Saturday, September 17, 2011

Racial Preferences in Wisconsin

The campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison erupted this week after the release of two studies documenting the heavy use of race in deciding which students to admit to the undergraduate and law schools. The evidence of discrimination is undeniable, and the reaction by critics was undeniably dishonest and thuggish.

The Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), which I founded in 1995 to expose and challenge misguided race-based public policies, conducted the studies based on an analysis of the university's own admissions data. But the university was none too keen on releasing the data, which CEO obtained through filing Freedom of Information Act requests only after a successful legal challenge went all the way to the state supreme court.

It's no wonder the university wanted to keep the information secret. The studies show that a black or Hispanic undergraduate applicant was more than 500 times likelier to be admitted to Wisconsin-Madison than a similarly qualified white or Asian applicant. The odds ratio favoring black law school applicants over similarly qualified white applicants was 61 to 1.

The median SAT scores of black undergraduates who were admitted were 150 points lower than whites or Asians, while the median Hispanic scores were roughly 100 points lower. And median high school rankings for both blacks and Hispanics were also lower than for either whites or Asians.

CEO has published studies of racial double standards in admissions at scores of public colleges and universities across the country with similar findings, but none has caused such a violent reaction.

Instead of addressing the findings of the study, the university's vice provost for diversity, Damon A. Williams, dishonestly told students that "CEO has one mission and one mission only: dismantle the gains that were achieved by the civil rights movement." In fact, CEO's only mission is to promote color-blind equal opportunity so that, in Martin Luther King's vision, no one will be judged by the color of his or her skin.

Egged on by inflammatory comments by university officials, student groups organized a flashmob via a Facebook page that was filled with propaganda and outright lies about CEO wanting to dismantle their student groups. More than a hundred angry students stormed the press conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Madison, where CEO president Roger Clegg was releasing the study.

The hotel management described what took place in a press statement afterward: "Unfortunately, when escorting meeting attendees out of the hotel through a private entrance, staff were then rushed by a mob of protestors, throwing employees to the ground. The mob became increasingly physically violent when forcing themselves into the meeting room where the press conference had already ended, filling it over fire-code capacity. Madison police arrived on the scene after the protestors had stormed the hotel."

But the outrageous behavior didn't end there -- and it wasn't just students but also faculty who engaged in disgraceful conduct. Later the same day of the press conference, Clegg debated UW law professor Larry Church on campus. The crowd booed, hissed, and shouted insults, continuously interrupting Clegg during the debate.

Having used Facebook to organize the flashmob, students and some faculty extended their use of social media and tweeted the debate live. Even with Twitter's 140-character limit, you'd think participants would be able to come up with something more substantive than the repeated use of the label "racist" to describe Clegg and his arguments against racial double standards, but hundreds of tweets exhibited little more than hysterical rants and personal attacks.

Perhaps the most offensive tweet was posted by Sara Goldrick-Rab, an associate professor of educational policy studies and sociology. After announcing that she was "Getting set to live blog this debate between a racist and a scholar," she tweeted that Clegg sounded "like the whitest white boy I've ever heard." The only racism in evidence came from the defenders of the university's race-based admissions policies, such as Professor Goldrick-Rab.

You'd think that a responsible university would denounce the intimidation and lack of civility by its students and faculty. Instead, Vice Provost Williams told the student newspaper, "I'm most excited about how well the students represented themselves, the passion with which they engaged, the respectful tone in how they did it and the thoughtfulness of their questions and interactions."

It appears that not only are the university's admissions policies deeply discriminatory, but also that university officials applaud name-calling, distortion and outright physical assault.


Bring back the cane, say half of British parents as Cameron pledges to restore order in schools following riots

Almost half of parents would be happy to see the return of the cane to restore discipline in the classroom, a survey suggests today.

It found 49 per cent of parents – and 19 per cent of pupils – believe caning or smacking should be used to punish ‘very bad’ behaviour.

In more general cases of ill discipline, 40 per cent of parents and 14 per cent of children favour corporal punishment.

While 53 per cent of parents and 77 per cent of children are against the cane, the poll found nine out of ten parents – and two thirds of pupils – want teachers to have more power to crack down on bad behaviour.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, comes just a week after David Cameron pledged to restore order and respect in schools in the wake of last month’s riots.

Education Secretary Michael Gove continued the tough line yesterday when he said: ‘Parents and students know we have to give teachers more authority. Strong discipline is vital for effective teaching.

‘In some of our most challenging areas there are profound problems, as the events of last month underlined. That’s why we need to give teachers more power to keep order and emphasise that adult authority should be respected and teachers obeyed.

