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Author Topic: The goals and progress of AA  (Read 2690 times)

walty

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The goals and progress of AA
« on: April 01, 2005, 09:38:09 PM »
Alright, so Iím trying to figure out the whole idea between AA. Let me give you my take and see what you all think.

Basically AA is a way to level the playing field for racial minorities after having the deck stacked against them for decades and even centuries. It appears from median income numbers that African Americans, Hispanics, women and others donít have the same opportunity as the majority background.

AA was created to give underprivileged people the chance to learn and in turn teach other underprivileged people. The hope is that giving those with lower academic credentials an education beyond what numbers alone would qualify them for allows for future generations to have more opportunity and prepare themselves so that they will have good enough numbers that they can qualify based on their numbers without adjustment.

AA has been around for some time. How are we doing? Is the number gap between the admitted ORM and URM getting bigger or smaller? How close are we to saying that, based on numbers alone, we could select a class that is racially representative and proportionate to the applicants?
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ASNetlenov

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 11:26:10 AM »
If AA is in place because of lacking opportunities, then maybe family income should replace racial status. I am not saying racism does not exist because it does. I think a big problem with AA is that is attaches a stigma to AA students, which is unfair. Some may be qualified and some may not. This is my guess but I do not know because I am not in law school. I do not think it is right to attach such a stigma to the truly qualified students (those who would have been admitted without AA).

And at what point does AA stop? 20 years? 50 years? 100 years? When the numbers become equal? And what about the rich black kid who had more opportunities than most white kids? AA is problematic. A better system should replace it.

gibbsale

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 12:12:48 PM »
I think a class-based system would probably be better, ultimately, because class distinctions are not subject to strict scrutiny, and schools could overwhelmingly favor lower applicants. It would be interesting, because whatever complaints would be made about the unfairness of the process to applicants who were better off, there is no constitutional protection for class status.
 On the other hand, there are other problems with using income. One is that income measures are relative and tied to cost of living, another is that the cutoff points would be difficult to determine. But it would not be as divisive as AA, and you could use strict quotas as well...which I am sure would make the right happy. 

Trinitygunner

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2005, 09:45:46 AM »
Alright, so Iím trying to figure out the whole idea between AA. Let me give you my take and see what you all think.

Basically AA is a way to level the playing field for racial minorities after having the deck stacked against them for decades and even centuries. It appears from median income numbers that African Americans, Hispanics, women and others donít have the same opportunity as the majority background.

AA was created to give underprivileged people the chance to learn and in turn teach other underprivileged people. The hope is that giving those with lower academic credentials an education beyond what numbers alone would qualify them for allows for future generations to have more opportunity and prepare themselves so that they will have good enough numbers that they can qualify based on their numbers without adjustment.

AA has been around for some time. How are we doing? Is the number gap between the admitted ORM and URM getting bigger or smaller? How close are we to saying that, based on numbers alone, we could select a class that is racially representative and proportionate to the applicants?


I think we have to be careful here. I'm a strong supporter of AA (and I'm Asian-American, so if any group should anti-AA it would be me). Class-distinctions can be helpful, but while AA doesn't specifically cover class-distinctions, most admissions policies already do, whether explicitly or implicitly. However, with that being said, let's remember, there's more to AA than just "levelling" the playing field. AA not only allows more minorities into the legal, medical, and college realms--it also helps women as well. Most importantly, however, we should keep in mind that we have had the concept of "most-qualified" put into our heads for many, many years--and what we need to think about is "most-appropriate." Do I support the admission of unqualified applicants? No. But if they meet some minimum academic standard, then let's move onto this idea of "most-appropriate." Under that standard, we should measure whether an applicant would bring the most to the table in terms of intellectual and cultural discussions. People have a different set of experiences that bring different things to the intellectual and cultural climate of any institution. If law schools only admitted the highest test-scores and GPAs, we might end up stuck with an vast majority white-asian crowd who are incredibly similar and, frankly, not as intellectually stimulating as more diverse law school.
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walty

