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Affirmative Action and School Inequality (Online discussion)



Ends April 27, 2012


UC sees uptick in admissions of foreign, out-of-state students – Los Angeles Times (particpation)

What does this tell us about admissions, meritocracy, and notions of “fairness”

UC admits more foreign, out-of-state students

The university offers fall entrance to 43% more non-California freshmen than last year. Such students would each pay an extra $23,000 a year, helping plug budget gaps caused by reductions in state funding.

April 18, 2012|By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times

The University of California admitted 43% more out-of-state and international freshmen than last year, significantly boosting its controversial efforts to enroll those higher-paying students, according to data released Tuesday.

As a result, officials said they expected the share of the upcoming freshman class from outside California to be somewhat higher than the 12.3% this school year but said the actual proportion remains uncertain because non-Californians are less likely to enroll than resident students.

UC offered fall entrance to 61,443 California students to at least one of its nine undergraduate campuses, an increase of 3.6% from last year.


Transit: An April 16 Op-Ed article about the 30/10 transit plan in Southern California referred to a 72-22 Senate vote on a two-year transportation bill. The vote was 74 to 22. —

It also admitted 18,846 students from other states and countries, up from 13,144 the previous year. Those students would each pay an extra $23,000 a year and help plug the budget gaps caused by reductions in state funding. Students have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll.

UC hopes to raise the overall enrollment of non-Californians to 10% of all undergraduates in a few years, up from the current 6.9%, although UCLA and UC Berkeley already have much higher shares of out-of-staters.

Kate Jeffery, UC’s interim director of undergraduate admissions, said Tuesday that more California students “are being squeezed out” of their first- or second-choice campuses, and she blamed cuts in state funding, not the rise in out-of-state admissions. However, she insisted that all students who meet UC’s academic requirements are being offered a space somewhere in the system, with UC Merced as the backup if all other campuses have rejected them.

Because applications from state residents increased substantially and enrollment is not expanding much, it got harder for Californians to find a spot in UC. The situation may have been inadvertently worsened by changes this year in UC admissions criteria that were approved before the state budget crisis and were intended to expand the application pool; those reforms included dropping the requirement that students take two supplemental SAT subject exams, although the main SAT or ACT tests are still mandatory.

Overall, the admissions rate for California students declined from 69.7% last year to 65.8% for fall 2012. And non-Californians faced a similar trend: 53.9% of out-of-state students in the U.S. were admitted, down from 60.7% last year, and about 61.3% of foreign applicants, compared to 64.1% in 2011.

UCLA again was the hardest UC campus to crack for Californians, with only 17.7% offered entrance at the Westwood school. Next came Berkeley, 22.7%; San Diego, 32.1%; Irvine, 33.6%; Santa Barbara, 41%; Davis, 44.5%; Riverside and Santa Cruz, both 61.6%; and Merced, 76.5%.

When non-Californians are included in the acceptance rate, UC Berkeley had a slight edge for being the most selective UC campus, offering a spot to 21.2% of all applicants compared with 21.3% at UCLA.

California families are right to be outraged to see their high-achieving children turned down at some campuses while non-residents are getting in, said Patrick Callan, who is president of the Higher Education Policy Institute, a think tank in San Jose.

As California residents and state legislators come to feel less connected to the university, UC will be less likely to have its funding boosted when the economy improves, he said. “It’s a mistake and it’s a disservice to the people of California,” Callan said of the rising ranks of out-of-state students. “I think it is a short-term benefit that really does compromise the university in the long term.” Instead, UC should cut duplications in graduate academic programs, he said.

Jeffery, however, noted that the proportion of non-Californian undergraduates at UC “is still very small and certainly small compared to some other public institutions in other states.” She added that out-of-staters and foreign students add cultural diversity and different perspectives to campuses.

Eight campuses increased their number of admissions offers to non-Californians. Only UC Berkeley, which already attracted controversy for enrolling 30% of its current freshman class from out-of-state, pulled back, cutting those admissions by 12.5%.

UCLA and UC Irvine took in more freshman than anticipated last year and decided to reduce their numbers of admissions offers to California freshmen to compensate for that, officials said. UCLA cut in-state freshman admissions by 15.1% and Irvine by 16.2%, making Irvine appear noticeably more competitive than in the past.

