Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Incompetent black law students must be graduated?

"Black" degrees are of low repute generally so we might as well make them all of low repute, apparently. It is poison to able blacks though. Just ask Justice Thomas of SCOTUS

According to the "mismatch" phenomenon analyzed by UCLA law professor Richard Sander (and discussed here too many times to cite), applicants to law schools who are preferentially admitted with much lower grades and test scores than others in their entering classes tend to cluster near the bottom of their classes, graduate at a much lower rate, and pass the bar at a much lower rate.

I have also discussed here too many times to cite (but I will anyway) the fact that the American Bar Association for all practical purposes requires law schools to achieve "diversity" by employing racial preferences in admissions.

Now, with those two facts in mind, consider whether there are warning signals coming out of the predicament of St. Mary's College, a small college near San Francisco, as reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education, based on this article in the Contra Costa Times.
St. Mary's College of California has received a letter from its accreditor threatening to sanction the institution if it does not make more progress toward resolving unspecified racial issues on its campus....

In the letter, Ralph A. Wolff, president of the commission that accredits senior colleges for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, said the commission was concerned about a lack of "tangible results" on concerns it first raised with the college in 1990 and re-emphasized in 2004. The college needs to quickly develop a plan for reducing racism and sexism on the campus, he said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Wolff indicated that one of the deficient "tangible results" that concerns him
is that the college is not doing enough to even out graduation rates.... While the graduation rate for white students is 73 percent, for African American students, the rate is 56 percent.

Would it meet the Western Association's standard if St. Mary's "evened out" the graduation rate by raising the graduation requirements for whites and Asians so that fewer of them graduated? Meanwhile, across the Bay, at Berkeley, and down the coast, at UCLA, the graduation rate for minority students has increased dramatically since preferential admissions has been eliminated. Does the Western Association like that solution to the graduation rate problem?

Will the American Bar Association, which requires "diversity" in the entering classes of law schools, also require a corresponding amount of "diversity" among graduates? Among those who pass state bar associations? If not, why not? If colorblind admission is unacceptable because it does not yield the requisite "tangible results," why should the ABA allow blind grading of exams (where the professor does not know the identity of the student), since low grades of the preferentially admitted contribute mightily to low class rankings and low graduation rates.

There are other problems at St. Mary's that may have implications for the accreditation process at other institutions. An article in the San Jose Mercury News quotes the new provost, who
acknowledged that minority professors are asked to serve on race- and diversity-focused committees more often than white colleagues, which contributes to feelings of discrimination.

It would not be surprising if some minority students who were admitted at least in part to provide "diversity" think they were admitted at least in part to provide "diversity," and thus feel that an implicit obligation to provide "diversity" discriminates against them.

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Rutgers Professors Cancel Classes For Anti-War Rally

The Rutgers Daily Targum, an expertly edited publication, offered a story on yesterday's New Brunswick anti-war event, "U. professors cancel class in support of ralley" [sic]. Copy editing's not their evident strength; this seems little surprise when you see what one of their Journalism professors thinks about holding classes. Bruce Reynolds and several other professors decided the rally important, and canceled any classes that might conflict with student attendance.
Part-time lecturer Bruce Reynolds of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies said although he does not have a personal opinion on the value of the Walk Out, he still cancelled his Writing and Editing for Print class in order to let anyone participate if they chose to. "I think [protests] are as much a part of the college experience as anything else, and to deny them access to the Walk Out would be to deny them access to part of their education," he said.

Another professor planned to walk out with her students as the rally began. All interviewed for the story seem to think the "Walk Out" an educational experience of obviously greater importance than, well, class attendance. This isn't surprising, or objectionable from students, but it's another thing entirely coming from professors. Professors are employed to provide instruction, to abrogate this for explicitly political purposes is a troublesome model. Students pay for classes, not for recommended activist hours.

You also can't help but wonder which rallies trump classtimes - I doubt that a "Support Our Troops" event would prove "educational" enough to cancel a single class. Too many "ralleys" at Rutgers, clearly not enough instruction.

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NAS And FIRE Draw Fire

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the National Association of Scholars (NAS), two groups conspicuously devoted to protecting traditional freedom on campus, have both come under attack as right-wing organizations. The criticism of FIRE came in a distorted entry on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. The Wikipedia entry, which has since been corrected, argued that FIRE is "keen to wage a culture war on the leftists they see at every turn." It is true that FIRE defends more conservatives than liberals, but that is because students and professors on the right are far more likely to get in trouble on our left-dominated campuses.

In a sharp defense of FIRE, president Greg Lukianoff pointed out that the organization extensively and aggressively defended Ward Churchill, Sami Al Arian, Nicholas DeGenova ("I pray for a million Mogadishus"), Richard Berthold ("Anyone who can blow up the Pentagon has my vote") and Donald Hindley, a liberal professor at Brandeis under fire for months for using the term "wetback" in class. Hindley, who has been penalized without getting a hearing, has been assigned monitors to audit his class. The founders of FIRE are Alan Charles Kors, a conservative professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvey Silverglate, a prominent liberal lawyer and a board member of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union. Lukianoff, who once worked for the ACLU of Northern California and the EnvironMentors Project in Washington, D.C., is a Democrat.

The NAS probably has more political conservatives than liberals, but it is non-partisan and takes no stances on issues not directly related to the campuses. Years ago, People for the American Way placed the NAS on its weblist of right-wing organizations, citing donations from some conservative foundations. This week the executive director of the NAS, Peter Wood, issued a response, saying that the organization is in fact opposed to intellectual and institutional developments that pose a danger to academic freedom, including politicization of the academy, curtailment of free speech on behalf of sensitivity, and race and gender preferences in admissions and campus hiring - but it is open to people of different views and is not part of the political right.

Wood wrote: "For the crime of standing against the tide of political correctness, the NAS was convicted as 'conservative.' It was a false label bestowed in an effort to marginalize critics who spoke not the language of William F. Buckley, but the language of Bacon, Locke and Montesquieu and who took their bearing not from Barry Goldwater, but from figures such as Jefferson, de Tocqueville and Weber. As political correctness moved from an expansion movement to a settled fact, the term 'conservative' expanded to include anything whatever outside the charmed circle of identity politics." The attack on the NAS is another attempt to discredit dissent from campus orthodoxy.

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1 comment:

Patricia said...

Affirmative Action is not working, it is hurting the ones it is supposed to be helping. America is not Racist.

I do not call my self an "Irish-German-Czeck-Slovac-Polish-English-French-Spanish-Jewish-American and get any special treatment because my family were from another country...

Is anyone listening???