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2005, 01:33:24 PM »
Quote
I think we have to be careful here. I'm a strong supporter of AA (and I'm Asian-American, so if any group should anti-AA it would be me). Class-distinctions can be helpful, but while AA doesn't specifically cover class-distinctions, most admissions policies already do, whether explicitly or implicitly. However, with that being said, let's remember, there's more to AA than just "levelling" the playing field. AA not only allows more minorities into the legal, medical, and college realms--it also helps women as well. Most importantly, however, we should keep in mind that we have had the concept of "most-qualified" put into our heads for many, many years--and what we need to think about is "most-appropriate." Do I support the admission of unqualified applicants? No. But if they meet some minimum academic standard, then let's move onto this idea of "most-appropriate." Under that standard, we should measure whether an applicant would bring the most to the table in terms of intellectual and cultural discussions. People have a different set of experiences that bring different things to the intellectual and cultural climate of any institution. If law schools only admitted the highest test-scores and GPAs, we might end up stuck with an vast majority white-asian crowd who are incredibly similar and, frankly, not as intellectually stimulating as more diverse law school.

Don't get me wrong. I support AA and think its goals are noble. I'm willing to accept the fact that someone with a lower GPA and LSAT can be accepted into a school over me because of AA. It seems that GPA and LSAT are traditionally pretty good indicators of how someone will perform in law school. (Although admittedly perhaps not in the real world.) I guess the ideal situation for me goes something like this:

I believe that taken as a whole, every race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. is inherently as intelligent and hard working as the any other. I think that means that eventually we will able to compete for law schoool positions not based on any of those factors. Basically, if you took the 500 people with the highest LSAT/GPA combo it would be a fairly representative sample of the general population. Will that ever happen? Are we getting any closer?
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billyflynn

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2005, 02:02:13 PM »
I have no evidence of this, and this is purely opinion, but I happen to think that minorities wouldn't be so defensive about keeping AA if some of the majority weren't trying SO HARD to get rid of it, and spending so much time complaining about it, and saying things like "they're taking our spots." Because it then looks like the majority is "trying to keep the black man down."

Overall, there are relatively very few students which AA helps, and others it hinders because yes, it may put them in a spot where they aren't likely to succeed.  But guess what, there are 173 LSATers that drop out of or don't do well at Harvard. 

Ultimately, as a minority I would love to see the NEED for AA or any other program that needs to give a boost go away.  Personally I think one reason AA is around is simply because schools want to see other races in their classrooms, and at their graduation ceremonies.   
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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2005, 03:02:22 PM »
Quote
I think we have to be careful here. I'm a strong supporter of AA (and I'm Asian-American, so if any group should anti-AA it would be me). Class-distinctions can be helpful, but while AA doesn't specifically cover class-distinctions, most admissions policies already do, whether explicitly or implicitly. However, with that being said, let's remember, there's more to AA than just "levelling" the playing field. AA not only allows more minorities into the legal, medical, and college realms--it also helps women as well. Most importantly, however, we should keep in mind that we have had the concept of "most-qualified" put into our heads for many, many years--and what we need to think about is "most-appropriate." Do I support the admission of unqualified applicants? No. But if they meet some minimum academic standard, then let's move onto this idea of "most-appropriate." Under that standard, we should measure whether an applicant would bring the most to the table in terms of intellectual and cultural discussions. People have a different set of experiences that bring different things to the intellectual and cultural climate of any institution. If law schools only admitted the highest test-scores and GPAs, we might end up stuck with an vast majority white-asian crowd who are incredibly similar and, frankly, not as intellectually stimulating as more diverse law school.

Don't get me wrong. I support AA and think its goals are noble. I'm willing to accept the fact that someone with a lower GPA and LSAT can be accepted into a school over me because of AA. It seems that GPA and LSAT are traditionally pretty good indicators of how someone will perform in law school. (Although admittedly perhaps not in the real world.) I guess the ideal situation for me goes something like this:

I believe that taken as a whole, every race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. is inherently as intelligent and hard working as the any other. I think that means that eventually we will able to compete for law schoool positions not based on any of those factors. Basically, if you took the 500 people with the highest LSAT/GPA combo it would be a fairly representative sample of the general population. Will that ever happen? Are we getting any closer?

If you took the 500 people with the highest LSAT/GPA combo, it still probably won't be representative. You'll have a high number of Asian-Americans, and lower numbers of other minorities. The problem with that argument is that we live in an inherently culturally different society, with different cultural values and struggles (i.e. "machismo" in latin-american cultures, the culture of failure in many urban situations, etc. as well as just plain cultural differences), and the LSAT/GPA issues does not necessarily take into account those issues. Lower-income individuals tend to fare less well on standardized tests and GPAs--not because they are any less hard working or less intelligent--but maybe perhaps of work (less hours devoted to school), or just having less money (inability to buy the extra materials needed to study, inability to pay for an LSAT class, etc.). If somehow, someway we're able to create culturally sensitive ways of measuring those things, Affirmative Action will always be necessary.
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walty

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2005, 07:58:38 PM »
Quote
I think we have to be careful here. I'm a strong supporter of AA (and I'm Asian-American, so if any group should anti-AA it would be me). Class-distinctions can be helpful, but while AA doesn't specifically cover class-distinctions, most admissions policies already do, whether explicitly or implicitly. However, with that being said, let's remember, there's more to AA than just "levelling" the playing field. AA not only allows more minorities into the legal, medical, and college realms--it also helps women as well. Most importantly, however, we should keep in mind that we have had the concept of "most-qualified" put into our heads for many, many years--and what we need to think about is "most-appropriate." Do I support the admission of unqualified applicants? No. But if they meet some minimum academic standard, then let's move onto this idea of "most-appropriate." Under that standard, we should measure whether an applicant would bring the most to the table in terms of intellectual and cultural discussions. People have a different set of experiences that bring different things to the intellectual and cultural climate of any institution. If law schools only admitted the highest test-scores and GPAs, we might end up stuck with an vast majority white-asian crowd who are incredibly similar and, frankly, not as intellectually stimulating as more diverse law school.

Don't get me wrong. I support AA and think its goals are noble. I'm willing to accept the fact that someone with a lower GPA and LSAT can be accepted into a school over me because of AA. It seems that GPA and LSAT are traditionally pretty good indicators of how someone will perform in law school. (Although admittedly perhaps not in the real world.) I guess the ideal situation for me goes something like this:

I believe that taken as a whole, every race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. is inherently as intelligent and hard working as the any other. I think that means that eventually we will able to compete for law schoool positions not based on any of those factors. Basically, if you took the 500 people with the highest LSAT/GPA combo it would be a fairly representative sample of the general population. Will that ever happen? Are we getting any closer?

If you took the 500 people with the highest LSAT/GPA combo, it still probably won't be representative. You'll have a high number of Asian-Americans, and lower numbers of other minorities. The problem with that argument is that we live in an inherently culturally different society, with different cultural values and struggles (i.e. "machismo" in latin-american cultures, the culture of failure in many urban situations, etc. as well as just plain cultural differences), and the LSAT/GPA issues does not necessarily take into account those issues. Lower-income individuals tend to fare less well on standardized tests and GPAs--not because they are any less hard working or less intelligent--but maybe perhaps of work (less hours devoted to school), or just having less money (inability to buy the extra materials needed to study, inability to pay for an LSAT class, etc.). If somehow, someway we're able to create culturally sensitive ways of measuring those things, Affirmative Action will always be necessary.

Thats a very insightful comment. Having lived most of my life in a culture that at best is neutral to AA, your commments provides some of the very perspective AA engenders. Well stated.
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Trinitygunner

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2005, 08:30:03 PM »
thank you very much. y'all should read charles barkley's new book...he addresses this issue.

Quote
I think we have to be careful here. I'm a strong supporter of AA (and I'm Asian-American, so if any group should anti-AA it would be me). Class-distinctions can be helpful, but while AA doesn't specifically cover class-distinctions, most admissions policies already do, whether explicitly or implicitly. However, with that being said, let's remember, there's more to AA than just "levelling" the playing field. AA not only allows more minorities into the legal, medical, and college realms--it also helps women as well. Most importantly, however, we should keep in mind that we have had the concept of "most-qualified" put into our heads for many, many years--and what we need to think about is "most-appropriate." Do I support the admission of unqualified applicants? No. But if they meet some minimum academic standard, then let's move onto this idea of "most-appropriate." Under that standard, we should measure whether an applicant would bring the most to the table in terms of intellectual and cultural discussions. People have a different set of experiences that bring different things to the intellectual and cultural climate of any institution. If law schools only admitted the highest test-scores and GPAs, we might end up stuck with an vast majority white-asian crowd who are incredibly similar and, frankly, not as intellectually stimulating as more diverse law school.