The proportion of Latinos and blacks offered admission to UC rose slightly from last year, to 27.3% and 4.4% respectively. Asian Americans kept nearly the same share, 36.3% while whites declined, reflecting state demographics, from 30.6% to 28.2%.

via UC sees uptick in admissions of foreign, out-of-state students – Los Angeles Times.

via UC sees uptick in admissions of foreign, out-of-state students – Los Angeles Times.

With A Brooklyn Accent: Some Thoughts on Ivy League Admissions-And Affirmative Action- For Donald Trump (Participation)

Some Thoughts on Ivy League Admissions-And Affirmative Action- For Donald Trump

Professor Mark Naison

Fordham University

Donald Trump’s comments that Barack Obama didn’t have the grades to get into Ivy League

Schools shows a profound ignorance of the admissions policies of those institutions. According to Bowen, Shapiro et all who thoroughly researched the admissions policies of elite universities in the US ( and whose conclusions can be found in their 2002 book The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values) the greatest admissions advantage at those schools goes not to children of alumni, or underrepresented minorities, but to recruited athletes! Not only are their twice as many recruited athletes as underrepresented minorities at these schools, but the admissions advantage accruing to an athlete, whether male or female, is twice as powerful as those given to a minority or a “legacy”.

We are not talking about a small number of students here. At most Ivy League schools, close to 20 percent of the undergraduates are recruited athletes, and at Williams College, they

constitute 40 percent of the student population. Given the variety of the sports encompassed, which go from lacrosse, to golf, to tennis to sailing, to soccer, to hockey along with softball, baseball, basketball and football, it turns out that the overwhelming majority of beneficiaries of

“sports affirmative action” are white. Not only are these athletes admitted with significantly lower grades and SAT’s than the university mean, but their grades in college tend to be lower than those of their fellow students. Nevertheless, their incomes after college are no lower than those of their fellow students because a large proportion of them go into careers in the financial sector, which go out of their way to recruit “Ivy league athletes” as key components of their work force.

The populist resentment of allegedly “undeserving” minorities who push hardworking white students out of top college- which Trump is exploiting with his rhetoric- turns out to be misplaced. To put the matter bluntly, there are a lot more white hockey and football players who get into Ivy League schools with SAT’s below the school norm than there are Black and Latino students from the inner city. As someone who spent more than 15 years coaching athletes from diverse racial and class backgrounds in Brooklyn in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I know this from personal experience as well as research. One young woman I worked with, a nationally ranked tennis player who was highly recruited by every Ivy League college, actually got a letter from Harvard telling her that her target SAT score for admission was 1100! Another young man from our community, a highly recruited left handed pitcher, was told that his admission target for Princeton was 1200, with an expected verbal score of 600 because “Princeton has a lot of reading.” Needless to say, both of those young people were white!

So much for “undeserving minorities” pushing white kids out of top colleges! To put this in perspective, I have taught African American Studies at Fordham for more than 40 years and talked to hundreds of Black and Latino students about their college recruitment experiences. Not one of them has mentioned being given SAT targets that low for admission to Harvard, Yale or Princeton!

Donald Trump needs to find a new subject for his demagoguery. If Barack Obama got into Columbia with lower grades and SAT’s scores than the college mean, he was only one of many students- the vast majority of whom were white- who fell into that category. And his success, along with so many others so admitted, should be a warning that traits measurable on standardized tests are not the only indicators of talent and potential that should be considered for university admission. When Ivy League schools admit students, irrespective of the scores they register on standardized tests, they almost never drop out, and usually achieve professional success after graduation. Whether these schools should have as much power as they do in American society is another question, but none of the students they bring in are programmed to “fail.”

Columbia College chose wisely in admitting Barack Obama. His admission was only one small part of a broad policy for creating a student body diverse in talent as well as cultural background from which far more whites than ethnic and racial minorities were beneficiaries

Mark Naison

Aprl 27, 2011

via With A Brooklyn Accent: Some Thoughts on Ivy League Admissions-And Affirmative Action- For Donald Trump.

via With A Brooklyn Accent: Some Thoughts on Ivy League Admissions-And Affirmative Action- For Donald Trump.

Redefining campus diversity – (participation)

Redefining campus diversity

Selective schools need to be vigilant in their effort to bring in more low-income kids.

Across America, the nation’s select colleges are expanding their concept of diversity. It’s not just about improving racial and ethnic balance on campus, but also increasing the percentage of low-income students – which is even lower than for minorities. Both are important goals.

