On college admissions and affirmative action

Posted by Sappho on July 24th, 2014 filed in Race


Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University; Faculty Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, at the Huffington Post points to A Basic Flaw in the Argument Against Affirmative Action.

Here’s my basic problem with the argument against affirmative action. I went to Stanford. I had friends there of various races. I don’t know how much of a boost my black friends at Stanford did or didn’t get from affirmative action (not so much, I guarantee you, that their SAT scores weren’t well above the national median, you can check Stanford’s general admissions statistics for confirmation on that). I do know that they were no slouches. Black students at Stanford, overwhelmingly, graduate and proceed, on average, to do very well in their careers. So, you know, if Andre Braugher didn’t need any affirmative action boost to get into Stanford, you’re a racist if you assume he did. But if he did, at any point in the process, get that little boost from affirmative action, that means that affirmative action was doing its job, and good for affirmative action! Because I’ll put his brains, determination, and talent up against yours any day, whoever you may be, affirmative action critic who grumbles that black people are grabbing white people’s spots at the university.



One Response to “On college admissions and affirmative action”

  1. WiredSisters Says:

    I got into Harvard on the basis of what they then called geographic distribution (ie not being from New York or Boston) and my father’s Harvard diploma. But of course, those weren’t affirmative action programs for white people.