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Making Affirmative Action Effective

repeter

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As AA currently works, it's based off of race and ethnicity. It's fairly obvious why it was made that way.

The intention of AA is to assist disadvantaged youth get into colleges. Obviously, there are white kids in as dire straits as kids from any minority.

That being said, wouldn't it be more effective to have it be based off of socioeconomic factors? It would stop helping affluent minority applicants who don't need the help, would help disadvantaged white kids, and be a more feasible way to achieve educational fairness and equality.
 

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Get rid of it all together.
 

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It by it's nature is unfair, why solve unfairness with more unfairness. Two wrongs don't make a right.
 

repeter

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Get rid of it all together.
I'd rather reward students who come from trying circumstances with more weight than someone who had a tutor for every subject.

Nature is naturally unequal. Civilization is about overcoming our primal nature. But that's besides the point. Why should we get rid of it.
 
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repeter

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It by it's nature is unfair, why solve unfairness with more unfairness. Two wrongs don't make a right.
If you'd care to explain why use of socioeconomic factors in an application process is unfair, I'd be happy to listen.

A great many people would say AA is righting a wrong, so let's not deal in opinions. I'd love to see statistics on AA if you'd like to contribute them.

I'd be very grateful if you know of any statistics on the use of socioeconomic factors in applications rather than race/ethnicity. I've looked myself but haven't been able to find them.
 

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If you'd care to explain why use of socioeconomic factors in an application process is unfair, I'd be happy to listen.

A great many people would say AA is righting a wrong, so let's not deal in opinions. I'd love to see statistics on AA if you'd like to contribute them.

I'd be very grateful if you know of any statistics on the use of socioeconomic factors in applications rather than race/ethnicity. I've looked myself but haven't been able to find them.
I don't care where you come from, if you are more intelligent, if you did better in school, if you're an overall better fit for my company, if you're going to make me more money then you are the one I'm going to hire. I shouldn't have to hire a less qualified individual just because his/her skin is a different color or you're a different sex.

A great many people would be wrong in saying that AA is righting a wrong, AA is attempting to right a wrong by creating another wrong.
 

Monserrat

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I'd rather reward students who come from trying circumstances with more weight than someone who had a tutor for every subject.

Nature is naturally unequal. Civilization is about overcoming our primal nature. But that's besides the point. Why should we get rid of it.
Why are you discriminating against those who can afford a tutor? They're people too. They have dreams and goals in life too.
 

RabidAlpaca

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Or we could judge people on their performance and intelligence instead of giving out special favors. Perhaps we should focus on making everyone's K-12 school experience more equal and competitive.

I'd rather reward students who come from trying circumstances with more weight than someone who had a tutor for every subject.

Nature is naturally unequal. Civilization is about overcoming our primal nature. But that's besides the point. Why should we get rid of it.
You're missing a key concept. Most people who go to college are not rich, they're just middle class kids trying to make it in the world. Most kids don't get tutors for every subject. You're thinking of maybe 5% of students that get that kind of treatment.

So we give poor kids free passes but the middle class doesn't get ****?
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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As AA currently works, it's based off of race and ethnicity. It's fairly obvious why it was made that way.

The intention of AA is to assist disadvantaged youth get into colleges. Obviously, there are white kids in as dire straits as kids from any minority.

That being said, wouldn't it be more effective to have it be based off of socioeconomic factors? It would stop helping affluent minority applicants who don't need the help, would help disadvantaged white kids, and be a more feasible way to achieve educational fairness and equality.
I agree with you that AA is broken (and Title 9, and all these other laws that are well-intended by badly implemented). But fixing it is way more complicated than it appears at first blush.

You can just make it a meritocracy and say kids with better then X GPA get assistance. But the problem is that you'll wind up with kids from poor neighborhoods floundering and flunking out of college, because the standards at poor public schools is so much lower. They aren't at the same level as a kid from a rich public school.

On top of that, you'll still miss lots of bright kids who simply live in god-awful situations. Even the brightest can be hampered by extremely bad living conditions, and make no mistake, some of America's poor neighborhoods are basically jungles.

I think AA is addressing the issue from the wrong end. It's only giving assistance once all the damage has been done, and by then, you've already lost a lot of brilliant minds.

I think focus needs to be put into equalizing the quality of public ed (in the upward direction, hopefully).

Once you do that, making it a meritocracy model becomes less problematic and more likely to genuinely help people, rather than plopping them into a situation they're completely unprepared for.

And then there's kind of implicit trouble with AA itself, which is using "disadvantaged" as a synonym for "black." Again, well-intended, but even the model itself reveals a racial division. And while it may not be racism, it certainly does nothing to help ethnic cohesion in America.
 

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I'd rather reward students who come from trying circumstances with more weight than someone who had a tutor for every subject.
AS pointed out by another. That is flawed.
It should be based on achievement.


Civilization is about overcoming our primal nature.
Civilization is about whatever we want it to be.
I would prefer that that be based on achievement.
 

Lord of Planar

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It by it's nature is unfair, why solve unfairness with more unfairness. Two wrongs don't make a right.
Worse yet, in today's world, it is a statement that blacks are inferior, and need help. That is all that hold true any more because there are not enough racist people left to stop someone else from achievement. By definition, quota based affirmative action in today's world is racist.
 

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Yes, and some are considering geography for instance, since America is so incredibly segregated, to get similar results as under AA. They could also use your SES model. At the same time, they are increasingly relying on truly absurd tuition, partly so that the 1% can subsidize the poorer students. These priorities are very much at conflict, but in the end I believe they will have to stop raising tuition so much that even the 1% balk. That will necessitate enrolling fewer minorities (and some poor white students) who need huge finaid support. In the long run, the colleges that survive will regress to becoming finishing schools for the rich.
 

TurtleDude

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I'd rather reward students who come from trying circumstances with more weight than someone who had a tutor for every subject.

Nature is naturally unequal. Civilization is about overcoming our primal nature. But that's besides the point. Why should we get rid of it.
so when we are watching wimbledon championships, the kid who had a private court and private coach should start every game down love 30 when he plays some guy who learned tennis from group lessons at the public courts?
 

repeter

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I agree with you that AA is broken (and Title 9, and all these other laws that are well-intended by badly implemented). But fixing it is way more complicated than it appears at first blush.

You can just make it a meritocracy and say kids with better then X GPA get assistance. But the problem is that you'll wind up with kids from poor neighborhoods floundering and flunking out of college, because the standards at poor public schools is so much lower. They aren't at the same level as a kid from a rich public school.

On top of that, you'll still miss lots of bright kids who simply live in god-awful situations. Even the brightest can be hampered by extremely bad living conditions, and make no mistake, some of America's poor neighborhoods are basically jungles.

I think AA is addressing the issue from the wrong end. It's only giving assistance once all the damage has been done, and by then, you've already lost a lot of brilliant minds.

I think focus needs to be put into equalizing the quality of public ed (in the upward direction, hopefully).

Once you do that, making it a meritocracy model becomes less problematic and more likely to genuinely help people, rather than plopping them into a situation they're completely unprepared for.

And then there's kind of implicit trouble with AA itself, which is using "disadvantaged" as a synonym for "black." Again, well-intended, but even the model itself reveals a racial division. And while it may not be racism, it certainly does nothing to help ethnic cohesion in America.
That's a fair point, but overhauling the entire nation's education system is a pretty tall order.

I don't think that changing AA into a meritocracy would help though, that contradicts the point of AA. Again, I go back to the socioeconomic factors. I can't see a reason not to change AA to use that standard rather than race.
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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That's a fair point, but overhauling the entire nation's education system is a pretty tall order.

I don't think that changing AA into a meritocracy would help though, that contradicts the point of AA. Again, I go back to the socioeconomic factors. I can't see a reason not to change AA to use that standard rather than race.
Yeah, it is. But it's the only thing that's going to work. We've done bigger things before. No reason we can't do this.

I've explained the reason it's a flawed idea, under our current system. Poor kids won't do any better, because they won't be prepared for college. It is impossible to overstate how huge the gap is between a public school in a poor neighborhood, and a public school in a rich neighborhood.
 

repeter

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Worse yet, in today's world, it is a statement that blacks are inferior, and need help. That is all that hold true any more because there are not enough racist people left to stop someone else from achievement. By definition, quota based affirmative action in today's world is racist.
I'm not sure you even read the OP.

