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Is affirmative action REALLY fair?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 10:32 am
CarbonSystem wrote:
Would you disagree with that statement, Joe? Do you think that high school GPA and SAT scored would not show a correlation with succes, if data was gathered?

High school GPA and SAT scores have only a slight predictive value for college success:
    "The SAT I is designed to predict first-year college grades - it is not validated to predict grades beyond the freshman year, graduation rates, pursuit of a graduate degree, or for placement or advising purposes. However, according to research done by the tests' manufacturers, class rank and/or high school grades are still both better predictors of college performance than the SAT I." "Validity research at individual institutions illustrates the weak predictive ability of the SAT. One study (J. Baron & M. F. Norman in Educational and Psychology Measurement, Vol. 52, 1992) at the University of Pennsylvania looked at the power of high school class rank, SAT I, and SAT II in predicting cumulative college GPAs. Researchers found that the SAT I was by far the weakest predictor, explaining only 4% of the variation in college grades, while SAT II scores accounted for 6.8% of the differences in academic performance. By far the most useful tool proved to be class rank, which predicted 9.3% of the changes in cumulative GPAs. Combining SAT I scores and class rank inched this figure up to 11.3%, leaving almost 90% of the variation in grades unexplained."
Source

In short, the SAT has a very weak predictive value for a student's grades during his or her freshman year -- and that's it. It has no proven value for predicting student "success" during the remainder of his or her collegiate career.

Indeed, even the College Board, which puts out the SAT, says that test scores and GPA should not be the sole criteria for admissions:
    No matter how well the SAT predicts a student's ultimate performance in college, admissions is often related to more than simply identifying the students who will get high grades in college. Colleges may also wish to enroll students who have other important characteristics that might be more evident through the other criteria outlined in this guideline. Perhaps most importantly, many institutions want to view student's SAT scores in relation to their own particular backgrounds. If a student has attended a school with relatively few resources or if the student's family does not speak English at home, one might expect lower SAT scores than for a student who has attended a rigorous secondary school and comes from a highly English literate family situation.
Source(.pdf file)

CarbonSystem wrote:
I agree with what you're saying, that not as much emphasis should be on standardized testing, and more subjective. I am just of the opinion that in the society we live in today, race should not be part of that subjective choosing process. It should not be considered anymore than if the person has blue eyes or brown eyes, tall or small, thin or fat, etc...

We know that's your opinion. You just haven't given any cogent reasons for that opinion.

CarbonSystem wrote:
Joe, where did you go?

I only occasionally post on the weekends.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 10:51 am
If I may add, Joe, that success in one's college education is also not a precursor of professional success.
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CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 01:21 pm
I think it's safe to say that nothing can really predict how someone will do in their professional career. Would you agree?
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 03:02 pm
Yes, too many variables. But I think it's safe to say that, statistically speaking, it is more likely that a good education will contribute to professional success. But it's clearly not enough.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 03:04 pm
erased duplication of the above
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 03:20 pm
But one thing is statistically true: Most with a college degree will earn more than the person with just a high school education.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 03:49 pm
CarbonSystem wrote:
I think it's safe to say that nothing can really predict how someone will do in their professional career. Would you agree?

Yes, I'd agree. The best that we can hope to do is make an educated guess.

What's your point?
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CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2005 01:16 pm
My point is not to use that in part of your argument.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2005 01:26 pm
CarbonSystem wrote:
My point is not to use that in part of your argument.

Show me where I used that as part of my argument.
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CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2005 09:04 pm
You tried to use the fact that SAT scores are not a good way to predict success, in order to support AA. But the fact is, nothing can do that, especially not race, so why should it be included?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2005 09:25 am
CarbonSystem wrote:
You tried to use the fact that SAT scores are not a good way to predict success, in order to support AA.

No, I noted that scores on standardized tests alone are not reliable indicators of "merit" or "success" (or whatever one might consider as a value to be considered in college admissions) in order to show that reliance on those scores as a means of determining who "deserves" to be admitted to college is flawed. AA is not preferable simply because the other methods are bad; AA stands on its own merits.

CarbonSystem wrote:
But the fact is, nothing can do that, especially not race, so why should it be included?

One might just as easily ask: if nothing can predict success, then why not include race? Or, in other words, why single out race as the one factor that cannot be considered? That's a question that has been posed to you on a number of occasions, Carbon, and you have yet to answer except to say that considering race is somehow "unfair." It's time, however, that you explained why you think it's unfair.
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CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2005 02:35 pm
It is unfair because as race has ZERO correlation with someone's abililty for success, then it should have ZERO affect on how someone gets in. Period.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2005 09:11 am
CarbonSystem wrote:
It is unfair because as race has ZERO correlation with someone's abililty for success, then it should have ZERO affect on how someone gets in. Period.

Why should "ability for success" (whatever that is) be the sole criterion for determining whether a person is admitted to a college or not?
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jpinMilwaukee
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2005 01:27 pm
Just a few tidbits of information from Thomas Sowell's (a briliant African American) book The Quest for Cosmic Justice. I have also cited his sources.

100 years ago, labor force participation rates among blacks were slightly higher then among whites - and remained so on past the middle of the 20th century.

- US bureau of Census, Historical Statistics of the US: Colonial times to 1957 (Washington DC: US Government printing office) 1961. p 72

Black American college students planning to go to post-graduate education were found by one study to feel no sense of urgency about the need to prepare themselves academically "because they believe that certain rukes would simply be set aside for them."

- Daniel C. Thompson. Private Black Colleges at the Crossroads. p88

A Similar lack of urgency wasfound by a study of Malaysian students in Malaysia, where they are legally entitled to perferential access to coveted positions in government and the private economy.

