or socio-economic background, or sports or... Lots of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 12:46 PM

The Resident's interference as amicus curiae is an extension of his existing record as a hypocrite who abuses the language in order to falsify situations to his own benefit. There is no "quota" involved at all, and the notional "unfairness" of adding 20 points for a minority applicant is ore than offsent by the situational lopsidedness of our legacy cultural structure, which does in fact impose "unfair" constraints on minorities. Furthermore, it is not even a state or county issue, it is a management issue for the regents of UM to determine how tof ulfill their charter to provide higher education totheir state -- all of it. The Federal government should not be involved unless there is aprima facie case for discrimination, which this hardly qualifies as. So why is not only the Federal government, but the nominal President, sticking in his oar at so detailed a level? Two reasons: he wants to look better than he is, and he has no concept of the division of Federal and state responsibilities and freedoms. So once again he has taken a completely idiotic position and tried to paint it over with the pretty shiny sound-bytes of an abused PR vocabulary. IF he were half the respecter of law that he pretends to be on this issue, he wouldn't be President!

I spit.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 01:00 PM

Mary, et al:

I agree with you entirely that the system by which we educate our young people today has been watered down and would suggest that Bush's "Education Reform" legislation will accelerate the process.

First of all it places way too much emphasis on testing. As a former teacher myself (I know that's going to come as a surprise to many Catters...) I knew the difference between teaching kids to think verses teaching kids to pass tests and the methods are as different as night and day. Rote memory is not education. It's training just as one would do in teaching a monkey to pull a certain lever for food. It doesn't make the monkey creative in the slighest. Quite the contrary. It just creates enough "tapes" so that if the monkey is exposed to a situation with new variables he is less likely to solve the problem because is the negative transference from the over conditioning (rote memortization.)

The second part of the "Reform" (for lack of a better term) legislation is the threat of closing schools down. This is like putting leeches on a sick person. Face it, our public schools aren't as good as they once were. Heck, they weren't as good in the 60's as they were in the 20's for that matter. No, I wuld think that a more enlightened approach would be to provide more resources to failing schools rather than less. And we're not talking money here, though sometimes it does just come down to money when you have schools which are in disrepair and with out tools that are available in other schools.

Lastly, Bush would like to see a "Voucher system" which can only have a negative effect on public schools by diverting more money to predominently well off people who send their kids to private schools. Sure, you see the commercials and in almost every one they portray what appears to be an inner city black woman exposing the virtues of vouchers. What they don't say, it the voucher will only pay 20% of the tuition. With private schools getting upwards of $10,000 a year that emans that this inner city black woman is chipping in a lot of dough which she may not have. Yes, vouchers, let there be no doubt about it is a no more than another tax give awy to the rich at the expense of public education.

No child left behind? Hahahaha... What a joke... Well, at least we're getting or tax buck's worth of good PR which will cover a lot of bad policy...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 01:08 PM

Yes Ebbie, but even a few points can skew the results to yield whatever you desire the outcome to be. I observed boys being discriminated against in programs weighted to give girls more points due to language abilities rather than spacial abilities. (but the decision was made in advance that this was a desirable thing because the program being tested-for was heavily language arts.)I observed standardized tests (I think the SAT) which awarded extra points to females and minorities. I observed school board members comparing test scores of different schools when the scores had been skewed to account for "inner city disadvantages." All this is OK in an academic discussion where everyone knows the ground rules. But when the press starts reporting "facts" it can be very misleading and irresponsible. You can pretty much set the points to yield whatever you want for an outcome, and you can justify your choices. The bottom line is...what is fair to individuals and what is fair for a collective group? And how is this implemented? And is it fair in all locales? And who makes these decisions?


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 01:13 PM

So,
1, how many Presidents of the U.S. have there been?
2, To keep the job representative of the current demographic make up of the country, when should a Caucasian Male next be elected to that position ?
(question 2 may be answered to the nearest century!)

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 01:15 PM

Apples and oranges Nigel.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 01:28 PM

Lets assume that it is a quota, and should be eleminated.

Then I also support the notion that two Bushes exceed the quota for the number of stupid presidents of the USA.

Therefore the current Bush should resign.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 01:41 PM

Hey, I'll second that motion, GUEST.

To the question of how many presidents have we had, I'd have to say at least 9 *too many*, thank you (Andrew Johnson, Rutherford Hayes, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, Ronnie Reagan, and both Bush's. Sorry, make it 10, I forgot Taft.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 01:42 PM

Bobert, I just saw your post. We probably agree on most of the education issues (though probably not on most everything else...music included!). But this is an entirely different can of worms. We can PM horror stories (statistics on schools) if you want to. I have a unique perspective having taught grades 6-12 in three vastly different school systems, 2 public 1 private. I chose to send my kids to the public school system, though I'll have to admit that at one point I was so disgusted that I considered homeschooling. What still galls me the most is that so many people (politicians especially...and here in KY we have a terrible budget mess from the Democrats) have no idea what's happening on the front lines. Also, you can read all about KERA (KY Education Reform Act) which declared the current system unconstitutional. Teachers here are leaving the system in droves.

I'm outta this thread...it's just too big. I'll answer PM's if anyone wants info.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Nerd
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM

Good points, Bobert. I think the other thing people don't understand, apart from the educational issues, is how admissions work in colleges. Admission is not, and never has been, only about "scholastic merit." If it were, you would not need admissions officers or interviews. All the work could be done by a computer. Every high school in the country would have a rank that ramified your GPA, then your SAT score would be plugged in, and an algorithim would decide who got in.

In fact, admissions officers work very hard not to pick the people with the highest scores on everything, but to create an interesting community of smart, creative people who can learn from their differences. A certain number of people more gifted in sciences will be admitted, and a certain number more gifted in arts. A certain number of women and a certain number of men. If you play an instrument, or play a sport, you have an advantage, and if you have a certain hobby that can contribute to the campus (say, acting), or a certain perspective (say, you're a well-spoken proponent of vegetarianism, or a political activist of any persuasion) this can all count in your favor. Ethnic background is another element in this mix. It benefits both white and black students to have both communities represented, even if the black students scored lower averages.

Putting together a first year class is an art, not a science. To argue that this process is unfair is silly. It never has been, strictly speaking, fair, but the government doesn't step in until they see a way to promote right-wing values through political positioning. If there's a glut of people who like math in one year, each one's chances of getting in are reduced by the competition. It's like whining that it's unfair that your hobby of stamp collecting doesn't count for as much as someone else's hobby of football. That's technically unfair too, but you won't see Bush filing a brief hostile to sports recruiting.

I think if anyone sat and thought about it for more than a second, they would realize that a peer group chosen only because they scored highest on tests and schoolwork would not necessarily provide the best environment to learn in. So other factors need to be taken into account, not only to "help out" disadvantaged people, but also to make a vibrant, intellectually challenging environment. Having white privileged kids actually meet and interact with less privileged black kids can have a major effect on the lives of both groups--sparks can fly in both good and bad senses, but it's always eye-opening! So Affirmative action does much more than help minority students, it brings the issue of racial discrimination and racial privilege to the attention of kids at an impressionable time. You can't get more educational than that!


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:29 PM

Nerd,

That is the best explanation I've heard yet. Well put.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: PeteBoom
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:30 PM

Following up on what Nerd said, I left a post on my experiences in the related thread on Bush doing unnatural things to minorities in his opposition to the UofM's admission policies.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:37 PM

Nerd: Excellent points

Mary in Kentucy: Budgets are not exclusively the faults of former governors, irregardless of party affiliation. Every newly elected governor is griping with deficits left by the former governors. In Virginia, it is exactly opposite of Kentucy. Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat has been rangling over the deficits that James Gillmore, a Repub. left.

There are many reasons for this situation which if addressed will constitute a major thread drift but the over generalizations of partiasn blame for deficits is not helpfull in this discussion.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Beccy
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:38 PM

What was it Uncle Jacques said about me in another link? Something about stinking your finger in the hornet's nest?

Anyway- my view is this. I would be perfectly content if they chucked out all the legacy BS, high-roller son or daughter of a donor status, AND racial considerations when doing college admissions. I think the method by which (there- I didn't say quota system) U of M chooses its freshies is odious.

I would like to see all "race or ethnic background" fields eliminated from ALL applications in the US. Who cares that I have Irish, American Indian and German backgrounds? (Aside from my local liquor store which is THRILLED!) I surely don't. Would I claim my 1/8th Blackfoot Indian heritage to get into U of M? Not on your life. I can honestly tell you that every college I've ever dropped out of (of which there are several) I was admitted to because of my effervescent charm and uber vocabulary (and my humility.)

But seriously, I would not use my ethnic background to get in to anything because it is utterly irrelevant to my academic background AND my social activities.

Personally, I think college has become quite the racket these days. You pay loads of money to send yourself (or kids) to an environment that trumpets tolerance while holding its hands over the mouths of dissenters.

