Friday, June 15, 2018

How Harvard Secretly Discriminates Against Americans of Asian Descent

In April, a group launched a lawsuit against the school, insisting that Harvard University release hidden information regarding its admissions.

The organization leading the lawsuit is Students for Fair Admissions, which is comprised of Asian-American students who applied to get into Harvard and were rejected. The group says it believes the school is guilty of racial discrimination, specifically against students of Asian descent.

“The public has a right to know exactly what is going on at Harvard,” said William S. Consovoy, a lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions, according to The New York Times. “Even if this were a commercial issue—as Harvard would like to portray it—the public would have a right to know if the product is defective or if a fraud is being perpetrated.”

Harvard has refused to release information about its application process, calling it a vital trade secret.

This case could certainly make its way to the Supreme Court. But beyond the legal issue at stake, the case reveals the general problem with the cult of diversity peddled on American college campuses.

The devotion to multiculturalism—the ever-present left-wing philosophy framing the issue of race in terms of oppressor vs. oppressed groups—utterly dominates America’s “elite” institutions.

In this case, the desire to lump students into groups and tailor admissions around the objective of racial diversity has made that system discriminatory toward well-qualified individuals.

The stultified culture of diversity becomes malignant when it’s used to discriminate against some groups for doing too well, such as with Asian applicants to an elite school. But even without these egregious examples, it damages the idea that Americans are to be judged as individuals, not groups.

Research on who ends up getting into Ivy League schools shows just how much more difficult it is for Asian students to do so than other ethnic groups.

One Princeton study from 2009, for instance, shows that Asian students have to score on average 140 points higher on their SATs than white students to gain admission to the school.

A recently released paper published by the Center for Equal Opportunity and authored by Althea Nagai, a research fellow, demonstrates this point about admissions.

What was revealing is that in schools that did not have affirmative action programs, such as Caltech, there was an explosion of Americans of Asian descent getting into the schools in the past two decades.

The study found:

Even when statistically controlling for other variables including social class, gender, extracurricular activities, test scores and grades, AP [Advanced Placement] classes, and athletics, Asian-American applicants were less likely to be admitted to America’s elite colleges and universities compared to whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics.

So-called holistic admissions and diversity goals enable discrimination against Asian-American applicants, much as the Harvard plan of the 1920s, also using holistic admissions, did against Jewish applicants.

What Nagai and others claim is that the opaque admissions process at Harvard and other Ivy League schools is simply a mask for a system to get the “right” numbers for racial groups. In other words, a quota.

Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and conservative commentator, explained in USA Today how Ivy League schools used similar methods to discriminate against Jews in the past.

To ensure fewer Jews at their schools, schools would change their admissions criteria “to reward ‘leadership’ and ‘well-rounded’ candidates—a thin disguise for ‘WASPs—and, following closely on, actual quotas for Jewish students, so that no matter how many applied, their numbers on campus would stay just about the same,” Reynolds said.

“After several decades, this came to be seen as racist and unfair, and the quotas were dropped,” he said.

Harvard’s admissions system demonstrates the problem with racial categorizing in America. Much of what college campus ideology teaches is that diversity is everything.

However, increasingly, the only diversity that matters is racial diversity, not diversity of opinions or thought.

When a racial category breaks the mold of the prevailing ideology of grievance, the system swoops in to punish them, possibly creating a new round of genuine grievance.

Perhaps in the end, this country is better and stronger when our schools, at least, enforce the idea that citizens will be treated equally as Americans and nothing but Americans.


Harvard tries to defend its admissions policies

In essence, they say they need to keep Asians out so that they can let blacks in. Having blacks in the student body trumps all other considerations.  So they are clearly tremendously bigoted racially.  They are race fanatics

Harvard University is preparing for what is likely to be the fiercest attack yet on its use of race in student admissions and a court case that could fundamentally transform the legal landscape on affirmative action.

In anticipation of court filings on Friday by a group representing Asian-Americans who contend that they were unfairly denied admissions to Harvard, outgoing university president Drew Faust went on the offensive.

In a letter sent to the university community on Tuesday, Faust called the claims of discrimination by the group, Students for Fair Admissions, “inaccurate.”

“These claims will rely on misleading, selectively presented data taken out of context,” Faust said. “Their intent is to question the integrity of the undergraduate admissions process and to advance a divisive agenda.”

The case is likely to go to trial this fall in US District Court in Boston, and may ultimately be decided years from now by the US Supreme Court. It is being closely watched by the Department of Justice, legal experts, and advocacy groups, for in several ways it opens a new front in the battle over affirmative action.

Previous decisive cases centered on whether white students were disadvantaged by the use of race in college admissions, and involved public, not private, universities.

“This is the best known university in the country that has a bull’s-eye on it,” said Terry W. Hartle, a senior vice president at the American Council on Education, a trade group representing college presidents.

But the question of how to achieve racial diversity on campus — and the government’s role in those decisions — is “a fundamental concern to all colleges and universities,” Hartle said.

Edward Blum, who leads Students for Fair Admissions, was previously involved in an affirmative action case against the University of Texas involving a white student. There, the US Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that colleges could continue to use race as one of several admission factors, as long as the schools could show they could not achieve diversity through other ways.

Neither Harvard nor Blum would disclose what they expect to say in court filings Friday. But each is likely to offer its own analysis of Harvard’s admissions data.

On Tuesday, Blum declined to comment on Faust’s letter, saying he would “let our forthcoming filing speak for itself.”

Attorneys for Students for Fair Admissions have reviewed thousands of documents on the inner workings of the Harvard application and decision process, along with internal e-mails. They have also questioned the university’s admissions officers about how they decide who gets into the Ivy League school.

Some of the documents filed on Friday will include redacted information, and US District Court Judge Allison Burroughs will decide what can be released and become part of the public record.

Harvard University has fought hard to keep much of the information private, arguing that it contains sensitive information about students and trade secrets about how it evaluates freshman candidates.

At issue is whether Harvard has a cap on the number of Asian-American students it admits every year.

Harvard has argued that it strives to create a diverse student body and considers a multitude of factors in offering admissions, from students’ test scores, to their backgrounds and even their ambitions. In her letter to the university community, Faust said Harvard’s approach is both legal and fair.

Of the nearly 2,000 students admitted into the incoming freshman class at Harvard, around 23 percent are Asian-Americans, while African-Americans make up about 16 percent, Latinos about 12 percent, and Native Americans about 2 percent. The remaining students are white.

Still, some Asian-Americans have complained they have to meet a higher academic bar for admissions at elite universities. They point to a 2009 study by a Princeton University sociologist that showed that Asian-American students had to score 140 points higher than white students on their SATs, and much higher still than Hispanics and African-Americans to gain entrance into elite colleges. That research, however, did not consider other factors colleges use, such as extracurricular activities, recommendation letters or essays, and counselor letters.

In 2015, after a nine-year investigation into allegations of bias against Asian-American applicants at Princeton University, the Department of Education cleared the school. Federal officials determined that Asian-Americans had a hard time getting into Princeton — but so did everybody else.

Opponents of affirmative action have found allies in the Trump administration. The Department of Justice last year launched its own investigation of Harvard’s admissions polices, and has filed documents in court in support of Blum’s group.

While the Supreme Court has previously upheld the use of race in college admissions, that could change by the time it reviews this lawsuit, said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law at the University of California.

“There is the prospect that when it goes to the Supreme Court there will be different justices and ones more hostile to affirmative action,” Chemerinsky said.


Alabama Governor Lets Schools Keep Gun Ready Against ‘Armed Intruders’

Alabama school administrators will now have the option of keeping a firearm on school grounds for dealing with an “armed intruder” incident if they meet certain qualifications after Gov. Kay Ivey signed a memo permitting the practice.

Ivey’s May 30 memo will give all Alabama school administrators the option to keep a firearm on campus, provided they have a concealed carry permit, undergo training, are subject to random drug screenings, are sworn in as a deputy county sheriff, and work at a school without a school resource officer.

“Unlike teachers, school administrators have complete access to their schools and are responsible for the safety of all students at the school, not an individual classroom,” the governor’s office said in a press release.

The voluntary program requires any gun to be kept in a biometrically secure safe, along with ammunition and body armor, and only be taken out in the event of imminent threat from an “armed intruder.”

Ivey said she signed the memo without waiting for a bill from the Legislature because “with the unfortunate continued occurrence of school violence across our country, we cannot afford to wait until the next legislative session.” The Alabama Legislature is out of session until early next year.

Ivey’s action drew harsh criticism from Moms Demand Action, a pro-gun control organization, which released a statement saying “there is no evidence that arming teachers or other school staff or administrators will protect children in schools.”

“School officials have other jobs they are meant to be doing. They aren’t trained sharpshooters and don’t have ongoing training,” the anti-gun group said.

But Amy Swearer, a legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, took issue with the Moms Demand Action claim.

“There are numerous examples of lives being saved because active school shooters were quickly confronted by armed personnel, including just this year at schools in Maryland and Indiana,” Swearer said. “Even in [Santa Fe, Texas], where 10 lives were tragically lost, the immediate response of armed school resource officers prevented the situation from becoming much worse.

“Moms Demand Action may not consider these instances ‘evidence’ of how protecting our children with armed and competent adults increases school safety, but the students whose lives were saved might beg to differ,” she said.

Swearer said that arming school administrators was “a much more financially practical solution for some school districts than hiring school resource officers,” adding that “the provision of armed personnel is most effective when used in combination with other security measures.”

She noted that in Utah, qualified teachers have been permitted to carry concealed firearms for more than two decades, and “not one person has been injured as a result of the policy.”


No comments: