Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

Should progressive steps be taking by institutions in order to increase enrollemnt of low-income students so they can be in a postion to change the conditions in their communities?

Yes
No

Author Topic: Affirmative Action Reform  (Read 7629 times)

I hear America singing

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 746
  • How do you do?
    • View Profile
    • Visit my Weblog!
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2004, 05:29:43 PM »
Just an opinion here-

Commonsense seems to dictate that their are not that many poor and underpriviliged kids attempting to enter college, much less law school.

The tragedy of being poor and underprivileged is not being unable to enter college; it's the sad fact that many of them lose the motivation to go to college somewhere along the rough course of their life.  When you have to help support your family or take care of your child, something like college doesn't even register in their universe. 

AA is a great thing; but what would be better is more effective programs that effect poor and undprivileged children (of all races) when they're young; psychology, after all, tells us that this is when we can influence them the most.

I've taught multitudes of poor and underprivileged students in high school; the majority of them could receive a full scholarship to Harvard and waste it.  The potential for intelligence is there, but the drive, motivation, and dedication are not.

Let's nurture those qualities when they're young instead of handing them a gift they're ill-equipped to open when they're older.

Just my two cents.
"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."

Visit my weblog!  www.sweetblessedfreedom.blogs pot.com

HURLEY- L.S.D.

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 333
    • View Profile
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2004, 05:41:31 PM »
Interesting topic.

I suppose that one solution would be to completely change the criteria of admission to no longer reflect race, but to instead focus upon socio-economic factors.  That means requiring their parent's tax forms, finding out the demographics of their neighborhood, etc. before admitting them under the URM system.

This solution would also quell many of the criticisms about AA coming from the "white" communities.  Many white people live in towns that are >95% URM, go to thes same low-performing schools, and deal with the same problems.  However, they are left out of the admissions process and as a result they feel discriminated against. 

So, by changing the qualifications for AA to include not just race, but also socio-economic status we would be able to now reach out to those who genuinely need it.

And I do think that poor whites should be included in this process, because they are just as under-represented as the others.  Why?  Because rich, white politicians do not represent the interests of poor whites living in abject poverty along with other URMs.  In fact, these poor whites are actually the kinds of "white people" who should be more involved in society since they are the ones who have learned to be tolerant of other races since birth.  These people are discriminated against under the present system just as much as the URMs.

Reform is much needed, and I think that this solution would really set AA on a good track for years to come.

Ella Mae

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2004, 05:51:51 PM »
I think any attempts at creating social change need to take into account the complexities of people's lives.  Keep AA but diversify the programs to make it more responsive to the the ways all the '-isms' play out in real life.  No one is just black or just female or just able bodied.  We are all the result of numerous intersecting systems of privilege and marginalization.  Forgive me if I am misreading your remarks, but it seems to me that you are arguing the same thing - its not just about being black.  Its also about the realities of poverty that disproportionately affect minority communities.  All I am saying is that any reforms should take these multiple identities into account. If AA was changed to be purely on a basis of economic need, what would prevent adcomms from 'accidentally' bringing in all white students?  In the same regard, as your initial post argued, looking solely at race may mean that the programs are not reaching the communities and individuals who need it the most.  I agree that socio-economic factors are huge and may work well as an umbrella approach, as the link between discrimination on any ground and poverty are inextricably linked.  I'm just cautious about depending too heavily on any one identity claim.

I'm curious about your comment on the supreme court - I'm not familiar with the US constitution and equality protections.  Does the US court make a distinction between discrimination on a basis of race and discrimination on a basis of class?  

blk_reign

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 7978
    • View Profile
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2005, 11:45:07 AM »
Just an opinion here-

Commonsense seems to dictate that their are not that many poor and underpriviliged kids attempting to enter college, much less law school.

The tragedy of being poor and underprivileged is not being unable to enter college; it's the sad fact that many of them lose the motivation to go to college somewhere along the rough course of their life.  When you have to help support your family or take care of your child, something like college doesn't even register in their universe. 

AA is a great thing; but what would be better is more effective programs that effect poor and undprivileged children (of all races) when they're young; psychology, after all, tells us that this is when we can influence them the most.

I've taught multitudes of poor and underprivileged students in high school; the majority of them could receive a full scholarship to Harvard and waste it.  The potential for intelligence is there, but the drive, motivation, and dedication are not.

Let's nurture those qualities when they're young instead of handing them a gift they're ill-equipped to open when they're older.

Just my two cents.

I'd beg to differ. For those that are unmotivated- you can find just as many that are motivated and desire to go to college, law school, business school, med school etc etc. Many kids have to help support their fams- and are even more motivated and driven to succeed because of that. There are more first generation URMs coming out of college now than ever.
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

maricutie

  • Guest
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2005, 03:09:06 PM »
Yeesss! Finally an AA post I can agree with. Although I'm a little undecided so far on completely eliminating all degrees of race-based AA, because I simply don't know what it would do to minority representation. From the Mich case there's a small handful of black applicants in the country who have both a 3.5+ GPA and an lsat of 165+. The vast majority of these are probably coming in from well-off backgrounds; eliminate race-based AA and you have half as many.