Back to you all. I'll be putting on my welding glasses to tame the flames before I log back on. Later mes amies.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:40 PM

It would still be nice to have college entrants (not to mention graduates) who were capable of skills like reading and simple arithmetic.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM

Great presentation, Nerd.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: NicoleC
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:46 PM

Nerd, you make excellent points. Right up until you equate creating a diverse student body with "Affirmative Action."

Who loses with Affirmative Action? The priviledged elite? Never! Want to take a guess at how many upper middle class white kids don't get to go to college because of Affirmative Action? I guess zero, personally.

The ones who lose are their economic and social peers that don't happen to be black/female/insert-minority-here. The ones who go to the same underfunded and under performing schools, whether they be poor inner city schools or poor rural schools. Affirmative Action by it's nature marginalizes minorities and reinforces stereotypes, mostly of the "lazy" or "stupid" black man. Often it assumes that neither white "less priviledged" or wealthy/middle class black kids have anything to contribute in that student community.

I've come to believe that Affirmative Action was a crucial step toward civic rights in this country, when it was the only way to improve diversity by getting black kids on campus or in jobs. But I think it's starting to cause more damage than it repairs, even though the intentions are generally nothing but good. I think it's time to move away from it and work harder on giving minorities (and everyone) the tools -- mostly education -- they need to compete fairly instead of continuing to shortchange kids and then patronize the minority community by throwing them a few bones via Affirmative Action.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:49 PM

Beccy:

I concur with your theory that a pure meritocracy would be theoretically optimum. But the UM does not live in or contribute to a vacuum, and it is to their credit that they try to acheive their mission in spite of a legacy of odious impositions on those less Anglo-Saxon than thee and me. An analogy might be broadly promoting that a corrupt gambling casino is now under New Management, in order to draw in public, repainting the walls and changing the carpets and so on, while not changing the slanted roulette wheels and the marked decks.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 03:39 PM

NicoleC,

You said that we should dump affirmative action and "work harder on giving minorities (and everyone) the tools -- mostly education -- they need to compete fairly".

Isn't that what Affirmative Action is trying to do? There might be an alternative, do you have any suggestion?

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Nerd
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 04:35 PM

NicoleC,

I see where you're coming from, and of course there will have to be a time when "Affirmative Action" stops because we don't need it anymore. But you're wrong about one thing. White middle class men (like me) ARE disadvantaged by affirmative action. But then, black people are still disproportionately excluded from a lot of other areas.

As an example, I have suffered in my career because I am white and male. If I am up against equally qualified black women, I lose.   I happen to know that the job I am in now called up qualified black women hundreds of miles away who had no interest in the job, while they held up my application, because the board of directors wanted diversity. In fact, I got this job because no black woman PhD would work for so little money! I then had to write grants to raise my salary to a liveable standard! So I definitely understand the feeling that "reverse discrimination" is a drag.

But on the other hand, if I want to buy a house in a certain area, or get a loan, I don't face the same challenges a black family faces. So I have a cushion provided by society that many black families wouldn't have. So here's the question: would it be "more fair" for me to be privileged in the loan department and equally treated in the career department, or "more fair" for me to be privileged in one but disadvantaged in another? These are tough questions with no simple answers. I think we all agree that the best thing would be equality in every area, and that's where we all want to aim. But how we get there is the tricky question.

[Just as an aside, I tend to take it all philosophically, and say, "this world IS unfair, but by and large I have a better deal than most of the world's population, so the unfairness benefits me." This helps me not feel victimized, like the plaintiffs in this case do. The ironic thing is, this applies to MOST americans, white or black! Try living in Congo or Tibet!]

Anyway, I ramble! But the point of my last post was that adding ethnic diversity to the educational environment has a value of its own outside of the equality question. I disagree, for example, that Beccy's ethnic background is irrelevant. There are many people whose stereotypes about Native Americans would be challenged by her energy and articulateness. I have a cousin whose freshman college roommate in Oswego, NY said to him (no joke)"wow, I've never seen a Jew before!" The degree of misunderstanding in the world was reduced by their becoming friends. That's the extra value that having people of color (as well as other groups) on campus can give us.

University these days is much more than school. It's the place where adolescents become adults, and much of the learning takes place outside of class. To limit people's opportunities to meet other people by applying a strict numbers game of how well they all did on the SAT makes very little sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 04:52 PM

Nerd, you're doing great.

I just wanted to say for all of you who interpret it one way when I'm thinking another..........A level field does not mean that we have to dumb down although that is in many cases what is happening, especially in the elementary programs. We need better and more not worse and less.