- Donald L Horowitz. Ethinc Groups in Conflicy. p670

In American Virgin Islands even school children have excused their own lack of academic and behavioral standards by pointing out that government jobs will be waiting for them when they grow up - jobs for which their West Indian classmates will not be eligible, even though the latter perform better academically and behave themselves better in school as well, because the West Indians are not American Citizens.

- Margret A Gibson. Ethnicity and Schooling: West Indian Immigrants in the United States Virgin Islands. Ethinc Groups Vol 5 No 3 p190-192 1983

Rate of progress of blacks, and especially low income blacks, during the era of AA policies has been less than that under "equal opportunity" policies which preceded it or even before equal opportunity.

- Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom. America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisble. p184-188
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2005 02:35 pm
Quote, "A Similar lack of urgency wasfound by a study of Malaysian students in Malaysia, where they are legally entitled to perferential access to coveted positions in government and the private economy." When I visited Malaysia many years ago, I learned that the Chinese citizens of Malaysia also paid more in fees to attend schools.
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JustanObserver
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 02:43 pm
CarbonSystem wrote:
It is unfair because as race has ZERO correlation with someone's abililty for success, then it should have ZERO affect on how someone gets in. Period.



That type of thinking is exactly why you'll never understand the situation.
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CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 11:34 pm
So you think that because of someone's skin color, they have a higher, or lower level of intelligence?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Mar, 2005 12:10 pm
jp, IMHO, quoting Sowell about the dynamics in other countries does not necessarily apply to the US educational or job standards. I believe his thesis only applies to those countries in which he did research, and extrapolating them to the US is somewhat of a stretch. There is a great deal more "equality" in this country than most people would have us believe. That's not to say we don't have discrimination in the US.
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bach vu
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Mar, 2005 12:50 pm
Hmm... just something to think about.... if admission to higher education were to solely be based on SAT and the like scores, a high percentage of students would probably be asians; yet, the universities populations are much more diverse. So, I think affirmative action has always been in practice, but not always for blacks, in particular. I think it's fair to level out the playing field when some groups have been under-priviledged for so long. To do otherwise would almost be saying that it was ok that black people were previously oppressed and taken advantage of, over these centuries. None of us, here, have ever experienced slavery, I'm sure; but if you were enslaved, it's not just your life that's affected, it's your children and your grandchildren's lives that will be diminished. I think it's about time to recognize that fact and give something back to the under-priviledged.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Mar, 2005 01:41 pm
Interesting article from the San Jose Mercury News.

Posted on Thu, Mar. 24, 2005



Study: State urban schools are `dropout factories'

By Dana Hull and Larry Slonaker
Mercury News

A new study by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University warns that California's high school graduation rate is routinely underestimated -- and that African-American and Latino students are earning high school diplomas at alarmingly low rates.

California's overall graduation rate -- or the percentage of freshman who earn a regular diploma four years later -- is about 71 percent, according to both state officials and the researchers.

But the state does not compute statewide graduation rates by race or ethnicity, and when the researchers did that with a new formula, they found that only 57 percent of African-American students and 60 percent of Latino students graduated on time in 2002.

It's even worse for male students: 50 percent for African-Americans and 54 percent for Latinos.

But most troubling, the researchers said, was the graduation rate they computed for Latino and African-American students in the state's 10 largest school districts. The researchers did not examine other districts, including those in Santa Clara County.

``Large urban school districts in California have become dropout factories,'' said Gary Orfield, director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, who called for more accurate reporting. ``The economic and social impacts of this dropout crisis are too enormous for Californians to ignore.''

State education officials said the study's conclusion, which computes graduation rates using enrollment data tracked through grade levels, is not surprising. And while they report a graduation rate of almost 87 percent to the federal government for the 2001-02 school year using a federal formula, they also report on the Department of Education Web site that the rate is probably closer to 71 percent.

To resolve that conflict -- and get a much clearer picture of how many students start and then finish high school -- they want to implement a system that would track individual students as they move from grade to grade and even school to school in California or out of state. At the moment, for example, if a student leaves San Jose Unified and moves to Arizona or Mexico, there's no way to determine if the student is still in school.

But while that tracking program has been approved by the Legislature, the state's budget crisis has delayed implementation for at least another year.

``The reality is that no one knows the exact figure,'' said Jack O'Connell, California's superintendent of public instruction.

Students leave school for a number of reasons. Academic struggles, teen pregnancy, poverty, and the need to care for younger siblings are all factors. Others are expelled, in jail, leave the country, move to other states or go straight into community college programs before their graduation date.

``There's clearly a problem,'' said Donna Rothenbaum of the California Department of Education. ``Our graduation rate has been around 70 percent, and it's alarming. It's a number that we want to see go higher. More than 70 percent of our kids should be graduating high school after four years.''

Santa Clara County files an annual dropout report with the state, but officials say the figures are considered to be unreliable because individual students are not tracked.

In that report, the county listed its 2002-03 dropout rate as 6.4 percent. The figure is an estimate of students who would drop out over a four-year period, based on information collected in a single year. The statewide dropout rate for the same period is 12.6 percent. For San Jose Unified, the figure is 4.2 percent.

There is no official countywide graduation rate. However, districts are required to file their own rates -- as well as that of their individual high schools -- to conform with federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

In that report, San Jose Unified lists its graduation rate for the class of 2002-03 as 93.8 percent, but officials say that figure is almost certainly overstated. For the same year, the district said the dropout rate among Latinos in the district was 6.1 percent, among Asians it was 0.3 percent and among whites it was 3.3 percent.
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