SES-based AA is awesome, in theory, and I agree 99% that it should constitute the majority of AA policies ...but, reiterating sxysgy's post, most people who would be in the position to benefit from SES-AA never even get to the position where AA would be an issue (i.e. drop out before senior year, or never have the grades to consider college). Also in theory -- and in an ideal world -- much of this AA melee would be solved if only more money was directed to these poor schools. 

BTW, anybody else feel like you could relate to Pharoah's post because of a common minority status? Not that I criticize any white persons' argument out of hand, but when a minority posts up a critique of AA I feel like there's a good chance he or she knows what's really going on.

Everyman

  • Guest
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2005, 03:24:36 PM »
My first post was a bit reactionary, lol.

It's interesting to me that this thread popped back up considering I just finished my FAFSA.  My EFC is/was $0, unbelieveable.  I suppose that's what happens when you get the fee waivers.

I don't mean to take it off-topic, but I'm probably gonna be given some sort of de facto URM status at some of the schools that practice AA, and I don't know how I feel about it.  I mean, if I get into a school, I'll surely take it, but I'll wonder if it was my accolades or some sort of handout that got me in the door.  Compare making your own fortune to winning the lotto.  Sure you get the loot either way, but there's a bigger sense of accomplishment when you earn it.

In any case, I think blk_reign makes good points about motivation.  In HS, I had to work because if no one got haircuts, we weren't going to make our bills.  Because I had class during the day, then work in the afternoon, my h/w grades in classes suffered, and it had nothing to do with my motivation.

Perhaps SES-based AA should be optional, like the diversity statements that people submit.  I doubt people would apply for it if they didn't have the the income #'s to back up their claim of being poor.

WoeIsMe

  • Guest
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2005, 03:27:47 PM »
i think what people have been trying to say is there is nothing in SES that would exclude race as a factor. 

SES = c1*lsat + c2*gpa + c3*economic_background + c4*ethnic + c5*racial + c6*URM + cn*(FACTOR(n))

In a sense, SES is a more general theory that provides the same advantages as AA but it is less exclusionary. 

The reality is the current AA system does operate this way, with c6 having a larger value.  The problem is when the official policy states AA is different than SES, people of course are going to differ over its fairness.


maricutie

  • Guest
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2005, 03:32:08 PM »
i think what people have been trying to say is there is nothing in SES that would exclude race as a factor. 

SES = c1*lsat + c2*gpa + c3*economic_background + c4*ethnic + c5*racial + c6*URM + cn*(FACTOR(n))

In a sense, SES is a more general theory that provides the same advantages as AA but it is less exclusionary. 

The reality is the current AA system does operate this way, with c6 having a larger value.  The problem is when the official policy states AA is different than SES, people of course are going to differ over its fairness.

Ah. See, that's the impression I was under: that the official, general AA policy is supposed to mean race is a factor in admissions, albeit not the only one. You just always hear it on this board (And on others) as SES-based AA and race-based AA being two completely different things. I suppose the truth is much more complicated than that, I suppose.

Everyman

  • Guest
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2005, 03:34:01 PM »
So ethnic plays a role?

Does that mean Polacks like me that can make kiszka and pierogi from scratch get a break?!?!

 :D

official2008

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 174
  • London Jazz Cafe
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - official2007
    • View Profile
    • LSN PROFILE
Re: Affirmative Action Reform
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2005, 03:37:34 PM »
Yeesss! Finally an AA post I can agree with. Although I'm a little undecided so far on completely eliminating all degrees of race-based AA, because I simply don't know what it would do to minority representation. From the Mich case there's a small handful of black applicants in the country who have both a 3.5+ GPA and an lsat of 165+. The vast majority of these are probably coming in from well-off backgrounds; eliminate race-based AA and you have half as many.

SES-based AA is awesome, in theory, and I agree 99% that it should constitute the majority of AA policies ...but, reiterating sxysgy's post, most people who would be in the position to benefit from SES-AA never even get to the position where AA would be an issue (i.e. drop out before senior year, or never have the grades to consider college). Also in theory -- and in an ideal world -- much of this AA melee would be solved if only more money was directed to these poor schools. 

BTW, anybody else feel like you could relate to Pharoah's post because of a common minority status? Not that I criticize any white persons' argument out of hand, but when a minority posts up a critique of AA I feel like there's a good chance he or she knows what's really going on.



ok, i hear what you're saying, but you're ignoring one little thing called RACISM as if doesn't exist.
Give is us free!