I would love to revamp the entire educational system. There are what I would term "natural teachers" out there who love to teach and many have not or have left the profession because of the red tape BS. Find me a person with knowledge who knows how to impart that knowledge and they are worth infinitely more than those who have credentials and education and certification. Too many good people are run out of education NOT by the low pay, but by the incredible amount of silliness in terms of documentation and paperwork that they need to do. So let's also find some astute pencil pushers to cover the ass of the great teachers!

Like Mary, this subject just gets too damn long and I get too wound up. Right now, I still feel that American education is the inculcation of the uninteresting to the indifferent by the incompetent.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: NicoleC
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 04:56 PM

No, I don't think it does, Ron. It's a Band-Aid. Let's wait until they are less educated than the other students, then try and fix it by helping them get into college? Some fix. What about the kids who don't get to go anyway, despite affirmative action? Too many kids fall through the cracks when you rely on quasi-effective measures liek affirmative action.

*How about textbooks written this decade? Textbooks at all?
*Would roof repairs and asbestos removal be too much to ask?
*Debt forgiveness, scholarships and other incentives to attract a new generation of teachers?
*Equal pay standards for teachers, instead of lower salaries in poorer school districts that end up sending the least competant teachers to the schools that need it most?
*Less reliance on standarized testing written by, for, and about white people. Let teachers teach, instead of teaching the test that month, and antoher next month, and another the month after...
*Less curriculum written by, for, and about white people and more multicultural curriculum that keeps minorities interested and broadens the horizons of white kids.
*Improved and more creative parent outreach programs that reach parents working 2 or 3 jobs by being flexible and listening.
*Community outreach programs, particularly those that include non-parents, to get the community active in improving the schools
*Improved and more after school programs that keep schools open and a safe place to go for kids into the evening hours that keep kids off the street and into a supportive environment. No need to make it all about tutoring (although that's good, too) -- how about open gyms and music classes
*School nutrition programs that don't just serve pizza next to the Coke machine.
*Get kids OFF the marketting schemes that send them around to pester all the neighbors so a magazine subscription warehouse can make money and give a few pennies to the school -- instead of those kids playing games, playing music, reading a book, engaging in debate, etc.

Nothing there too radical, or even too hard. I could go on with a much longer list. Once all the kids have a safe place to sit and textbooks to study, maybe we can work on including some of the programs (like early art and music classes) that have been shown to significantly improve mathematical skills and spacial reasoning. After all, the rich kids in the private elementary schools get it. Gosh, what about affordable, SAFE and educational daycare for pre-kindergarden students! What would that do for the mental development of young kids? What would that do for the parents?

There's so much more that can be done to improve the education of underprivileged students without falling back on divisive racial issues. Real, solid, proven things. No one knows it better than the teachers and the students what's missing, all we have to do is ask, because every school has it's individual challenges that need to be addressed. And helping out the poorest schools WILL help out minority students, without doing so at the expense of the non-minority students.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 05:05 PM

I'm with you 100% NicoleC. My children go to a school in a middle class suburb of NYC and many of the issues that you describe exist - and I would like to add one more - overcrowded schools.

However, that does not take the place of the potential safeguards created by Affirmative Action.    College is not mandatory and the merits of insuring an opportunity to those who historically have been denied is not a bad thing,in my opinion.

Ron


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 05:32 PM

Ron and Nicole: I agree with both of you. Lets fix the public schools now and end Affirmative Action when a full cycle of kids are of college age that have had the same quality of eductaion. The problem with Affirmative Action is that it was a Band-Aid program when it was started and will continue to be a Band-Aid as long as we have seriously underfunded and uninovative public education.

Until then, hey, I'm sticken with the contents of my previous posts.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Nerd
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 12:27 PM

There's a great article at Salon.com:



clicky

Let's see how my clicky works...


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: DougR
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM

This subject was discussed on the Diane Reames' show this morning on NPR. Panelists from the Washington Post, Washington Times and the Wallstreet Journal were the liberal host's guests.

According to one of the panelists, (Washington Post I believe), accident of birth is automatically awarded 20 of a total of 100 points when considering candidates. The Bush Administration's objection as reflected in the brief filed with Bobert's favorite legal body, The U. S. Supreme Court, is the amount awarded for being a minority. There was agreement among the panelists that that was the issue reflected in the brief. There was nothing in the brief that opposed there being diversity on university campuses.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Nerd
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 04:08 PM

So, DougR...

When you say it's the AMOUNT, does that mean Bush would support, say, 15 points? Ten? I just don't believe it. It's not the amount, it's the FACT of adding points into the system based on race.

