April 24, 2012

Roger Clegg puts the AP in its place

By Joshua P. Thompson Senior Attorney

Over the weekend, the Associated Press put a very silly “report” on campus diversity in California.  The “report” notes that:

The effects of California’s ban, known as Proposition 209, are particularly evident at the world-renowned University of California, Berkeley campus, where the student body is highly diverse but hardly resembles the ethnic and racial fabric of the state.

Note that the same cannot be said of California’s other public universities.  It’s also interesting that the article assumes the common fallacy that racial statistics must mirror statwide racial makeup in order to achieve “proper” diversity.  Even the very broad Grutter opinion was never willing to go that far.

But the most misleading aspect of this “report” is how it ignores that (1) offers of admission to underrepresented minority students have risen under 209; (2)  the gap between underrepresented high school graduates gaining admittance to the UC system now versus before 209 has shrunk considerably; and (3) underrepresented minorities are more likely to graduate from a UC school now than before 209 was enacted.  To be fair, buried in the next to last paragraph we learn that “the number of Hispanic students at UC’s nine undergraduates has been steadily increasing.”  [That, as the lead story, would have made an interesting article.]

In other words, the “report” ignores every UC school not named UC-Berkeley, and ignores that minorities have been achieving much more success across all of California’s public universities since 209 was enacted.  Over at the National Review, Roger Clegg noticed the same problems.  He writes:

What has changed in California since it has gotten rid of admissions discrimination is not that fewer Latinos and African Americans are getting into the state’s public universities, but that they are going to schools where their academic qualifications are on par with the other students’.

There’s nothing wrong with that — to the contrary, it’s fairer to the Asian and white kids who used to be discriminated against, and it’s better for the Latino and African American kids, too, since their grades, graduation, and other indices of performance have all gone up.

Read the rest.

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