Don't get me wrong. I support AA and think its goals are noble. I'm willing to accept the fact that someone with a lower GPA and LSAT can be accepted into a school over me because of AA. It seems that GPA and LSAT are traditionally pretty good indicators of how someone will perform in law school. (Although admittedly perhaps not in the real world.) I guess the ideal situation for me goes something like this:

I believe that taken as a whole, every race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. is inherently as intelligent and hard working as the any other. I think that means that eventually we will able to compete for law schoool positions not based on any of those factors. Basically, if you took the 500 people with the highest LSAT/GPA combo it would be a fairly representative sample of the general population. Will that ever happen? Are we getting any closer?

If you took the 500 people with the highest LSAT/GPA combo, it still probably won't be representative. You'll have a high number of Asian-Americans, and lower numbers of other minorities. The problem with that argument is that we live in an inherently culturally different society, with different cultural values and struggles (i.e. "machismo" in latin-american cultures, the culture of failure in many urban situations, etc. as well as just plain cultural differences), and the LSAT/GPA issues does not necessarily take into account those issues. Lower-income individuals tend to fare less well on standardized tests and GPAs--not because they are any less hard working or less intelligent--but maybe perhaps of work (less hours devoted to school), or just having less money (inability to buy the extra materials needed to study, inability to pay for an LSAT class, etc.). If somehow, someway we're able to create culturally sensitive ways of measuring those things, Affirmative Action will always be necessary.

Thats a very insightful comment. Having lived most of my life in a culture that at best is neutral to AA, your commments provides some of the very perspective AA engenders. Well stated.
final product...pending approval: 94 pages

srbin84

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2005, 10:55:44 PM »
Here are a few posts I made in regards to AA in a discussion on another message board.  I think there is a much more intelligent readership here, so I figured I'd post them.  Feel free to respond:



1.) It is time to let everybody compete for their dreams. That's what this country is all about. May the best men/women win. There is no need to give certain groups of people preferential treatment or handicaps. We are all equal. As I've stated times before, if you are a minority, A.A. should embarrass you because it implies you are intellectually incapable of achieving your goals without a handicap. That is wrong. Everybody is just as capable as anyone else as long as they are willing to put in the time and effort to succeed at something. If you aren't willing to make the necessary sacrifices, then you should find another profession that you are willing to do so for, no matter what your race is.



2.)The fact that more minorities live in cheap neighborhoods with poor schools doesn't mean anything to me. It has nothing to do with the fact they are a minority at all. It has to do with them not moving out of those areas. The way you move out of those areas is for the father, mother or both if they are living together and can find day care for their children (which is easily found, you may have to take a drive or bus ride...if they are in school, set them up with after school activities and/or have them study at school and do homework until you pick them up) to work as much as possible to afford to live in a better area. Even if only one parent were to work two jobs (about 70 hours), making a wage of only $10, it could be easily done. I'm not saying you will live in Beverly Hills, but you can put yourself in a position to move into a decent suburb with pretty solid schools. It's that simple. It's just a matter of wanting it. I happen to be white, but my parents did basically exactly what I described. It was more of both of my parents working after I was born than one carrying the entire workload, but they did it, and now they both have their degrees and very, very good jobs. I commend them tremendously for doing what they did. They did it so I could go to some really good public schools as opposed to schools in a ghetto like area that problably would have been quite poor. Working 70 hours a week would be a female dog, but you would just have to suck it up and get it done for your family because you are the one who chose to have kids and if you want them to have the best opportunities, the parents must shoulder the burden to get them.




3.)I think you are probably right about a number of minorities coming from broken families, but I just don't feel comfortable with accepting any kind of fact that a certain race or group of people has a tougher time keeping a family together, whether it is true or not....and even if it is true, I certainly don't want that behavior to be rewarded because it will just continue that way. I'm of the opinion that we are all human beings, so we should all treat each other the same way. If we are going to give certain people advantages over others, those people should at least be acknowledging that they are privilege to unfair advantages instead of trying to rationalize them as fair due to economic factors or even social factors. It takes work if you want to achieve something, and that's just the way it is. I think we can all take an example of this from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this. He wanted to achieve something very difficult in his time, and he knew it wasn't going to be easy, but he sucked it up and worked for it. Unfortunately, he died in doing so, but look at all the people that are benefiting from his hard work and intelligence now. If you are in competition with your fellow man for something, work harder than him to get it.
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