Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Give Minority Youngsters a Lousy Education and Then Admit Them to College By Quotas
Capitalism Magazine ^ | 2.9.03 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 02/09/2003 12:15:00 PM PST by Enemy Of The State

Give Minority Youngsters a Lousy Education and Then Admit Them to College By Quotas
by Thomas Sowell  (February 9, 2003)

 
Summary: It has been said that, when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, someone told him that admitting students to the University of California on individual performance alone could mean that all the students at Berkeley might be Asian Americans. "So what?" was the Gipper's response.

[CAPITALISM MAGAZINE.COM]

It has been said that, when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, someone told him that admitting students to the University of California on individual performance alone could mean that all the students at Berkeley might be Asian Americans. "So what?" was the Gipper's response.

Like many other Reagan remarks, it cut through mountains of nonsense and knocked over numerous houses of cards that keep the intelligentsia wringing their hands. A classic example is a recent New York Times story that said: "Asians gain when affirmative action ends. Other minorities don't. What's fair?"

Let's go back to square one. Why do universities exist in the first place? Is it to parcel out benefits to different racial or ethnic groups? If so, why not just give them money? Do universities exist to be fair -- whatever that means? If fair means equal chances or proportional representation, then why not make admissions a lottery?

All too many people in college admissions offices talk and act as if their job is to hand out goodies to those who seem most deserving, in terms of how well they used whatever particular opportunities they happen to have had.

In other words, if student A went to a top-notch high school and scored 1500 on the SATs, while student B went to a mediocre high school and scored 1300, then student B may be admitted and student A denied admission if the little tin gods in the admissions office decide that B made better use of his opportunities.

You couldn't make up anything as silly as this. Educational institutions do not exist to reward people for their past but to prepare them for the future. The taxpayers and donors who are supporting these institutions with their hard-earned money are doing so to benefit the society that these graduates will be serving, not to allow bureaucrats to hand out pork barrel benefits to individuals or groups.

In all the swirl of words around the issue of affirmative action in college and university admissions -- including the endlessly repeated mantra of "diversity" -- there is seldom a single word about serving the public by admitting those who have the academic skills to put the educational resources to the best use.

If a disproportionate number of those who can master the skills that educational institutions provide are Asian Americans, then as the Gipper said, "So what?"

Do you want to fly in planes flown by the best qualified pilots available or in planes flown by quota pilots or by pilots whose life stories were most appealing to those on admissions committees? If you are going to have heart surgery, do you want the best surgeon you can get or do you want a surgeon who had to overcome a lot of handicaps just to make it through medical school?

Would you be offended to have your life saved by someone who had easily become the best surgeon because he was born in the lap of privilege and always had the finest education available, regardless of how much it cost? Would it bother you if he was Asian American or even -- heaven help us -- a WASP?

Institutions and occupations exist for a purpose -- and that purpose is not to provide a statistical picture that is pleasing for those people who are preoccupied with statistical pictures. Food and shelter, housing and health, life and death, are among the many things that depend on how well institutions function and how well people do their jobs.

These things are too important to sacrifice so that busybodies can feel important directing other people's lives. Indeed, the freedom of those other people is too important to be sacrificed for the sake of third parties' vanity.

Anyone who is serious about wanting to help minority young people must know that the place to start is at precisely the other end of the educational process. That means beginning in the earliest grades teaching reading, math and other mental skills on which their future depends. But that would mean clashing with the teachers' unions and their own busybody agenda of propaganda and psychological manipulation in the classrooms.

The path of least resistance is to give minority youngsters a lousy education and then admit them to college by quotas. With a decent education, they wouldn't need the quotas.



 

Author Bio: Thomas Sowell has published a large volume of writing. His dozen books, as well as numerous articles and essays, cover a wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to judicial activism, from civil rights to choosing the right college.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Free Republic; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: education; sowell; thomassowell; thomassowelllist

1 posted on 02/09/2003 12:15:00 PM PST by Enemy Of The State
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
This should be shouted from the rooftops.
2 posted on 02/09/2003 12:20:39 PM PST by visualops
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
Why do universities exist in the first place?

To apply the finish coat:

But that would mean clashing with the teachers' unions and their own busybody agenda of propaganda and psychological manipulation in the classrooms.

3 posted on 02/09/2003 12:26:30 PM PST by Madame Dufarge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
The learned Dr. Sowell is righht about so many things, but I hope he does not write his headlines.

"Give Minority Youngsters a Lousy Education"

Education is not a commodity that can be "given". It must be "taken".

Those who won't can't be helped.

4 posted on 02/09/2003 12:28:09 PM PST by Jim Noble
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
Forty years ago my dad went to a black dentist.

These were the days before affirmative action.

I was a youngster and curious, so I asked, "Why do you go to a black dentist?".

His reply has stayed with me ever since.

He replied, "for a black man to become a dentist means that he must be better than any white dentist, and I want the best!"

It took me a few more years to understand his reasoning, but the civil rights movement opened my eyes to the institutional bigotry and discrimination that was prevalent before those days.

