For many years, the contention at my house has been that affirmative action and race-based quotas only dumb down a school population by admitting and promoting students who are not able to truly perform (my wife is somewhat of a pariah – she is a lifelong conservative and has taught in the public schools for 30 years). Race “norming”, while commonplace, does not offer a hand up to minorities, it only serves to bring the total population down.
Scott Johnson at Powerline points to this article by Kay Hymovitz in SchoolBook about the recent admissions results for the 3 of the 8 high schools in New York where admission is determined solely on test scores.
Students who took the specialized high school admissions test (SHSAT) also found out today whether or not they received an offer of admission to one of eight schools. Education officials said about 28,000 took the test and a total of 5,229 students received admission based on their test scores.
The one-test admissions policy is the subject of a legal complaint, which argues that not enough black and Latino students gain admission to the specialized schools — particularly Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School which are the most competitive.
This year, the racial breakdown of admission offers at these three schools looks like this (race and ethnicity data were not available for about 14 percent of test-takers):
- Stuyvesant offered admission to 9 black students; 24 Latino students; 177 white students; and 620 students who identify as Asian.
- Bronx Science offered admission to 25 black students; 54 Latino students; 239 white students; 489 Asian students; and 3 American Indian/Alaskan Native students.
- Brooklyn Tech offered admission to 110 black students; 134 Latino students; 451 white students; 960 Asian students; and 5 American Indian/Alaskan Native students.
A ninth specialized high school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, offered admission to 984 students based on an audition and review of academic records.
Of course there is a lawsuit about a single test – based purely on the idea that racial quotas are somehow necessary for “equality” – even though that everybody knows that there is a test and has known for as long as these “magnet” schools have been in existence.
They have years to prepare and real life rarely grants you a “do-over”.
It is clear, based on this hard data, that blacks, Hispanics - and to a lesser degree – whites, are simply not performing at the levels necessary to compete with the Asian applicants. No amount of race based quotas will change that. The only thing it will do is force the inclusion of students who are not ready at the expense of those who are and the next lawsuit will be that not enough blacks and Hispanics are graduating, resulting in the curricula being “dumbed down” to the detriment of all students.
If everyone is special, then no one is special.