I agree with that statement, and I'm wondering whether AA would be made better by using socioeconomic status rather than race.

To everyone who's watching this thread, the point is not to debate whether we should have AA, the purpose is to discuss what it's effect on education would be if we changed it so it considered socioeconomic status rather than race. I truly couldn't care less about your opinion of AA. Go hate on it somewhere else. This is about reforming AA to reflect modern inequality.
 

repeter

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Yeah, it is. But it's the only thing that's going to work. We've done bigger things before. No reason we can't do this.

I've explained the reason it's a flawed idea, under our current system. Poor kids won't do any better, because they won't be prepared for college. It is impossible to overstate how huge the gap is between a public school in a poor neighborhood, and a public school in a rich neighborhood.
You're saying they wouldn't necessarily succeed once they get into college, and that's a fair point. I think once they get in, if they can't succeed with the numerous resources available to every student at the college, they shouldn't be there. But more to the point, they're given the chance to succeed in college, are they not?

From my point of view, AA is about giving youth from disadvantaged backgrounds a chance at college, rather than ensuring they succeed once they're in college. At that point, a whole array of other things have to come into play, such as the quality of their high school education, but that's distinct from AA.
 

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You're saying they wouldn't necessarily succeed once they get into college, and that's a fair point. I think once they get in, if they can't succeed with the numerous resources available to every student at the college, they shouldn't be there. But more to the point, they're given the chance to succeed in college, are they not?

From my point of view, AA is about giving youth from disadvantaged backgrounds a chance at college, rather than ensuring they succeed once they're in college. At that point, a whole array of other things have to come into play, such as the quality of their high school education, but that's distinct from AA.
You'd be surprised how lacking resources are at a lot of colleges, especially the ones they're likely to get into, which are public universities with budgets stretched to the breaking point.

I've tutored in college English, and you know what used to always amaze me?

Half the time, we never wound up talking about English.

Because for a lot of them, their issue was related to being able to access resources for their classes in the first place. This mostly took two forms.

1. Kids who were inappropriately placed in a class that was too advanced, despite having taken a placement test. Sometimes, they didn't have the option of dropping to a lower level. If they did, they only had 4 days to figure it out before they were no longer allowed to register for a different class, or drop the old one without it hurting their transcript. That's not enough; you haven't even really started in the first week. So we wound up having to slog through it, trying to get them through course work that's several years too advanced for them, and we were happy if they just didn't fail.

2. Technological deficit. This is a HUGE problem with older students, and students from poor backgrounds. The online infrastructure of even the most basic colleges is getting more complex, and these are people who may not have ever even had access to the internet, let alone learned the in's and out's of uploading, downloading, file compatibility, forums, and all the other things that are becoming essential in college.

These kids don't have a chance. That's like dropping a hungry kid in the forest, and when they get eaten by a bear, saying "Well, they had a chance." No, they didn't.

You can say what you like about the resources at colleges, but in a lot of cases those resources don't even exist. And when they do exist, you're expecting a college to be willing to help a student make up as much as 3 or 4 grade years of educational deficit. That's just not realistic.

More often than not, by the time they got to me, they were fighting a losing battle. It's really frustrating and saddening to watch.
 
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repeter

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You'd be surprised how lacking resources are at a lot of colleges, especially the ones they're likely to get into, which are public universities with budgets stretched to the breaking point.

I've tutored in college English, and you know what used to always amaze me?

Half the time, we never wound up talking about English.

Because for a lot of them, their issue was related to being able to access resources for their classes in the first place. This mostly took two forms.

1. Kids who were inappropriately placed in a class that was too advanced, despite having taken a placement test. Sometimes, they didn't have the option of dropping to a lower level. If they did, they only had 4 days to figure it out before they were no longer allowed to register for a different class, or drop the old one without it hurting their transcript. That's not enough; you haven't even really started in the first week. So we wound up having to slog through it, trying to get them through course work that's several years too advanced for them, and we were happy if they just didn't fail.