Politics and the courts are pushing elite schools toward this broader approach.

In June, it will be five years since the Supreme Court gave the University of Michigan law school a pass on its practice of using race as one tool to consider in admissions. But this qualified OK on affirmative action is tenuous. Given the justices now on the bench, a new challenge could well be overturned. Such a case may grow out of a recent suit against the University of Texas at Austin.

At the same time, political momentum is building to ban race as a consideration in public education and hiring. This fall Colorado, Missouri, Arizona, and Nebraska will put such initiatives on ballots. If past voter approval in California, Washington, and Michigan is any guide, the four measures will pass, and handily.

Opening the university gates to make it possible for more low-income students to attend still means shutting out otherwise qualified students. But voters perceive discrimination based on income as more acceptable than racial preferences. And there are no legal hurdles.

Attuned, selective colleges and universities are making a greater effort to improve income mix and still keep an eye on racial diversity.

In recent months, Harvard, Stanford, and other elite schools have announced free tuition for students whose families earn less than $60,000 (more in some cases).

Several private foundations have begun programs to match smart but poor kids with elite schools.

Last fall, 19 of the country’s largest public university systems pledged to halve the achievement gap for minority and low-income students by improving their college attendance and graduation rates.

And the nation now has a proven model in Texas, which has found a legal way to increase income, geographic, and racial variety – and academic performance. The University of Texas guarantees admission to the top 10 percent of state high schools. It sweeps rural and urban schools, poor and wealthy, minorities and whites. (The above-mentioned lawsuit challenges the part of admissions that still uses racial preferences).

These efforts are encouraging, but the challenge is daunting.

A 2003 study by the Century Foundation found that African-Americans and Hispanics each constitute only 6 percent of incoming freshmen at the nation’s 146 most select schools (as defined by the Barron’s guide). Yet the percent of blacks and Hispanics among 18-year-olds is more than twice that. Income disparity was even worse: only 3 percent of all the freshmen were from the poorest quarter of the population.

It’s also expensive to pay for poor kids and then follow through with the extra skills help they may need, especially when state budgets are being squeezed and a recession may be settling in.

The trend over time is that more students of color will graduate from US high schools, and many will be low-income. Higher education must be vigilant in moving them onto and up the learning ladder.

via Redefining campus diversity –

via Redefining campus diversity – (participation).

Facebook stalking in the name of affirmative action – (Participation)

Facebook stalking in the name of affirmative action

Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on affirmative action, I recall how at Roll Call newspaper, I was told that one of our three interns had to be from a racial minority. Diversity is important, but giving someone an advantage beyond his experience degrades the applicant and the hirer.

By Debra Bruno / March 21, 2012

University of Michigan student Ebrie Benton demonstrates outside the Federal courthouse March 7 in Cincinnati, where the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was hearing oral arguments in a review of their ruling last summer that Proposal 2, the ban on affirmative action in Michigan, is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court will soon hear a case on affirmative action, involving race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas.

Al Behrman/AP


5 and 3 StumbleUpon E-mail


There I was, Facebook stalking again. But I wasn’t chasing after an old boyfriend or trying to see if my niece was having too good a time in Italy. As the internship coordinator for Roll Call (now CQ Roll Call), a newspaper covering Congress on Capitol Hill, I was looking at the faces of candidates for internships.

One might ask: Why did I care about what a prospective intern would look like? The answer was that I was told that out of three interns hired each semester at Roll Call, one of them had to be from a racial minority: African-American, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, Native American. And in some cases, what you can’t tell from a name you can see from a picture.

Mike Mills, the paper’s editorial director, denies that Roll Call had a policy to “tip the scales in favor of any candidate solely to fulfill our our diversity goals,” but I was given a clear directive otherwise, initiated when I was with Roll Call in 2009 and 2010. It was part of an overall push to improve diversity at the newspaper, which is owned by The Economist Group. The company felt, laudably, that an ethical work environment is one that offers opportunities to those who may not have had them in the past.

OPINION: Eight ingredients for a peaceful society

I want to be clear that I think the goal is a good one: Most newsrooms these days are anything but diverse, and that lack of diversity affects the kinds of stories covered, the approach to those stories, the photographs, the headlines, everything.

But is there a way to fix this – at least a better way than using race as a key part of the selection criteria? The US Supreme Court will to take up a version of that question itself when it hears a case that challenges the University of Texas’s race-conscious admissions practices later this year. In 2003, the court ruled that public colleges could use race in a vague way as a criterion for college admissions. But now the court has agreed to look at a case involving admissions at the University of Texas. Observers predict that the more conservative bench today is likely to end any kind of race-based preference in higher education.

In my case, what I discovered in my hunt for the right interns was an obstacle that had less to do with racial factors and more to do with economic ones. When I started at Roll Call as features editor in charge of internships, we offered three unpaid internships each semester and in the summer. What that meant was that one of the main qualifications for the job was a set of parents who were able and willing to allow their child to work fulltime for free for several months, with the hope that it might lay the groundwork for future employment.

CONTINUE READING @ Facebook stalking in the name of affirmative action –

via Facebook stalking in the name of affirmative action –

Women of Color In Television, Part 1: The Numbers | ThinkProgress (Participation)

Women Of Color Directed 1 Percent of TV Episodes Last Season, Make $23,325 Less Than Male Writers

By Alyssa Rosenberg on Apr 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

This week, spurred on by the debut of HBO’s Girls and the subsequent discussion of the show’s whiteness, has seen a significant discussion about the erasure of women of color on television, and the fact that the depictions of women of color, when they do happen, are frequently created and mediated by white writers. However we feel about Girls, and opinions vary, I think we can agree that the larger situation is untenable, and that our popular culture would be a richer, more interesting place if women of color had more opportunities to create, run production on, star in, and direct more television shows. I also think it’s critical to emphasize that just because women of color aren’t always visible as characters on television doesn’t mean they’re not already writing episodes of television and acting as showrunners. So in this post and another that run on Monday, I want to do two things: first, lay out the actual facts on the employment of women of color in television, which is an important starting point for a conversation about structural reform, and second, call attention to the great work of some of the women of color who are creating television already, but who don’t get the same kind of attention as Shonda Rhimes.

So let’s talk some numbers. First, the state of women’s employment in television overall is an embarrassment. According to the Women’s Media Center, during the 2010-2011 television season, women made up:

-18 percent of creators

-22 percent of executive producers

-37 percent of producers

-15 percent of writers

-11 percent of directors

-20 percent of editors

-4 percent of directors of photography.

Those numbers have not appreciably improved since 1997, and in fact, the years in which women make some gains in one of those professions frequently seem to be followed by declines in substantive seasons.

Moving in from those general numbers on women’s employment, the numbers are substantially worse when you look at women of color. A Directors Guild of America analysis of the 2010-2011 television season found that women of color directed just 1 percent of 2,600 television episodes that aired during that period (men of color directed 11 percent of those episodes, numbers comparable to those helmed by white women).

It should be noted that in television, unlike in film, writers have substantially more impact on the final product of a given episode than directors do. The Writers Guild of America, West puts out its Hollywood Writers Report less frequently than some of the other reports I’ve cited here or drawn other figures form, but the 2011 edition of the report, which looks at employment data from 2009 is revealing. It doesn’t break out data on minority women, but the numbers are still worth a look.

Between 2005 and 2009, the number of minority writers in television has fluctuated between nine and ten percent—as the report puts it, “it appears that minority writers are at best treading water when it comes to their share of television employment.” The median salary for white male television writers in 2009 was $108,000. For all minority writers, the median salary was $84,675. The pay gap between white male television writers and minority writers of both genders was $8,007 in 1999, $10,688 in 2007, and in 2009, rose to $23,325.

The report also notes an important factor that may interact with these other statistics: in 2005, 2007, and 2009, the number of writers younger than 31 stayed constant at 6 percent. And the number of writers aged 31 to 40 went from 37 percent to 36 percent during those years, so it’s not as if the number of younger writers stayed constant because they’re all aging into the next cohort and being replaced on a one to one basis. In other words, there isn’t yet an influx of a younger generation of writers that might bring more diversity than the current crop of established writers. Changing these numbers doesn’t appear to be something that’s going to change naturally. In fact, in some categories like compensation, the industry is losing ground.

These numbers are pathetic. This situation is pathetic. And if you’d like to let executives at the networks know that, here are the people at the major networks you should call out about it:

via Women of Color In Television, Part 1: The Numbers | ThinkProgress.

via Women of Color In Television, Part 1: The Numbers | ThinkProgress.

Affirmative Action (Participation)