‘Every child deserves to be taught properly. This right is currently undermined by the twisting of rights by a minority who need to be taught an unambiguous lesson in who is boss.’

Corporal punishment ended in state schools in 1987, and in the fee-paying sector in 1998.

The YouGov researchers, commissioned by the Times Educational Supplement, polled 2,014 parents with children at secondary school and 530 secondary-age pupils between August 19 and August 30.

While significant numbers favoured corporal punishment, sending pupils out of the class was the most popular method of dealing with indiscipline, chosen by 89 per cent of parents and 79 per cent of children.

Other popular ways of cracking down on bad behaviour were lunchtime or after-school detentions and writing lines.

More than four in five parents (84 per cent) and nearly two thirds of children (62 per cent) backed expelling or suspending naughty pupils.

The survey raises parents’ concerns that behaviour in schools is worse now than when they were young.

More than four fifths of parents (85 per cent) said teachers are given less respect by pupils now than when they were at school, with 86 per cent saying teachers need to gain more respect to discipline youngsters properly.

Nine in ten (91 per cent) said they were concerned that teachers have become more fearful of their pupils.


British mother-of-four threatened son's bullies with baseball bat after 'school did nothing to help'

A mother threatened her son's bullies on a school bus with a baseball bat because she felt his school and the police 'did nothing' to help the youngster. Natasha Hayley, 30, resorted to extreme measures after her 11-year-old's tormentors assaulted and robbed him.

A judge said although she had been 'incredibly stupid', he said he was not going to deprive her children of their mother by sending her to prison.

Recorder James Mulholland QC, at Maidstone Crown Court, in Kent, was shown footage of the incident caught on security cameras on the bus.

He heard how Ms Hayley from Dartford, Kent, acted on November 29 last year over her 11-year-old son being bullied at Wilmington Academy.

Michael Smalley, defending, said Hayley's son was the victim of an assault by a group of pupils on the school bus at the beginning of November. He said Ms Hayley had tried contacting the school and the police without any success. Kent police say they did act on the mother's complaints.

Although he was reluctant to return to school, Mr Smalley said the boy's mother made him go and there he was robbed in a classroom and bullied. But after informing the school she thought nothing would be done, which is why Ms Hayley says she took matters into her own hands.

When arrested, she told police she had got onto the bus to stop the bullies and took the bat in case she was 'rushed', after calls to the school and the police had failed to bring any action.

Mr Smalley said Miss Hayley, who admitted affray: 'She accepts she went over the top. She has remorse and regret. She says she was stupid.' Her son had since left Wilmington Academy and has settled at a new school.

Miss Hayley received a six-month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 150 hours' unpaid work and was handed a curfew. She said her punishment was 'unfair'. Speaking at her home in Dartford, Kent, she said: 'Nothing had been done about my son being bullied. 'If my son was to be robbed in the street that's robbery but because it was in the classroom he did not even get questioned. I am now planning to sue the school for misconduct.

'My son was the victim in the beginning of this - he had barely turned 11. All I wanted to do was to get to their parents.' Speaking about the incident on the bus, the single mother said: 'The people who beat my son up should never have been allowed on the bus. 'I should never have got on the bus with the baseball bat. I should have gone to the parents' house and spoken to them. 'If the school and police had done their work I would never have had to do it.'

The vigilante mother also claims she never intended to use the bat. She added: 'I know you can't touch children - they're children for God's sake. 'Not one parent I know would accept [their son being beaten up]. I do not feel like I am wrong because I feel like I had to do something to stop my son being bullied.

'I would never touch a child. I'd never dream of it in a million years. I hope [what my son went through] never ever happens to any one of my children. 'My son was a victim and all of all of a sudden that was ignored. My son then had to deal with people thinking I was a bully and I'm not a bully. 'I do not send my children to school to be bullied - I cannot believe the school allowed it. I think it's atrocious really.'

Recorder Mulholland said he sympathised over the 'horrific' bullying but Miss Hayley had 'gone off the scale'. He added: 'It is so far removed from what one would hope a parent would do.'

But chief Inspector Mark Arnold said the matter had been resolved: 'Kent Police was contacted in relation to an assault which occurred on 15 November 2010. The matter was fully investigated and regular contact was made with the victim's mother.

'The matter was dealt with by the school and was resolved without further police involvement, at the agreement of those involved and in line with the Kent County Council and Kent Police Schools Policy.

'Advice was provided that should further issues arise or a satisfactory outcome not be achieved, officers should be contacted. No further allegations were made to police by the victim or his family.'


No comments: