A Point About Race-Conscious Admissions in Higher Education

From the What-A Day newsletter

There’s an elephant in the room that none of the conservative Justices nor anyone railing against affirmative action seems to want to discuss: legacy students. A 2019 report from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that 43 percent of White students admitted to Harvard from 2009-2014 were either recruited athletes, legacies, applicants on the “dean’s interest list” (aka the children of wealthy donors) and children of faculty and staff. More pointedly, a whopping 75 percent of the White students admitted under those privileged categories, particularly legacies, would have been rejected had they not been given those bonus points. The acceptance rate for legacy students at Harvard is about 33 percent, compared with the school’s overall acceptance rate of under six percent. But the Edward Blums of the world deem this kind of affirmative action acceptable.

What a Day Monday, 2022/10/31

Paxus on Ryan: It is Money

Paxus says that the Ryan pick is not so much about attracting votes from tea-party extremist:

… Don’t be naive. It is money.

Ryan is promising billions to oil companies, tax cuts for the rich paid for by the poor and middle class, $228 billion military build up. Who wants these programs? Very rich people do …

Possibly. The Booman Tribune lists items which are not good reasons for Romney to have picked Ryan:

1. It didn’t help Romney with women.
2. It didn’t help Romney make any inroads with blacks, Latinos, Asians, or Muslims.
3. It didn’t boost confidence in a Romney administration’s preparedness to handle foreign policy, a la Dick Cheney.
4. It didn’t force the Obama administration to defend new territory.
5. It didn’t deflect attention from Romney’s tax returns/avoidance.
6. It didn’t help Romney move to the middle.
7. It didn’t isolate Romney from the wildly unpopular House Republicans.

So Paxus may be right. The last thing Romney’s wealthiest supporters want is a bunch of healthy, educated commoners reaching for their gold after being lifted out of poverty with their tax dollars. But Romney’s been so inconsistent that some of them might worry about him reversing himself again and giving poor and working class people access to education and medical care. Ryan, at least, has been consistent in his intentions support the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. He doesn’t have much else going for him, but that little bit will greatly help Romney’s credibility with the big donors.

Ella Ward Emphasises Jobs & Education (They Go Together), Women’s Rights, and Supporting our Military and Veterans

Dr. Ella Ward spoke in a crowded restaurant at her pancake breakfast this Saturday, and emphasized three reasons why “You need to pick Ella Ward for Congress”.

1) Jobs and Education – “They go together”. Dr. Ward believes that supporting education and allowing educators to teach critical thinking skills, rather than cutting education funding and vilifying teachers, is an integral part of the strategy to bring jobs to America.

2) Woman’s Rights. Ella Ward wants to ensure that equal work is rewarded with equal pay, and believes that women should be able make their own decisions about their own bodies.

3) Protecting the Military and Veterans. “When they come home we have to make sure they are equipped with what they need to transition to civilian life.”

A common aspect of the second and third items is the Affordable Care Act, which covers vital services for women and enhances coverage our nations veterans, while not taking away coverage that veterans already have.

The breakfast was held at the Gourmet Breakfast Place on Old George Washington Highway in Chesapeake. Ella graciously thanked her host and her campaign volunteers for what turned out to be a successful and upbeat event.

Ella Ward Addressing Attendees at Restaurant Event

The Mean Spirited Motive behind Education Vouchers

In a response to an NRO article slamming President Obama for cutting an experimental voucher program in favor if increased funding for public schools, I wrote,

If I’m wrong, I’m open to someone explaining why. But I don’t see how it’s surprising that taking a sample of low income students out of their local public schools and putting them into private schools can provide any useful information. Of course they’ll do better. But if we expand a voucher program to all students then private schools will simply raise their prices, and the vouchers won’t be enough to cover the new tuitions. Rich kids will still go to the best schools and poor kids will still go to the worst, except that we will have defunded public schools to such a point that those students who can’t get into private schools will be even worse off than they are now. So the only effect I can image vouchers having is increasing education inequality.

My contrite opening is my way of admitting that I haven’t studied this issue. I haven’t yet seen the replies from NRO readers, which I imagine will include insults to my intelligence, morality, and sexual prowess, but as things stand now I don’t see how my logic can be flawed.

I don’t even know how this can be researched since, as I said, the results of any test program won’t reflect the results of handing vouchers to the public on a larger scale.

I also don’t understand any mechanism which makes private schools better than our constantly derided public schools other than the fact that private schools have more money. Free market principles still apply when government competes with private institutions. If two similar jobs offer similar benefits than they will each attract similar applicants. Right wing rhetoric suggests that public school teachers are overcompensated, but if that were true, then the best teachers would all be at public schools and the worst would be forced to settle for jobs at private schools.

The only factor left out of the above dynamic is that some very good teachers take jobs at public schools because they want to make a difference for students who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance at a decent education. Those wonderful teachers help compensate for the disparity between public and private education, but they can’t completely overcome the difference or else nobody would ever pay for private school.

I don’t how it’s possible that public school teachers are overcompensated or, if they are, that they’re not the best teachers on earth. And I don’t see how attacking public schools can be anything other than a mean spirited effort to prevent income mobility and to ensure that children of wealthy families don’t have to worry about children of poor families coming up from behind and changing the generational dynamic of inequality.

Books.  (this picture is illustrative, not informative)