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Author Topic: New, Reasonable AA Proposal  (Read 11136 times)

PNym

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2007, 11:53:16 PM »
Whites aren't facing the same obstacles as blacks, despite how similar their economic or educational situation may be. Likewise, whites aren't facing the same obstacles as Hispanics. Or Hispanics the same as blacks, or Asians the same as Puerto Ricans.

FWIW, Romanians and Georgians (that is, people from the country in the Caucus) face different obstacles than West Indian Blacks. And Mongols and Burmese face different obstacles than Cubans.

I'd bet that the West Indian Blacks in America are generally better off than the Romanians and Georgians in America. And likewise, that the Cubans in America are better off than the Mongols and Burmese in America.

Trying to control for all these variables by cramming the Romanians and Georgians into the same category as a 9th generation Yankee WASP and the West Indian Blacks into the same category as a black person from the ghettos of South Compton doesn't make much sense.

obamacon

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2007, 12:55:36 AM »
Explain how there isn't a gap.

Culture.

First or second generation Caribbean blacks (without their stereotype shields up of course) actually do rather well and are constantly sought by law schools because they outshine the natives so completely. It’s a phenomenon that’s evident on LSD as well.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2007, 05:44:14 AM »
I can't imagine why anyone would question your good faith.

Go easy on the blacks and hispanics.  It's not necessarily their fault their all in jail.  :-\


Someone was expressing anger that minorities were supposedly "all in jail" and not in law school.  I simply made the observation that it's not always someone's fault if they're incarcerated.  Would you disagree?

Looks like sarcasm opens you up to being quoted out of context by leftist trolls.

I wasn't even being sarcastic.  I honestly don't think it is always someone's fault when they're incarcerated.  People from poor backgrounds don't always have the same opportunities as people from wealthy backgrounds.  The author of that thread seemed angry that certain people were in jail instead of school, which seemed unfair, at least to me.  Again, not everyone has the same opportunities.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2007, 05:44:55 AM »
I can't imagine why anyone would question your good faith.

Go easy on the blacks and hispanics.  It's not necessarily their fault their all in jail.  :-\


Someone was expressing anger that minorities were supposedly "all in jail" and not in law school.  I simply made the observation that it's not always someone's fault if they're incarcerated.  Would you disagree?

Looks like sarcasm opens you up to being quoted out of context by leftist trolls.

It's not even the sarcasm - it's the way he phrased it that comes off wrong.

The use of "the" is somewhat telling.

How so?

«ě»

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2007, 05:50:09 AM »
(note: I agree that economically disadvantaged whites (and others) should get some special consideration.)

To mark my return with a disagreement, I'll throw my 2 cents in. I don't think anyone should get special treatment. Law school should be about producing the best possible to lawyers, not about compensating people for a hard childhood or whatever. I know some people have a tough life and others have an easy life, but let's be honest; that's how the world works. Academia should be strictly merit based.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2007, 06:03:18 AM »
How exactly does being a minority, per se, affect your GPA and LSAT once educational opportunity is accounted for?  If it does not, then how is it relevant to admissions decisions?

You obviously have not read the literature on stereotype threat.



I also haven't read the Harry Potter novels.

Making up excuses for minority academic underperformance, while clearly desirable for AA supporters, seems counterproductive when the goal is (presumably) real equality between groups.

Oh come on  ::)

Stereotype is not an "excuse," but rather an attempt at explaining the performance gap. Why are minorities scoring lower on standardized tests (among other things), than their white and Asian counterparts? There's not much else out there right now (that I've encountered, anyway). 

There are some that are at least honest in their views - to them it's just racial biology. Some races are just less intelligent than other races (never mind they are confused as to what "race" and "intelligence" is anyway, beside the other glaring problem with their view). That seems to be the elephant in the room that some groups are hinting towards, but too female private part to just come out and admit.

But I still continue to wonder how you choose to explain this gap. It seems as if it's purely economic for you (and relatedly, educational). That may be part of it, but it doesn't seem to be the whole story. For me it there are a lot more social factors and identity politics that come into play - the power and social dynamic of one "race" qua another, the formation of one's identity in and in relation to society, etc. Surely you can admit (or at least, I'd hope you can) that there is no way to simplify this issue and to nicely break it up into its constituent factors. All of this is still being hashed out.

But if you look at the data, the numbers should be glaring you in the face. And you should be concerned (but perhaps I'm being far too generous).



No one disputes that there's a performance gap.  However, it's not a gap between whites and minorities, but rather different gaps between different groups.  For example, asians and jewish minorities perform significantly better on standardized tests than the white majority, which tends to do better than certain other minorities.  (The "white majority", of course, is in reality a collection of many very different groups, all with different performance averages.)

The obvious answer to "why" there are gaps, as already noted, is culture.  Asians and jews were both oppressed and treated as inferior, but they overcame that in large part because they have cultures focused on education and achievement.  Other cultures (including many white subsets) are less focused on education, and therefore tend to do less well in these areas.

