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Author Topic: Proposal 2 and UofMich  (Read 27713 times)

mae8

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #300 on: November 15, 2006, 07:59:45 PM »
Oh come on ... race in America has changed since 1976.

Wow, big bold statement that is.

White is the new black, people, haven't you heard?

seriously, everyone loves tiger woods! no one likes all those fat white golfers
Emory '09

parsley

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #301 on: November 15, 2006, 08:48:58 PM »
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Socio-economic AA instead o race-based AA. I ask, why? Why instead? Why can't we acknowledge that just as poverty, class and yes, caste, have some role in limiting one's GPA and LSAT, so too does race, independent of income and parental profession?

Socio-economic v. race-based.  The only evidence I’ve seen you use supporting the argument that race, independent of other factors, affects the two primary admissions criteria in law school is the gap in the LSAT score.  So let’s take that and assume it’s accurate.  (I haven’t seen any evidence – and you haven’t offered any --  that race alone affects one’s GPA; yet AA awards a boost for GPA.  Are you OK with that?) But anyway, the data doesn’t say why. 

Since right now this is one-way communication, I’ll have to assume that the popular hypothesis is “stereotype threat”?  I won’t dispute that stereotype threat can exist, but I do wonder why we need to control for it.  A stereotype exists that women are illogical and irrational – I hear it every day.  Does that mean that women deserve a boost on logic games and logical reasoning?  And,  if we could isolate every single factor that is not one’s own fault that could affect a test that will affect one’s admission to law school, is it desirable to control for al of them in admissions with boosts? (If it isn’t, then why do we do this for race alone?) So everyone who took the test in the lowest rated testing centers should get a boost commensurate with the performance gap for students at those low-rated testing facilities?  If AA is just about the testing gap, then we should collect a lot more data on what creates testing gaps and give everyone a boost commensurate with the individual conditions/adversity they faced.  Race alone doesn’t explain anything other than (potentially) stereotype threat for an LSAT gap.  If you want to get into conditions that affect GPA, LSAT and other aspects of the application socio-economic offers many more indicators that affect performance.  Living in a neighborhood with more than 20% of the population 200% below poverty line.  Access to quality education.  Access to college preparation.  Access to the internet and computers.  Economic hardship that affects one’s ability to prepare for a test.  Or study for class.  Undergraduate institution.  Personal hardship.  Attending a community college first.  I think these factors, using economic indicators and PS/DS, are all more likely to shape Applicant X’s total package for admission than race alone.  But, as a byproduct, I think that socioeconomic AA will still help to achieve racial diversity.  So while I'm not sure I favor economic AA, I do favor it instead of race-based AA.

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Color-blind admissions for equal opportunity, aka "racial preferences". This strikes me as jumping ahead in the argument. If the playing field isn't even in the first place -- if race and the burden of racism is indeed a factor in creating an uneven playing field, then correcting for that strikes me as closer to the equal opportunity objecive than does ignoring it.

Colorblind admissions/Racial Preferences:  Unfortunately race and the burden of racism can’t be quantified.  And how much it affects any given individual depends on region, neighborhood, educational experience, peer group, income, personal strength/self esteem (yeah, I’m sure you’ll object to this one, but whatever) so it is impossible to “level the playing field” in a quantitative way for individuals based on a group experience.  (Also, some of us believe that the leveling of the playing field, if it is somehow necessary, should probably happen sometime before the age of 22+.  This is where “we” get the inner city schools argument from.  If you have to keep leveling the playing field over and over and over, then when does the “game” ever start?)  And, if we’re going to “level the playing field” for individuals from disadvantaged groups and that’s desirable, then I don’t think it’s laughable to consider groups who also face major disadvantages or stereotypes/discrimination – the obese, the physically disabled, countryfolk and Southerners, Jewish people, the deaf, people with speech impediments and stutterers, etc.  Unfortunately, these things all get relegated to the personal statements… which an appropriate place, I think, for somebody to put racism that they’ve faced and hardships they’ve overcome. 

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"Just by ticking a box".  This strikes me as a facile attempt to reduce the experience of race in this country to nothing at all. Further, URMs aren't the only ones that 'just tick a box': in-staters do, too; legacies do, too.

