So writes Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby in this piece today. Admitting poorly prepared minority students to demanding programs in the hard sciences or engineering at elite schools may make admissions officers or affirmative action supporters feel good about themselves, but it virtually sets such students up to fail; as Jacoby notes, the attrition rate is prohibitive. No wonder that the students given such “opportunity” often come away feeling isolated and embittered. The sad part is that they’d probably have better prospects of succeeding at second-tier state institutions. It’s among the many reasons that we continue to oppose group-based preferences of any kind, as I wrote here last week. Jacoby also cites the stellar, tireless work of NAS board member Gail Heriot, a law professor at the University of San Diego, who has marshalled compelling arguments and data demonstrating the consistently bad results of race-based affirmative action policies. Compelling, that is, for everyone except the admissions officers at elite universities who continue to claim resounding success for their “diversity” policies.
- December 23, 2011