The question for me is how we treat INDIVIDUALS fairly in light of this complex structure.  I think we can all agree that educational opportunity is a major (probably the major) part of the puzzle, and I think that most would agree that people who are disadvantaged in this regard should have this taken into account when seeking to ascertain their true academic potential. Outside of that, I don't think it's been conclusively established how/why ethnicity, standing alone, impacts academic performance -- especially since many URM's do of course outperform most whites/asians once they have decent educational opportunities.  

My concerns, in all honesty, focus on 1) improving elementary education for all groups, 2) encouraging people from all groups & cultures to emulate those values and practice that lead to academic success, and 3) getting people to focus on the individual, not the group, and getting people to realize that excellence ultimately lies in the individual, not in the group.  It seems to me that once the first two things occur, performance gaps will largely diappear.  On the other hand, creating different standards for different groups, or seeking out extraneous justifications for underperformance, would seem more likely to me to perpetuate such problems, and make it more difficult to achieve the 3rd goal.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2007, 06:20:07 AM »
Whites aren't facing the same obstacles as blacks, despite how similar their economic or educational situation may be. Likewise, whites aren't facing the same obstacles as Hispanics. Or Hispanics the same as blacks, or Asians the same as Puerto Ricans.

Perhaps.  My question is, how do those other obstacles, whatever they may be, relate to academic achievement?  If they do not, why should adcoms be taking them into account? 

I will also note that the problems of a wealthy minority kid (perhaps being pulled over for driving a luxury car) are different from the problems of a poor white/asian (attending a crappy school, having to work during school, etc.) Which is more relevant and more likely to affect academic achievement?



It's just all so confusing, isn't it? I mean, looking at each racial and ethnic situation differently. And then on top (or bottom?) of that, looking at each educational situation, in regard to each racial/ethnic situation, differently?

And OMIGOSH, don't tell me we have to start considering every economic situation differently as well? And geographic, too?

And then looking at them all in context with one another?

I think I'd rather go study quantum physics. I'm glad you have all of this sorted out, Limburger.

This is the entire point, f*cktard.  The actual obstacles and challenges at play are so different and complex that it's silly to assume that someone "deserves" preferences simply because they're members of a certain group, or deserves to be discriminated against if they're members of another group.  The only thing we can really be sure affects academic achievement is educational opportunity.  I personally think we should take that into account, especially since that will address the most relevant remaining aspect of historical discrimination.  Others may disagree.  However, it's an obvious starting point.

The question, again, is what steps should be taken beyond this.  I advocate the use of a small tipping point in the interests of diversity, but beyond that I agree with you that the calculus involved is far too difficult and complex to try to justify significant preferences in any other regard -- especially when it's unclear how, if at all, those other factors impact academic achievement. 

But I think we can agree that if we're going to try to tackle these issues at all, we should start with the ones that are clearly relevant to academic achievement -- like educational opportunity and economic support.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2007, 06:32:45 AM »
(note: I agree that economically disadvantaged whites (and others) should get some special consideration.)

To mark my return with a disagreement, I'll throw my 2 cents in. I don't think anyone should get special treatment. Law school should be about producing the best possible to lawyers, not about compensating people for a hard childhood or whatever. I know some people have a tough life and others have an easy life, but let's be honest; that's how the world works. Academia should be strictly merit based.


I don't necesarily disagree with your overall view, but I would simply note that if I were an Adcom, looking for the best possible lawyer, I'd want to factor in someone's background to help determine how tough and determined (and intellectually capable) they were.  For example, if someone went to a crappy school, in a crappy environment, had to work, etc., and still got a 1300 on his SAT along with a 3.5 GPA, I would certainly prefer him over someone who had all the advantages, had a cushy lifestyle, and also got a 1300/3.5.  In fact, I might even prefer the poor kid over a rich kid with a 1350/3.7, or a 1370/3.8.

And, in all honesty, I might even factor ethnicity into this at every level if it appeared that it did constitute an actual obstacle that the student had to overcome, and that therefore showed potential strength of character, etc.  However, I would not weigh that more heavily than academic achievement, or the factors that directly impact academic achievement (educational opportunity), and I would not assume that everyone from a certain ethnic group is similarly challenged/advantaged. 

dashrashi

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2007, 04:29:48 PM »
PN is a wiener.
This sig kills fascists.

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=dashrashi

Saw dashrashi's LSN site. Since she seems to use profanity, one could say that HYP does not necessarily mean class or refinement.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2007, 04:46:10 PM »

And, in all honesty, I might even factor ethnicity into this at every level if it appeared that it did constitute an actual obstacle that the student had to overcome, and that therefore showed potential strength of character, etc.  However, I would not weigh that more heavily than academic achievement, or the factors that directly impact academic achievement (educational opportunity), and I would not assume that everyone from a certain ethnic group is similarly challenged/advantaged. 

This is a good start.  :)

Thanks -- the question is why to go beyond that. That hasn't really been explained.