'Mismatch' Tackles Affirmative Action

Monday, 15 Oct 2012 11:45 AM

By Herbert London

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
In the recent book, "Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It," by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, the authors identify reforms that could make a difference in dealing with this ticklish racial issue that are eminently sensible.
First, and perhaps foremost, is a call for transparency. As the Gutter case indicated, the Supreme Court favors a transparency mandate. Universities are theoretically supposed to prove that consideration of race in admissions is “narrowly tailored” to promote a healthy diversity and, as significantly, does not unduly harm any racial group. 

Since full disclosure is often honored more in the breach than in practice, it is difficult to know when racial preferences are applied.
Second, the authors maintain that “the racial preferences a university uses be no larger than the average size of preferences based on an individual applicant’s financial need or socioeconomic status.” In other words, socioeconomic diversity is as compelling an interest for admissions as racial diversity.
Last, is a recommendation for a prohibition on strict race-based aid awards. In doing so, universities would suggest that the diversity they seek goes beyond skin color and refers instead to an opportunity for those in real financial need, a condition that may disproportionately affect minority students without, at the same time, relying on race the sole admissions criterion.
For decades this debate over affirmative action has raged. In my opinion, the experiment to redress the wrongs of the past was an interesting, but failed effort. As the authors note, racial “preferences hurt under-represented minorities more than they help them.”

Very often minorities are put in a position where they cannot compete effectively, a point often made by Thomas Sowell. And it is also noted that even when minority members compete effectively, there is the lingering perception that success is related to affirmative action.
In this matter, as in so many others, in which the rhetoric has reached a fever pitch, it is difficult to get hard-headed realism into the Court perspective. This book does precisely that; it advances an argument from two former advocates of affirmative action who have come to the conclusion, based on empirical evidence, that they were wrong. 

Moreover, they realize that wiping the slate clean through an absolute reversal will not work. Hence the sensible reform proposals they have articulated.

I hope someone on the Supreme Court is reading this book.
Herbert London is president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the books "The Transformational Decade" (University Press of America) and "Decline and Revival in Higher Education" (Transaction Books). Read more reports from Herbert London — Click Here Now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Obama's Risky Shifts in Foreign Policy

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 09:23 AM

Obama has noted that the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was his closest ally, someone on whom he can de . . .

Rabbi Murders Underscore Israel's Plight

Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 11:08 AM

Images of distinguished rabbis hacked to death in a blood-soaked synagogue floor during a prayer service are about a hat . . .

Iran Benefits from Mideast Chaos

Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 08:39 AM

We are spiraling down a dangerous hole that makes military action more than less likely in the future , an option no one . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved