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An argument opposing the implementation of affirmative action

Affirmative action is a catchphrase whose use has been corrupted by politics, businesses, and academic institutions pushing forth their own agendas. It has made national headlines as the subject of Supreme Court cases, yet it is also a matter most often discussed in vague strokes and in closed quarters.

  1. Finally, at its most basic, affirmative action is discrimination against a set of races in favor of another set of races. Many opponents believe that diversity in higher education is extremely important, but that affirmative action only serves to amplify racial prejudice.
  2. For example, people can be identified as light-skinned, even when displaying black features. We seek to provide each citizen regardless of race or gender a fair chance to the most favored positions in society.
  3. It includes the dismantling of segregated institutions, widespread advertisement to groups not previously represented in certain privileged positions, special scholarships for the disadvantaged classes e.
  4. Only given that presumption could one argue that minority students do not need to work as hard to achieve the same success. Knowledge of political facts measures the breadth and depth of cognition and is used as proxy for political sophistication e.

The answer is simple: There were many real reasons affirmative action was put in place and there are even more for why it needs to stay a while longer. Getting our bearings straight. To provide a pointed discussion on affirmative action moving forward, however, this piece will focus specifically on the premise of race in the context of college admissions. Pretty much any textbook examining American history will have chapters around the theme of injustice: These groups have long been on the receiving end of prejudice and oppression and, unfortunately, continue to face the ramifications today.

African Americans endured centuries of slavery. Need I say more? Just a bit of collateral damage. The effects of this past include, unsurprisingly, innumerable futures and lives lost.

One of the most damaging effects, however, was the creation of a gap—more specifically, an educational gap.

What Are the Disadvantages of Affirmative Action in the Workplace?

This discrepancy in education between whites and minorities was unlikely an explicit rationale for the discrimination, but it happened. It was an unplanned, unintentional side-effect of the centuries of injustice. In other words, collateral damage. So what of this educational gap? Today the segregation of schools is illegal, but education inequality remains a relevant issue.

Historically, non-whites were concentrated into select neighborhoods. Schools that served these neighborhoods thus catered almost exclusively to minorities. In the days of lawful segregation, these school districts were under-funded. The illegalization of segregation, however, did not elicit a change in funding structures.

Under-funding continues to this day leading to fewer resources like books and laboratories, larger class sizes, and less qualified teachers.

Research has shown that educational outcomes are a direct function of access to these very resources. Experienced and skilled teachers, a robust curriculum, and adequate teacher-to-student ratios are among key success drivers. Minorities, not having access to these resources, eventually became under-performing students. They only faced more struggles if they tried to change their situation and go to a better school district since those schools preferred students who outperformed their peers.

Minorities now find themselves at an exponential disadvantage as they graduate high school and embark on the great American odyssey towards college education.

This is why affirmative action matters; this is why it exists. It aims to fairly distribute opportunities to minorities who start off at a disadvantage, levelling the playing field, if you will. Racial oppression has caused minorities to get a late start and affirmative action lends a hand in reversing the negative effects of years of historical, and continued, discrimination. The most common argument against affirmative action is that it is unequal.

Let me tell you a secret: The truth is most believers in affirmative action realize that it is intrinsically unequal. Affirmative action provides an unfair advantage to minorities. Affirmative action does treat minorities differently, but it does so because allowing for that treatment is more fair than a selection an argument opposing the implementation of affirmative action which does not take into account the circumstances minorities must face.

Affirmative action creates discrimination and bias against whites.

Affirmative action is a policy that is part of a larger effort towards total inclusion. The overarching goal is to overcome discrimination and unjust practices in higher education admissions, not to change the target of those practices.

The best way to end exclusionary practices is to put special policies, like affirmative action, in place to ensure inclusion. Students getting into schools through affirmative action perform worse. Does that equate a total incapability to succeed? In fact, studies comparing class-based affirmative action to race-based affirmative action at elite institutions indicate that in both cases, students are more likely to succeed—to integrate academically, socially, and eventually graduate—than their counterparts who attended less selective schools.

Before deeming a student academically incompetent, you should ask whether colleges are providing a safe space with counselling, tutoring, and support for minorities whose needs are unique and different. Only given that presumption could one argue that minority students do not need to work as hard to achieve the same success.

Critics go so far as to argue that minorities are complacent and lack effort and will. Unfortunately, minorities have to actually work much harder every step of the educational path as they face disadvantages that reduce their ability to change their circumstances to move ahead.

Affirmative action does not provide a net positive benefit overall. This is probably the argument I find most astounding and somewhat amusing. The whole point of affirmative action is that it benefits everyone.

