Author and attorney Heather Mac Donald says the College Board’s recent decision to back away from adding “adversity scores” to the SATs to prop up underachieving youth doesn’t change the fact that the Board is eroding the meritocratic college admissions process.
“Well, this is a cosmetic change,” Mac Donald told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs. “What this is all about is an effort to re-package racial preferences in a more palatable form.”
Basically, what the “adversity scores” would’ve done is add bonus points to an applicant’s SAT scores to factor in their race, family income, and other socioeconomic reasons to excuse poor performance.
The unsaid purpose is to benefit certain minority groups.
As it is, there’s already a “bonus” system in place that assigns extra SAT points depending on a minority applicant’s race, according to a Princeton University study:
- African-Americans: Add 230 points
- Hispanics: Add 185 points
- Asians: Subtract 50 points
Mac Donald said the “adversity scores” were little more than another form of affirmative action, to enable college admission to undeserving students who didn’t make the cut based on their grades and test scores.
(Source: Lou Dobbs Tonight)
“All of this tinkering with meritocratic admissions in colleges and throughout the economy, frankly, is all driven by one fact: which is the persistent academic achievement gap,” Mac Donald explained.
Mac Donald says if underachieving groups could close that gap, then colleges could actually have a real, colorblind meritocratic system. But she says we can’t do that because some groups lag behind others.
“If black culture or the rest of culture could close that gap, we would be back to a colorblind meritocratic system,” Mac Donald said. “But the College Board is trying to give colleges an excuse to continue to give preferences to under-prepared black students — to catapult them into academic environments for which they are not prepared.”
Mac Donald says while this is supposedly being done to “help” underachieving students, in reality, it’s hurting them. That’s because they’re thrust into a rigorous academic environment that they’re woefully unprepared for.
And this hurts both the affirmative-action beneficiaries and the students whose places they took so colleges can socially engineer forced diversity.
“This is done in the name of helping the students,” Mac Donald says. “In fact, there is nothing more cruel than awarding a student a racial preference, and putting him into an environment for which he is not academically prepared.”
“He’s going to struggle. He’s going to inevitably blame his problems on phantom circumambient racism, rather than acknowledging the difficult truth that he would’ve been better in an environment where he is actually matched with his peers.
This is not simply a race problem. It would occur with gender preferences as well, but that is the underlying problem that America simply doesn’t want to address head on.”
Lou Dobbs agreed, and said college admissions should be based on actual accomplishments like grades, extracurricular activities, and standardized test scores. Mac Donald — a longtime opponent of race- and gender-based affirmative action — agrees.
“Now it’s driven by racial preference, and it’s Asian students who are getting screwed the most,” Mac Donald said. “I would love to abolish college admissions offices.”
She added: “Right now, we’re fiddling with meritocracy and putting our competitive edge at risk because we insist on engineering a student body based on racial quotas instead of on who is most capable of succeeding in any given academic environment.”
Heather Mac Donald has a point. Many high-achieving Asian students get good grades and perform well on standardized tests despite coming from poor households where English is not even their first language.
And it’s not a race thing, either. Nigerian-Americans are among the most successful communities in America, with a median household income that exceeds the rest of the United States. Many Nigerian-Americans also perform well academically and have top-tier jobs.
By elevating underachieving individuals in universities and the workplace, the United States undermines its competitive edge against economic superpowers like China.
You can be sure that China — which wants to supplant the U.S. as the dominant world power — does not use affirmative action to decide who to elevate as its top engineers, business executives, and scientists.
Here’s what kids in China are up to while leftists in America argue that there are 56 genders:
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