2. Technological deficit. This is a HUGE problem with older students, and students from poor backgrounds. The online infrastructure of even the most basic colleges is getting more complex, and these are people who may not have ever even had access to the internet, let alone learned the in's and out's of uploading, downloading, file compatibility, forums, and all the other things that are becoming essential in college.

These kids don't have a chance. That's like dropping a hungry kid in the forest, and when they get eaten by a bear, saying "Well, they had a chance." No, they didn't.

You can say what you like about the resources at colleges, but in a lot of cases those resources don't even exist. And when they do exist, you're expecting a college to be willing to help a student make up as much as 3 or 4 grade years of educational deficit. That's just not realistic.

More often than not, by the time they got to me, they were fighting a losing battle. It's really frustrating and saddening to watch.
Which colleges have you seen this at?

I'm honestly curious because I'm a student at UC Berkeley, and at Cal, there's a ridiculous amount of resources available for everyone, it makes things too easy in my eyes. Of course, that's just my experience. Needless to say, Berkeley doesn't have much money either, with our fancy new football stadium, and a huge student population to take care of, but it seems like there is always something/someone to get help from.

And 4 days for class selection? That's a bit crazy. I've seen a fair amount of college programs, and they usually give something like 2 weeks to a month to make final decisions.
 

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Which colleges have you seen this at?

I'm honestly curious because I'm a student at UC Berkeley, and at Cal, there's a ridiculous amount of resources available for everyone, it makes things too easy in my eyes. Of course, that's just my experience. Needless to say, Berkeley doesn't have much money either, with our fancy new football stadium, and a huge student population to take care of, but it seems like there is always something/someone to get help from.
Community colleges and public 4 years. Like I said, these are the kinds of schools that poor students are likely to get into.

Here's another thing. Maybe these resources seemed accessible to you, but that doesn't mean it was to them. Obviously, you can read well. You know your way around the internet. You're familiar with a system that you know is trying to help you. These students aren't. There's often a big gap between the resources that exist, and their knowledge and ability to access them.

Keep in mind a lot of disadvantaged students have to work for a living. Some have kids. They don't get to bum around in a dorm room like all the kids who have a college fund, or family members who can take care of themselves. They don't have the luxury of time that more privileged kids do.
 

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Yes, and some are considering geography for instance, since America is so incredibly segregated, to get similar results as under AA. They could also use your SES model. At the same time, they are increasingly relying on truly absurd tuition, partly so that the 1% can subsidize the poorer students. These priorities are very much at conflict, but in the end I believe they will have to stop raising tuition so much that even the 1% balk. That will necessitate enrolling fewer minorities (and some poor white students) who need huge finaid support. In the long run, the colleges that survive will regress to becoming finishing schools for the rich.
Do you have any links/information for those ideas for using geography?
 

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I'm not sure you even read the OP.

I agree with that statement, and I'm wondering whether AA would be made better by using socioeconomic status rather than race.
Notice I specified quota based in my argument. If I missed it in one posing, that is my intent.

Now affirmative action isn't always that way. The original intent as I know it was to make sure minorities knew of job and school opportunities. However, when this type of program didn't satisfy the numbers wanted, they moved to quota based systems to achieve the desired numbers.

Even if applying a quota based system to socioeconomic status, it is simply wrong to discriminate against better qualified individuals in a system that picks by qualifications.
 

repeter

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Notice I specified quota based in my argument. If I missed it in one posing, that is my intent.

Now affirmative action isn't always that way. The original intent as I know it was to make sure minorities knew of job and school opportunities. However, when this type of program didn't satisfy the numbers wanted, they moved to quota based systems to achieve the desired numbers.

Even if applying a quota based system to socioeconomic status, it is simply wrong to discriminate against better qualified individuals in a system that picks by qualifications.
I'm also against any sort of quota based system, but what're your thoughts on using socioeconomic status as nothing more than another factor alongside GPA or test scores?
 

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I'm also against any sort of quota based system, but what're your thoughts on using socioeconomic status as nothing more than another factor alongside GPA or test scores?
Isn't it obvious?

GPA and Test scores are more important. Interviews are important. Where a person comes from or the color of their skin should not be a consideration.
 
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