Of course the minorities benefit, as it rebalances the playing field for them, but it also benefits non-minorities because of diversity. Increased diversity improves educational experience and academic outcomes for all students. It also provides an environment that better reflects or represents the world beyond school e. In an increasingly globalized world, can you really try to play-down the importance of accepting and respecting diversity?

Green light for affirmative action. As for the future, she remains open to unique and interesting opportunities in either education, sports, or consumer goods. Affirmative Action Hurts By Andy rougeot Affirmative action, despite its good intentions, hurts the very minority groups the policy is trying to help.

How can gaining a significant admissions preference to a university harm the intended beneficiary? In other words, attending a school where your level of academic preparation is substantially lower than your typical classmates can lead to adverse outcomes. This applies equally to all students receiving a an argument opposing the implementation of affirmative action admissions preference, be they children of alumni, minority students, or violin virtuosos.

Mismatch theory only applies to students receiving a significant admissions preference, not to minority students who are fully qualified to attend selective institutions, and who would thus benefit from attending these institutions.

To get a better feel for mismatch in practice, put yourself in the shoes of a freshman in an intro calculus class.

Opposing Views on Affirmative Action

Your classroom is full of students with an average SAT score of 1950, who are a little too eager to let that fact slip into casual conversation. You struggle to keep up, and suddenly reconsider your physics major, which would require several of these quant heavy classes.

Mismatch driven by affirmative action policies leads to some shocking statistics, highlighted in a recent Atlantic article. Labor economists at the aforementioned institutions have found black college freshmen are more likely to aspire to science or engineer careers than white freshman, but mismatch causes black students to abandon these fields at twice the rate of white students.

Black law school graduates are four times more likely to fail the bar exams as white law school graduates.

Academic research has thus far focused on the negative impact affirmative action has on black students, but they expect similar results for other individuals receiving significant admissions preference, including children of alumni and athletes.

Job Qualifications

All these statistics combine to lower incomes, lower graduation rates, and lower satisfaction with their academic experience. Affirmative action is to blame for these horrible results, not the students themselves. These effects disappear for students attending schools in line with their academic ability. In fact, students attending less prestigious schools that match their academic level have higher salaries after graduation.

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For example, students graduating in the top third of their class at Penn State receive higher paying jobs than those in the bottom third at Princeton. As mentioned earlier, these results apply for all students receiving preferential admissions treatment, regardless of the reason for this preference.

Proponents of affirmative action will argue eliminating academic preferences for specific racial groups will decrease the number of admitted minority freshman. This drastically smaller group of minority freshmen was producing the same number of graduates!

  1. Acknowledging the harmful impact of affirmative action policies allows us to shift resources and focus to other potential solutions.
  2. Ideology was also measured in a typical 07-point scale.
  3. Furthermore, I ask what is the relationship between political knowledge and such racial attitudes.
  4. When I got the Chair of the Search Committee, he offered that the committee was under instructions from the Administration to hire a woman or a Black. More specifically, measurement of preferences is complicated in areas where there is a lack of social consensus.
  5. Mosley develops a similar argument.

This is an argument opposing the implementation of affirmative action because ban of preferences led to better-matched students, illustrated by the doubling of black four-year graduation rates at UCLA after the passage of Prop 209. Additionally, minority students accepted offers to UCLA and UC Berkeley at much higher rates after the passage of Prop 209, in part because of the elimination of the stigma of preference.

Another argument made by well-meaning supporters of affirmative action, like Dean Bock of Swarthmore College, is a more diverse student body is of such value to the overall academic experience, affirmative action is necessary. Finally, at its most basic, affirmative action is discrimination against a set of races in favor of another set of races. Specifically, it is discrimination against Asian students.

This discrepancy has led to lawsuits by Asian-American groups against Harvard University. This argument over which racial group is more victimized, and thus deserving of counterproductive admissions preferences, points to some of the ethical issues posed by affirmative action. Acknowledging the harmful impact of affirmative action policies allows us to shift resources and focus to other potential solutions.

Fighting for school choice, performance-based pay for teachers, and the end of social promotion in K-12 schools are all tools that I believe can help eliminate the racial achievement gap before a student starts applying for colleges. Or, maybe an ed-tech startup currently iterating in the I-Lab will be the key to solving the problem.

But the first step is acknowledging the disastrous unintended consequences of affirmative action; otherwise universities will continue to pat themselves on the back for their enlightened policies, while hurting those they are trying to help.

Army, and after graduating will be searching for a small firm to acquire then run in Colorado.