Politics

It Does Not Matter How “Woke” You Are — It Will Never be Enough For the Aggrieved Race Activists

In 2019-20, 77% of high school seniors took the SAT test as part of the process of applying for admission to colleges and universities.  In 2020-21, fewer than 50% will do so and most colleges are not requiring SAT scores because many of the testing dates were canceled because of COVID.

Now the “woke” race activists are demanding that standardized testing be eliminated altogether as part of the college admissions process.  Their reason?  Because lower test scores by minority students (except Asians — pay not attention) is a reflection of racism — the results prove the racism, and nothing more be said or proven.

There is nothing about the testing itself — the content of the test or the location of the testing — which is identified as being racist or suppresive of minority achievement.

Racism is established by the testing results because any measure of performance showing different outcomes between individuals of different minority groups is a racist construct — it can never be anything else and it can never be fixed. The only solution is abandonement.  From the New York Post:

In a pair of tweets Tuesday, Bowman (D-NY) wrote simply, “Standardized testing is a pillar of systemic racism,” before linking to an article from the National Education Association, one of the two largest teachers unions in the country.

The article from the NEA was titled “The Racist Beginnings of Standardized Testing.” It was published in April 2018.

“Since the beginning of standardized testing, students of color, particularly those from low-income families, have suffered the most from high-stakes testing in U.S. public schools.

Rep. Bowman was first elected to Congress in 2020, having beaten long-time New York Democrat Eliot Engel in the Democrat primary in July 2020.   He is now a member of “The Squad” along with other neo-Maxists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush. Bowman was urged to run against Engel by AOC.

Prior to running for Congress, Bowman was both a teacher and administrator in the public school system in New York.  He is a long-time activist against standardized testing.

Andrew Sullivan did a “deep-dive” in an article he published on Substack going through the most recently published data showing that the SAT — as currently constructed — actually boosts in a meaningful way the attendance of minority students at the highest levels of the university system in the United States.  Massive amounts of data, including a comprehensive study recently completed on test-takers in California, show that SAT test results actually boosted the number of minority students accepted by top level academic institutions when their high school grades would not have produced that result.

The test has been studied and reformed repeatedly over the past three decades in an effort to eliminate as much “bias” from the formulation of the questions as possible.  Comparing test scores to markers of later success in life show there is a relationship between test performance an achievement beyond academia that cuts across all racial and socio-economic classes.   The reality is that there are people in all racial and economic groups who are smarter than the rest of us, and that inate intelligence is revealed throughout their lifetimes and produces greater success for them than is achieved by the vast majority of the population.  The SAT is a tool used to identify that sub-group, and it works for the most part in that respect. My college age son took the test 3 times — once before availing himself of various “test prep” materials and courses, and twice after doing so.  His three scores were all within 30 points of each other, and the internal breakdown of the scoring on the test components was nearly the same on each.

This “woke” race-hucksterism will not stop with the SAT.  The application of “critical theory” to every element of life where there is a grievance lobby which shouts down the contrary evidence will continue until the grievance lobby itself is discredited.  Look no further than Yale Law School.

Earlier this year an editor of the Yale Law Journal, Gavin Jackson, resigned from schools’ most prestigious publication because he felt he was “used and tokenized” by his selection as an editor.  Jackson is black.

Jackson’s resignation was followed by demands of the woke grievance mongers that the Journal prioritize “anti-racism” over the merit-based selection process for editors.  According to the Free Beacon which reviewed message board exchanges between the competing interests, the wokesters made no numerical demands with regard to what they thought would be a fair representation of minority law students among the staff of editors selected to those positions by the Journal — they wanted the entire “merit-based” process to be abandoned as a vestige of racism from Yale’s past.

“Meeting with affinity groups to present platitudes about valuing diversity in the admissions process is insufficient,” the Black Law Students Association said. “The Journal must commit to fundamental changes to its governance structure, admissions policy, submission plan, and slating that it will ensure this perpetuation of racism does not ever happen again.”

Ummm…. okay.

The reasons suggested by the Free Beacon article for the reluctance of the interest groups to make an argument on metrics is because the metrics of the Journal’s selection process do not support the arguments made by woke aggreivance lobby.

Not only are blacks and Hispanics elected for membership to the top law school’s most prestigious journal at a higher rate than their white counterparts, but the admissions rate for blacks—61 percent—is higher than that of any other ethnic group.

That “admission” rate is a reference to the admission rate to membership in the Journal and its editorial staff.  More the six of every 10 black law students at Yale who go through the submission process are accepted into the Journal’s staff.  The admission rate for ALL applicants is 38%.

The Yale Law Journal is consistently ranked as the top law review publication in the country.  Three Supreme Court Justices were members of the Journal.  Articles published in the Journal have significant influence in legal  scholarship and debate.

Among the organizations alleging the Journal‘s admissions practices are racist: the Black Law Students Association, the Middle Eastern and North African Law Students’ Association, the Asian Pacific American Law Students’ Association, the South Asian Law Students’ Association, the first-generation students’ affinity group, and the LGBT affinity group.

To combat that racism, several group leaders said, the Journal should embrace political activism, using “its entrenched power to mitigate the impacts of white supremacy and classism.” It should also “prioritize anti-racism” over its traditional “gatekeeping function.”

“We lament that once again, the burden of advocating for equity at Journal falls onto the shoulders of students of color who are already overburdened members of affinity groups” …

The LGBT group berates the Journal for its “white ableist culture” …

…the Black Law Students Association accuses it of “tokenizing and failing to reward the incredible contributions of students of color.”

The numbers sited above reflect the admission rates of applicants who identify among the various “affinity” groups named.  A different set of numbers reflect the participation of members of these affinity groups as compared to the composition of the entire student body of Yale Law School.

Blacks comprise 16 percent of Journal admits, and Latinos 14 percent—even though they make up just 7 percent and 11 percent percent of the student body, respectively.

Now you can see the comparison between the percentage of black student applicants accepted to the Journal compared to the percentage of black students among the law school student population as a whole.  It is simply not possible to justify the claims of “racism” being leveled against the Journal’s admission process or selection of editors when the Journal accepts more black students as a percentage of applicants than any other race, and the percentage of black students on the Journal staff is double the percentage of black students in the school as a whole.

Solution — eliminate the consideration of numbers as a metric.  Indict the process for selection because it produces a difference in numerical outcomes.

I guess the alternative is to simply put the names of every student on a ping-pong ball, and select members of the Journal in the same fashion old folks play BINGO.

The Free Beacon article ends with a stunning prediction made by a Yale Law School alum, the Honorable Macklin Fleming — a life-long Democrat — more than 50 years ago, reacting to the adoption by Yale of various affirmative action policies at that time:

“Demands will be made for elimination of competition, reduction in standards of performance, adoption of courses of study which do not require intensive legal analysis, and recognition for academic credit of sociological activities which have only an indirect relationship to legal training,” Fleming wrote in a letter to the dean. “These unhappy prospects flow from the abandonment of an objective system of admission based on intellectual aptitude.”

 




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