Everything is just reversed today.

Now you have to wonder if a black professional reached his position by his own talents or was handed an extra 20 points because of his complexion.

5 posted on 02/09/2003 12:30:48 PM PST by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
What better way to destroy the world's best college education system?
6 posted on 02/09/2003 12:33:30 PM PST by Slyfox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
...why even bother to grade a student's work?...Hell why even bother to have a student study, it's not like Americans can be held accountable for their actions and commitments anymore..it's NOT their fault..I blame Reagan and the Ozone hole and the Greedy Christmas Industrial Simplex...
7 posted on 02/09/2003 12:35:37 PM PST by Grendelgrey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
The secondary effect is that others say to themselves "Why should I bust my chops when that guy over there is getting just as much credit as I am for doing less."

Since humans are a competitive lot, it becomes a contest to see who can do the least and get away with it.

Just walk into any government office - there's this silent competition to see who gets stuck handling you. Same thing happens in retail.
8 posted on 02/09/2003 12:38:12 PM PST by P.O.E. (Liberate Iraq!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: P.O.E.
there's this silent competition to see who gets stuck handling you. Same thing happens in retail.

Unless the sales staff is on commission. Gotta love that profit motive.

9 posted on 02/09/2003 12:40:14 PM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Grendelgrey
...why even bother to grade a student's work?...Hell why even bother to have a student study, it's not like Americans can be held accountable for their actions and commitments anymore...

If you are going to grade students, might as well grade them on how well they get over on the system, at least it will prepare them for the real world.

10 posted on 02/09/2003 12:40:16 PM PST by TightSqueeze (From the Department of Homeland Security, sponsors of Liberty-Lite, Less Freedom! / Red Tape!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
I sometimes think the KKK is running America's education system.
11 posted on 02/09/2003 12:40:17 PM PST by AppyPappy (Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
Education is not a commodity that can be "given". It must be "taken".

Those who won't, can't be helped.

So true, the ignored root of the problem.

12 posted on 02/09/2003 12:47:48 PM PST by Doe Eyes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: AppyPappy
They are, but they are going by another alias...the Democrat party.....
13 posted on 02/09/2003 12:48:06 PM PST by goodnesswins (Thank the Military for your freedom and security....and thank a Rich person for jobs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
Our esteemed black leaders are okay with this travesty......
14 posted on 02/09/2003 12:51:17 PM PST by OldFriend (THE GAME IS OVER)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
If I pay taxes to it, I should be allowed to gain some benefit from it.

There's a difference between Harvard, a private school, and Ohio State, a taxpayer supported school. The first can have just about any exclusive entry rule it wants. The second must come up with some kind of entry policy that recognizes that everyone in Ohio has contributed to the school's upkeep and should have X chance of getting in.

The school should be allowed to do some things for its own benefit that make money....giving a scholarship to a top quarterback who will bring in millions in gate receipts and help fund music, sports, and other programs.

Other than that there should be a list of applicants....those who are fully qualified and would probably graduate, and those who are not qualified and probably won't make it to graduation. The first INDIVIDUAL hurdle then is to qualify oneself to be on the fully qualified list.

The fully qualified list should be run as a lottey and if 5000 names are needed, then 5000 names should be pulled randomly.
15 posted on 02/09/2003 12:52:49 PM PST by xzins (Games of chance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TruthShallSetYouFree
Gotta love that profit motive

Capitalism - what a concept! :)

16 posted on 02/09/2003 12:53:31 PM PST by P.O.E. (Liberate Iraq!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Slyfox
What better way to destroy the world's best college education system?

Like something right out of the Communist Manifesto?

17 posted on 02/09/2003 12:58:14 PM PST by janetgreen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
Where is the quota system for the NBA?

Based on population percentages of whites to blacks clearly there should be a much larger number of whites.

Quota's are rediculous. Sports, jobs and education are both highly competitive and only the best of the best should make the team, regardless of the color of your skin.

Imagine a team of 5'- 2" white males competing in the NBA because they complained about hieght and color issues. Now imagine the same team complaining because they wanted the same salary as Michael Jordan.

Now take similar circumstances and apply that to the medical field. Who would you want to operate on you?

I would want the best of the best not the team that got in on sympathy.
18 posted on 02/09/2003 1:01:39 PM PST by Matt Freedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xzins
>>If I pay taxes to it, I should be allowed to gain some benefit from it. There's a difference between Harvard, a private school, and Ohio State, a taxpayer supported school. The first can have just about any exclusive entry rule it wants. The second must come up with some kind of entry policy that recognizes that everyone in Ohio has contributed to the school's upkeep and should have X chance of getting in.<<

First of all, your benefit is that the State of Ohio gets a shot at retaining some smart, educated people who might otherwise move to Indiana.

Secondly, it is wrong to demand a personalized benefit ("having x chance of getting in"). If you are qualified, you do have "x" chance of getting in. If you aren't, you have "y" chance of getting in.

The debate is about whether there are any reasonable non-zero values of "y".

I would say no.

19 posted on 02/09/2003 1:03:50 PM PST by Jim Noble
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
I do believe this method has kept the blacks subjected to the democrats for years. I'm glad to see some black people begining to stand up and say, "we're responsible for our own lives".
20 posted on 02/09/2003 1:07:46 PM PST by CyberAnt ( Yo! Syracuse)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
As near as I can tell, I accounted for your concern in step 1.
21 posted on 02/09/2003 1:07:52 PM PST by xzins (Games of chance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: janetgreen
Yeah, my thought exactly.
22 posted on 02/09/2003 1:09:10 PM PST by Slyfox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
Forty years ago my dad went to a black dentist.
These were the days before affirmative action.
I was a youngster and curious, so I asked, "Why do you go to a black dentist?".
His reply has stayed with me ever since.
He replied, "for a black man to become a dentist means that he must be better than any white dentist, and I want the best!"
It took me a few more years to understand his reasoning, but the civil rights movement opened my eyes to the institutional bigotry and discrimination that was prevalent before those days.
Everything is just reversed today.
Now you have to wonder if a black professional reached his position by his own talents or was handed an extra 20 points because of his complexion.
===========================================

I, for one, couldn't agree more. The best MD I ever had was when my husband was active duty AF. The fellow was a black, pre-AA, military MD. Alas, all too shortly thereafter he retired from the AF, and went into private practice somewhere out of state. He's probably is making a million $$ a year...and, God bless him, he's worth every penny of it.

But like you said, things are now reversed. From bitter experience I now avoid younger (than, say 40) minority and/or female "health care providers" like the plague. I mean, holy mackeral!

The MDs I seek out now are asian-American males. B/c like your father's dentist 40 years ago it means he must be better -- a lot better-- than those others.

23 posted on 02/09/2003 1:32:29 PM PST by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it, but I'd much rather dish it out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
Universities are cash flow factories for professors and staff. The idea is to get as many paying customers as you can. It isn't any different than other businesses in our fine land. After the customer pays a lot of money, you gotta give them some kind of degree as long as they try hard. Universities can't survive on catering to just merit scholars.
24 posted on 02/09/2003 2:22:26 PM PST by EVO X
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
Secondly, it is wrong to demand a personalized benefit ("having x chance of getting in"). If you are qualified, you do have "x" chance of getting in. If you aren't, you have "y" chance of getting in.

The problem is deciding who is "qualified". There's no one standard. SATS, grades, class rankings, essays, all have different meanings. And most schools do want to have successful athletic programs, whuch means they need some leeway for athletes.

I'd really like to see the decisions made by a board that doesn't know the name, sex or race of the applicant. Then it really wouldn't matter how much influence they gave to each factor.

25 posted on 02/09/2003 3:03:09 PM PST by speekinout
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: janetgreen
Like something right out of the Communist Manifesto?

Or Gramsci's notebooks.

26 posted on 02/09/2003 3:32:18 PM PST by wizardoz (Bomb Hollywood!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
I would say that about says it.
27 posted on 02/09/2003 7:10:43 PM PST by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Warrior Nurse; rdb3; mhking; PARodrig; Clemenza; rmlew
Thomas Sowell ping
28 posted on 02/09/2003 11:09:02 PM PST by Cacique (Censored by Admin Moderator)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
Sowell bttt
29 posted on 02/10/2003 8:42:22 AM PST by lodwick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MAKnight
ping
30 posted on 02/10/2003 10:41:46 AM PST by Coleus (RU 486 Kills Babies)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Thomas Sowell tellin' the truth alert!!!!

Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

31 posted on 02/10/2003 10:42:40 AM PST by mhking ("The home team Iraqis have won the toss and elected to receive...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: *Thomas_Sowell_list
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
32 posted on 02/10/2003 10:45:31 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: yankeedame
But like you said, things are now reversed. From bitter experience I now avoid younger (than, say 40) minority and/or female "health care providers" like the plague. I mean, holy mackeral!

I'm not blaming you for your reactions, but what is shameful is that fully deserving minority individuals are painted with the same brush. I've told this story here before, but it won't hurt to tell it again.

I sat on a selection panel to for an important position. Far and away the best candidate for the position was a black woman. Better qualifications, better interview, better references. She won the selection in a rout.

Those that weren't selected naturally started a whispering campaign that she was a "quota hire." Nothing could be further from the truth. She would have won that position if she had been green with purple polkadots.

Through her work, she did earn the respect of everyone on the team assigned to the project, but the default impression a newcomer came in with was that she didn't honestly deserve her job.

My cheeks burn when I think of some of the comments I heard about her from those who hadn't worked with her. And, yes, I did what I could to set the record straight.

33 posted on 02/10/2003 11:14:40 AM PST by TontoKowalski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Enemy Of The State
Thank God Thomas Sowell is black.
He'd be crucified for saying this, otherwise.
34 posted on 02/10/2003 12:28:11 PM PST by demosthenes the elder (gotta remember to turn this off)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson