Specific Groups > Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students

Justice In The Applications Process - Black/White Academic Gap


A. Wyatt Mann:
These are facts to consider when deciding how to justly administer the application process.  This is amazing.


1.  Black high school graduates perform a little worse than white eighth-graders in both reading and U.S. history, and a lot worse in math and geography. The Thernstroms report, "In math and geography, indeed, they know no more than whites in the seventh grade." Finally, the Thernstroms conclude, "The employer hiring the typical black high school graduate (or the college that admits the average black student) is, in effect, choosing a youngster who has made it only through the eighth grade."

2.  The LSAT is an admissions test used at most law schools; a student can score between 120 and 180. Criticizing the use of the LSAT as an admissions criteria, Professor Randall says, "For example, based on a LSAT cut-off of 145, over 60 percent of black applicants will be presumptively denied, but only 20 percent of white applicants will be presumptively denied."

3.  The typical black student enters college well behind the typical white student. This is partially evidenced by the 2002 average SAT scores of black students (857) compared to white students (1060), a 200-point difference. The grossly poor 12 years of primary and secondary education that black students receive is not likely to be made up in four or five years of college, if ever. Therefore, no one should be surprised by poor black performance on graduate admissions tests such as LSAT, GRE and MCAT.

You left out the best part (the conclusion):
What makes the catch-up even more unlikely is the soft bigotry of low expectations and affirmative-action grading by white liberal professors and the selection by black students of touchy-feely curricula such as black studies, women's studies, multicultural studies, education, and other curricula of little academic content and challenge.

There's no question that black students can compete academically, but they face a perverse set of incentives. First, racial preferences in college admissions reduce the incentive to work as hard as they might in high school. The fact that colleges have race preferences in admissions helps conceal fraud at the government schools that confer diplomas attesting that a student is proficient at the 12th grade when in fact he might not be proficient at the eighth, ninth or 10th grade.

While I think your criticism is valid for the conclusion. I do not think that this allows you to question to data itself, unless you believe they are out right lying about the statistics they gathered.

For instance, if the National Review wrote an article saying that 45% of Iraqis couldn't read and used this to justify war in Iraq. I would probably believe the 45% (unless I had other data to contradict it, even a neo-con won't generally lie outright) but disagree with their non-objective conclusion.

--- Quote from: mobell195 on January 17, 2005, 03:09:13 AM ---LMAO. Capitalism Magazine?  I knew the source was suspect when seeing the quote about "affirmative action grading by white liberal professors" and "touchy-feely curricula."  This is like me trying to prove a point with The Nation.

As a future lawyer, you should know that the first thing people are going to ask is where you got your data.  Numbers can easily be manipulated, and the rhetoric of this article is completely biased.  Respect us enough to come with data from a source that at least attempts objectivity.  Boo, I'm disappointed in you.  :-\

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