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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A bunch of baloney

Associated Press reports on how California universities and others are race blind in their admissions policy.

Ten years later, the numbers of underrepresented minorities at UC have rebounded at the undergraduate level, although they haven't kept pace with high school graduation rates. But more blacks and Hispanics are also going to lesser-known branches of the 10-campus system and fewer to the flagships of Berkeley and UCLA.

Meanwhile, the movement toward race-blind admissions is spreading. Florida, Texas and Michigan have rewritten their admissions rules. Ward Connerly, the UC regent who started it all, is taking his campaign for race-blind admissions to as many as five more states next year, including Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arizona.


The debate over affirmative action begins with how you define affirmative action.

To Connerly, it's a system of "racial preferences" that drive a wedge between people. To his opponents, it's a way to recognize that not everyone starts with the same advantages.

The debate came to UC in 1995 when, in a bitterly contested 14-10 vote, the system's governing Board of Regents voted to stop looking at applicants' race, effective for graduate students in 1997 and for undergrads the following year.

In 1996, Connerly took the movement statewide with Proposition 209, which banned consideration of race in public hiring, contracting and education.

A similar measure passed in Washington state in 1998, and Texas affirmative action policies fell in 1996 with a federal appeals court ruling.

In Florida, Connerly launched a campaign similar to Proposition 209. Then-Gov. Jeb Bush opposed the measure as divisive but implemented his own "One Florida" plan eliminating the use of race or gender in higher education and government hiring.

The tide seemed to turn in 2003 when the Supreme Court, ruling in two University of Michigan cases, said race could be used as a limited factor in college admissions.

But Connerly and his supporters countered with a successful initiative last fall banning consideration of race in Michigan admissions.

What has it all meant?

Florida figures released last fall showed black students made up 13.7 percent of enrollment in state universities, compared to 14.2 percent when One Florida was implemented in 1999.

At the University of Texas at Austin, minority enrollment dropped after the 1996 federal court ruling, but has since rebounded. Last fall, 1,914 black students enrolled compared to 1,911 in 1996.

University of Michigan officials say they won't defy the ban on race-based admissions, but they won't give up on diversity.


Interestingly, Asians, who did not benefit under affirmative action, now make up 36 percent of admissions, up from 33 percent in 1997. That makes Asians overrepresented since California is roughly 44 percent white, 35 percent Hispanic, 12 percent Asian and nearly 7 percent black.

Connerly thinks the growth in Asian admissions since '97 shows they were being discriminated against under the old system.
Asian Americans are being Discriminated against under the current system. Did AP and this article's author bother to either do a google search or read an article like the following?

IN MOST CONTEXTS on college campuses, Asian-Americans are "people of color," a stripe in the multicultural rainbow. But when it comes to elite-college admissions, Asian-Americans put a strain on the usual "minority" alliances.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Jian Li, a freshman at Yale, had filed a complaint against Princeton with the Office of Civil Rights at the US Department of Education, charging that the university had rejected him because he was Asian-American. Despite perfect SAT scores, near-perfect achievement test scores, nine AP classes, and a class rank in the top 1 percent at Livingston High School in New Jersey, Li says he was rejected by Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT, while getting into Yale, Cooper Union, Rutgers, and Cal Tech.

Li, whose family moved to the United States from China when he was 4, told The Daily Princetonian that he was "fine" with being at Yale, but that discrimination against Asian-Americans in admissions had long bothered him. His decision to sue Princeton alone was "kind of arbitrary," he said. "If something comes of it, it will send a message for all the universities."

To judge from the responses in Ivy League newspapers, most students wish he'd spared the effort. In The Daily Princetonian, Zachary Goldstein, a 2005 graduate, said the


Princeton's admissions office, for its part, maintains that it makes no effort to align student demographics with that of the national population. Describing Li's complaint as "without merit," Princeton spokespeople have said that every student is evaluated using both academic and nonacademic criteria (such as leadership and artistic ability). And like other colleges, Princeton defends giving black and Hispanic students, children of alumni, and athletes a boost on the nonacademic side of the ledger.

Yet Li isn't alone in his concerns, the derision heaped on him by his contemporaries notwithstanding. Daniel Golden, author of the Journal story this month, helped bring the issue of discrimination against Asian-Americans back to life this year in his book "The Price of Admission," in which he dubs Asian-Americans "the new Jews." From the 1920s through the 1950s, Jewish applicants with straight A's vexed elite-college admissions officers, who wanted to maintain a strong WASP tone on their campuses. The result was quotas.

Golden basically concludes that some Asian-American students who would be admitted if they were of any other ethnicity get rejected -- often for reasons based on stereotype -- to make room for "more desirable" students. But he can't make an airtight case. The question now is: Will the Office of Civil Rights, with its investigative powers, prove Li and Golden right?
I blogged about Jian Li and Princeton University in this post.

It seems pretty clear to me that race blind doesn't apply to Asian Americans. How else would a student with perfect SAT scores get denied admission to a school? Talking to Connerly about Asian American student admissions is the equivalent of interviewing George Wallace on the subject of African American college admissions forty years ago. AP needs to get its head out of its anus.

Linked to-Bullwinkle, Pursuing Holiness, Right Wing Nation,


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