Calculus Of Another Sort

1 06 2012

Volokh:

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that several Asian-American groups have filed an amicus brief opposing the University of Texas’ affirmative action program, which is being challenged in Fisher v. Texas, an important affirmative action case before the Supreme Court:

A brief filed Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court seeks to shake up the legal and political calculus of a case that could determine the constitutionality of programs in which colleges consider the race or ethnicity of applicants. In the brief, four Asian-American organizations call on the justices to bar all race-conscious admissions decisions, arguing that race-neutral policies are the only way for Asian-American applicants to get a fair shake.

A Texas-style “top X% of the high school graduating class” policy is particularly harmful for Asians, because they tend to do better in high school than in college, because high school is about spouting while college is about thinking.  In a high school with a lot of Asians, you’ll have so many 4 or near-4 GPAs that a 3.8 is below the top 10%.  An Asian with a 3.8 and below the top 10% won’t get in, in favor of a student at Taco or Ghetto HS in the top 10% of his or her own class who would be lucky to be in the 2.xx at the 3.8 Asian’s school.

Of course, on my care-o-meter, the effect of quasi-AA college admissions on Asians registers a big fat zero.  The real victims are whites who think independently, and don’t like to spout, and have a little trouble with conformity, so their HS GPAs will be lower, even though the college environment is tailor-made for them.

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