Saturday, February 19, 2011

Does This Surprise Anyone?

The only surprise would be that anyone's surprised by it.

The Center for Equal Opportunity released a study earlier this week that analyzed undergrad admissions data we had obtained from Ohio State and Miami University and concluded that heavy preferences are given to African American and, to a lesser extent, Latino applicants over white and, again to a lesser extent, Asian applicants. The study is posted on our website here, and Linda Chavez and I have written about it here and here, respectively.

The universities’ response is that, while we considered test scores, grades, residency, and other variables in addition to race, we did not consider all the variables they consider. In other words, they are apparently claiming that the severe disparities we found can be explained away by the fact that African Americans write much, much more persuasive admission essays than do whites, for example, and that Latinos get much, much better letters of recommendation than do Asians. To which our response is . . . be serious. Such “soft” factors are unlikely to break along racial lines — or, if they do, they are likely to break along the same racial lines that test scores and grades do (for example, wouldn’t teachers be more impressed with, and write more glowing letters of recommendation for, students who get good grades?), which would leave the universities with even more to explain.

Color of their skin. Content of their character. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to, dude.


Bluegrass Pundit said...

Thanks for posting that! It must be lonely out there on the West Coast. :( If you like funny videos, check out this funny conservative videos site.

Anonymous said...

One can only wonder how it is that whites hang on to their very firm grip on the halls of power: Senate, House, Supreme Court... oh hey; the President is only half white. Run for the hills!

Darren said...

Yes, "whites" are holding onto power. They meet in a big group somewhere and figure out how to do that. They have organizations devoted to keeping power. And they "allow" a few token minorities here and there, just to keep up appearances.


Anonymous said...

The same phenomenon exists at the grad level. About 1990, I remember a med school interviewer telling me about a black student, with MCAT scores and grades that would have disqualified a white or Asian, who began the interview with "I know I can go to any medical school, so why don't you tell me why I should go here?" (he wasn't quite right; that school did not admit him)

There's good evidence that such preferences translate to lower outcomes; LSAT and MCAT scores are positively correlated with bar exam and (medical) National Board and specialty board pass rates

To my unenlightened mind, it's fundamentally dishonest to admit students with a low chance of success (at that school, some might do well in a lower-pressure environment). This is in addition to the obvious discrimination against bettter-qualified students who were not admitted.

Ellen K said...

Latinos get "better" recommendation letters? Seriously? I write letters all the time and frankly most of them are for my Korean students. Perhaps the letters are in a language that the advisors can't read and therefore carry more weight. What a crock.