Ticking the Box – I think the in-state is a separate issue because state educational institutions are infrastructure investments and amenities provided using taxpayer money for the people of the state.  State residents should benefit disproportionately from their investment.  And I think the concept of admitting under-qualified legacies sucks.  So feel free to do away with that one.  So now the “ticking the box” argument is less ridiculous.


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Merit. This is surely the most disingenuous argument of them all. Yes, a 120 and a 180 are differently prepared for law school. But what about a 173 and a 169? What about a 166 and a 161? The score band, at the very low 68% confidence interval is 7 points wide; at the more usual 95% confidence interval, it's 11 points wide. In that context, even assuming that the LSAT could predict what it is valuable to know, the differences between the median LSAT of admitted URMs and the median LSAT of the class does not suggest that the URMS are 'unprepared'. When compared to the lower tenth decile of admitted white students, the difference is one and sometimes 2 LSAT points. What's that, in terms of preparedness for law school? Nothing at all.
Merit: Law schools want students who merit admissions.  It’s fundamentally a merit-based process.  Now I’d be happy for them to make a better test than the LSAT with smaller deviations and higher fidelity.  But you center your merit argument only on the LSAT and ignore the merit in GPA, resume, etc.  But it is definitely possible to determine, at least in some sense, the merit of applicants based on LSAT, GPA, PS/DS, resume, etc.  What I don’t get is how a race makes one more or less likely to be a better applicant for a law school.  So if you told me that we need to throw out the LSAT or deemphasize it for selecting merit, I’d be much more amenable to that than saying that we need to add race as a factor. 

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AA hurts URMs. Silly. Especially when it is deployed in the context of an argument about AA at T1 schools. The most important indicator of future career success is the law school that you attended. Period. Not LSAT (which has no relationship at all to any career indicators), not UGPA, not ECs or personal statements. You know what hurts URMs? Atending a school with a low barpassage rate, attending a school with poor placement records etc. But that also hurts whites. In absolute terms it hurts more whites than blacks or hispanics or both combined.
AA hurts URMS.  I think you mischaracterize the general argument here.  It’s not that AA hurts URMS (I can’t imagine how going to Yale would hurt you when you only had the stats for Vandy).  It just says that the minority admits with lower qualifications tend to perform less well than the admits with higher qualifications.  So if you’re setting the playing field even in admissions, then you’re just going to have to reset the playing field again in grades, hiring, etc.



parsley

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #302 on: November 15, 2006, 08:49:53 PM »
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AA causes whites to be mean to URMs. Hmm. Guess what? Same story when women were first admitted to UGs and law schools and offices in the grandmother AA program. Men kicked up a fuss then. They really did. they reached for their biology textbooks to show why it couldn't work. Who cares now? Who thinks that women were hurt by it now? Would I have been able to apply and attend law school without that AA program generations ago? Same story with Jews (stndardized tests were first used in college admissions in order to keep Jews out of Harvard and Princeton. It didn't work). Same story with Asians.

AA causes whites to be mean to minorities.  Again, setting up a little straw man here to set a match to.  Many minorities that oppose affirmative action do so because they would like their accomplishments to speak for themselves.  If you’re sitting in a classroom of 10 people, with 3 URMs (2 who were in the lowest decile of admits, 1 who was in the highest) would you want someone assuming you were the AA admit used to balance the class for diversity?  Under-qualified AA admits just create stereotype confirmation for most students (the guy you know is under-qualified the moment they start speaking) and the stereotype disconfirming instances (the URM in the top decile of qualified students) gets ignored.  Unfortunately, it sucks, but it’s how the subconscious cognitive processes go.  This isn’t a reason to get rid of AA.  And if someone says so, then they’re giving a crappy reason.  But a side benefit of getting rid of AA would be the eventual reduction of the stereotype that minorities in higher education are under-qualified at their respective institutions.  Which I think would have positive echoes throughout higher education and society at large.

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3. They really do believe that black and hispanic people are inherently incapable (the IQ argument) or inherently lazy (the culture argument
Cultural.  To misrepresent the cultural argument as a racist rehash of “blacks are lazy” stereotypes, is pretty unfair.  This leaves out in-group stereotype reinforcement (education is for “white” black people) and peer pressure.  If someone’s friends of the same race are all in standard classes and the minority who takes AP classes is labeled an outsider by their racial ingroup, who the hell wants that? (Note that I think this is a personal choice. And that it’s culturally-imposed and not race inherent.)  Then add in that gang culture is more prevalent among minority communities.  And add in that nonstandard English is more prevalent among minority communities.  And yes, different cultures in different regions of the country place different value on formal education.  Or parental involvement in education.  Or academic discipline.  (And these cultural differences can help to explain racial differences on standardized testing beyond economics, but the cultural differences aren’t limited to race.)  You have cultural factors that are much more complicated than “dem blacks is just lazy!”

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1. They really have no idea of how the admissions process works, what the data is, etc; or
2. They are being just selfish (and anxious) about their own opportunities and will support whatever will (or would have) helped them to the exclusion of anyone else
3. They really do believe that black and hispanic people are inherently incapable (the IQ argument) or inherently lazy (the culture argument); or
4. They just plain old don't like people who are black or hispanic or whatever, and blaming them is the first thing that they reach for when things don't go their way -- round up the usual suspects, etc.

So minorities who oppose AA just don't have any idea of how the amissions process works and what the data is?

parsley

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #303 on: November 15, 2006, 08:52:25 PM »
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You expressed doubt over the mere existence of racial injustices in our society today; that is a "big bold statement."  (It's kind of like me saying, "I suppose there's a chance that Bill Gates might be wealthy."  The doubt is absurd.)  Further, I don't see why it's at all clear that "the injustices in our society" have necessarily changed since 1976.

I'm from the South.  I say "may" or "might could" in front of a whole lot of things.

But I didn't mean to doubt the existence of racial injustice.  I was doubting that the specific kinds of racial injustice are the exact same today as they were in 1976.

parsley

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #304 on: November 15, 2006, 09:21:20 PM »
Good for you. 

parsley

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #305 on: November 15, 2006, 09:39:57 PM »
That is an obscure way to address it.

Maybe you screwed up on the LSAT and maybe you drank beer in class in college and used Crayola on your tests.  You may then wind up at Suffolk but really be Good Will Hunting.

Someone may be minimally qualified and able to work hard to achieve.  But if you're in a high-level academic discussion, the quality of everyone's education can be affected by the one person who just "doesn't get it" and is incapable of adding substantively to the discussion.  Even if they worked hard and did all the work.  Some people just don't have the ability.

You ever talked to someone and just thought "Wow, that person is just far and away smarter than me.  They are truly brilliant."? 

mae8

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #306 on: November 15, 2006, 10:48:48 PM »
as with all great questions we should turn to cooley for the answer.

Index
Academic Success, 1st-Time Bar Results
215+
100% 94%
210-214
97% 94%
205-209
97% 90%
195-204
88% 83%

LSAT Score
Academic Success, 1st-Time Bar Results
163+
100% 95%
158-162
97% 89%
153-157
91% 87%
149-152
84% 79%

lololol
but seriously i've read that bar passage for the bottom decile at ucla is 40% compared to essentially perfect for the top decile. sooo, if significant lsat differences predict grades we could extrapolates somewhat.

the big point is well taken though. a friend of mine scored 6 points higher the second time he took the test, his secret? guessing better.
Emory '09

Miss P

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #307 on: November 15, 2006, 11:16:51 PM »
I just have a hard time comprehending that a student whose numbers suggest Loyola/Colorado/Wisconsin would do favorably at the schools in that range,  but more likely to struggle at Penn, Columbia, and Yale.

I can't see there being that drastic a change in the course-work.

And to get back to my bigger point, I can't understand how a URM, whose numbers likewise suggest UConn or UGA but was "bumped" into NYU, would also be more likely to struggle. I would think that if she were to struggle, could the reasons not be more varied than just "her grades/scores weren't up to par"?

I would further think that those who look at URM admits as mercy cases are doing a fine job at projecting their own biases and prejudices.

I agree.
I also posted about this earlier in response to mae8's insistence that someone answer her question, and I didn't see any actual reply.  Did I miss it?
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

mae8

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #308 on: November 15, 2006, 11:24:30 PM »
missed it sorry
Emory '09

Miss P

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Re: Proposal 2 and UofMich
« Reply #309 on: November 15, 2006, 11:25:27 PM »
missed it sorry

No problem.  The thread's a mess, and my response was incomplete, for sure.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.