Connecter: Affirmative Action

 

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This is the first “connecter” post, which will serve as a debate initiator. A topic will be posted every week and anybody interested can comment their views.

 

This week’s topic is Affirmative Action, which was in the news a couple of times in the last week. Here are two articles about it from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/opinion/sunday/does-affirmative-action-do-what-it-should.html?hpw

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/education/scholarly-poor-often-overlook-better-colleges.html

Please share your view on this contentious issue as the Supreme Court will be ruling on Fisher V. University of Texas in the next few months.

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5 responses to “Connecter: Affirmative Action

  1. The research from the New York Times articles about mismatch theory is unfortunate; however, I don’t believe that minority students should just stop attending prestigious schools- this feels like giving up. I recognize that the majority of these students have not been adequately prepared for college, nor have they been taught the same material, and this problem can be traced back to the flaws in our education system. Until these flaws in our nation’s high schools are fixed, it is the colleges’ responsibility to accommodate and catch up the minority students who have a tendency to fall behind or fail out (not because they’re not intellectually capable, only because they haven’t had the same opportunities wealthy, white students have). I agree with Mr. Brooks’ opinion on mismatch- it definitely exists, but perhaps it’s not a bad thing. There’s no denying that underprivileged students will have to work very hard to catch up (and this isn’t fair,) but adjusting to a more rigorous environment can be extremely beneficial and humbling.

  2. The MisMatch Theory explained by the first news article contains multiple flaws and does not include the opinion of students. In a country where racial profiling still exists Affirmative Action stands as a safeguard. Now, I am not saying everyone in America is racist or that all elite colleges intentionally leave out low-income families or minorities. Their are many schools that have adapted to the ever changing landscape of colleges. One of the flaws in the mismatch theory is the amount of students surveyed and how they figured out some students could not be in some schools. Before any student applies to college he or she needs to check if they can afford the college. The amount of financial aid given to people differ, so if one person needs $10,000 and another needs $20,000 it’s up to their grades to see if they can get it. I believe that some students with a lower GPA do deserve to receive a little bit less because if another student gets in to the same college with higher grades but just as low or lower income why shouldn’t he or she get more? I disagree with no affirmative action because as I said earlier, not all colleges think alike and will separate you from the the rest. That job belongs to the government because by investing in students they are investing in the country’s future. Its up to them to help all students no matter race or financial status be able to go to the colleges that will offer them the most. But it’s up to students to show if they deserve to be in that school .

  3. The New York Times articles provide two sides of the story, but they both miss the point that perhaps elite colleges are not impossible for anyone to overcome. Minority students might have larger problems at home that prevent them from doing well at elite colleges. I think it is irrelevant though to not help minority students into elite colleges. Almost anyone has the ability to make it through Harvard (with an average or slightly below average intelligence), its just that few have the effort needed. Also, I think there might not be a large enough financial aid in all high schools. Its highly unlikely that their are well known financial aid programs available to every region in the country.

  4. The second New York Time article kind of looks down at the minority and low income students:” A lot of low-income and middle-income students have the inclination to stay local, at known colleges, which is understandable when you think about it,” said George Moran… “They didn’t have any other examples, any models — who’s ever heard of Bowdoin College?”. The probably do wish to attend a college thats known like Harvard or Yale. But they’ll put their dream aside because of reality. Elite schools are expensive without( and still with) a scholarship and some colleges have you pay just to take an exam to get in. Why would you apply knowing that this could put your family in debt, knowing that it’ll be harder for your parents to put food on the table. And sometimes, the student might have to stay local, because of a absent parent or other reasons. Furthermore, I do believe if you’re grades are better and you’re applying for financial aid, you should receive more than someone with lower grades. Race or income should not determine what college you go and apply to.

  5. As a minority student I’ve witnessed and at times experienced the MAJOR FLAWS in our education system when it comes to not being able to completely meet the levels of students who’ve had higher and better education and I think fixing out education system is the root to most problems. Diana said that the second article looks down on minority and low income students and although I do agree with that statement I don’t think they’re entirely wrong. When it comes to these low income and minority students falling behind I think it’s the student job to work even harder and the college’s job to offer help and pay attention to the student’s needs. I completely support the University of Texas’s program that takes into consideration the income, neighborhood, and family structure of the student because that’ll let the college know where they can help that particular student. Sadly I think that our education system is always going to be flawed so by approving this program allows students to catch up! I also think that when the article says that some colleges are not reaching out to low income and minority students it’s important that they do, some minority student’s really don’t know how much a college can support them and although they should be reaching out it’s the college’s job to show the student what they have to offer financially.

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