While I agree this does not amount to being against diversity, is does amount to doing nothing at all to support diversity. If diversity is to be an actual goal--as opposed to high SAT scores and grades being the only goal--then a University should be able to take some actions to support the goal. That's what my previous post was arguing, that diversity has a positive value on campuses, and that taking measures to support it therefore does not amount to favoritism any more than football scholarships, consideration given for musical talent, or any other not-strictly-academic criteria. But the government does not involve itself in the debate on athletic favoritism or any other sort, only in the racial issue.

Anyone who's been around higher education will tell you that the biggest accident of birth affecting college admissions is being born to alumni parents. How many points do you think Yale added to Bush's total based on his being the child of an alumnus and a rich politician's son?


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 04:21 PM

Ahhh, Doug, you obviously ain't from around these parts. The Wall Street Journal the Washington Post and the Washington Times, liberals?
Hahaha..... The Washington Times is nothing but a rabbid right winged propagandized piece of un-jounranlism. And the other two ain't too far behind and closing quickly.

Now as for how these universities are going to have diversity is beyond me if there are not some guiding principles to bring about this diversity. This make no more sense than say... outlawing cancer.
More Bush "talkin' to talk" but not having a clue about "walkin' the walk". Governing involves more than making wishes, Dougie. Bottom line, after Junior's daddy's Supremne Court knocks out the only system that now exists to involved minorities in the "system", less will be involved.

Show me where my logic fails. Come on. Just give me a hint about what Doug and Junior's America will loook in a couple of years of wishing, hoping, wishing, hoping...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: DougR
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 04:29 PM

Nerd: I was merely reporting what I heard on NPR. I didn't say I agreed with it. In his speech a couple of days ago, the president indicated he was against the University's policy of using race as one of the measuring sticks as to which students were admitted. The brief filed with the court, as I understand it, was not as adamant about opposition to the policy, just that the amount of weight given to race was too much.

As I said in another thread, I don't think race should be considered at all! Discrimination against anyone is wrong, Black, White, Brown or any other color. If race is used as one of the criteria, it certainly should not be weighed as heavily as it is at the University of Michigan I think. The White student that was prevented from enrolling at the University can't help it that she was born White.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 04:32 PM

How about blue folks, Doug?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 05:56 PM

What criteria should be used? age, sex, grades, essay, country of origin, zip code, football skills, field hockey skills, number of published papers, number of juried art shows, financial status of family, class standing, state of residence, city of residence? It is not as easy as one might assume to find a reasonable way to choose candidates for admission. What if everyone was given a number and only minority black females were admitted? Then who would yell! What if only white females passed the admissions test. What if all the students were Japanese??

I mean who really should decide these things based on what criteria? And doesn't one believe that UofM's admissions criteria are weighted for diversity? What the hell is wrong with that?

Condolezza started this with Bush. She was provost at Stanford and black admissions and numbers of black profs increased during that time. It has a political meaning only, because admissions at UofM are more fair every year from what I can discern.


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 07:11 PM

oh and by the way...if race is not a weighted part of admissions what would happen to all the basketball and football teams? It's Bush political mumbo jumbo, a smokescreen for more improtant things. We wouldn't have any higher education if it weren't for weighting athletic skills so high. Why isn't that discriminatory? Come'on folks think about it!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: BH
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 07:27 PM

Just a brief personal history with a comment about entrance into places of Higher Ed.

I am a graduate of CCNY (City College of NY)back in the 1950s. It was then called "the poor man's Harvard". You either had an 85% or better average in HS or you had over 65% and took an entrance exam (not SAT). I did not need the entrance exam.

Later, after I graduated, they went to an "open enrollment" policy. All that it accomplished was to add remedial instruction to, hopefully, bring the entrants up to a level competance for College level work. It turned into a disaster and a lowering of what a diploma from the City Colleges (there were others--Hunter,Queens,etc;) meant.

That said, I have to say that it is about time that things were merit based. Though I hasten to add that the SATs are also not the be all end all to admissions. Entrance exams, interviews, essays, and a combination of such things should enter into the selection of students.

Yes, race had played a part in recent and older history. So had religion, by the way.   But, at this point if we truly want to become color blind we had better do exactly that and start with merit based entrances. Athletics not withstanding---that is a whole other topic. A subject that belongs on the professional playing fields and not in the Universities and their desire for income and prestige from that area.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: University of Michigan's racial quotas
From: Tinker
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 11:01 PM

Message to parents at Harvard Class Reunion.... The regular qualified applicant has a 20% chance of admittance. As a legacy, your child has a 40% chance of admittance... I'm sure the percentage rises with donation as well and Yale is no different. It's when those who benefit the most from a weighted point system are the ones fighting to keep others from the club that I find myself angered.

Tinker


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