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jerryking : race-neutrality   1

Compassionate Action - WSJ.com
February 24, 2003 | WSJ |By BENJAMIN S. CARSON.

In a conversation recently with Gerhardt Casper, the former president of Stanford University, I learned that they had 1,600 freshmen slots and 19,000 applicants for those slots, 10,000 of which had 4.0 grade point averages. They, along with the Ivy League schools and select others, could easily fill the freshman class with 4.0 students. But what about the black student who grew up in the ghetto, in a single-parent home, looking over his shoulder for danger each day as he walked home and still managed to compile a 3.7 GPA and SAT scores in the 90th percentile? Or what about the student from Appalachia with a similar academic record whose father died in a mining accident and had to work and help raise his brothers and sisters?

Do we simply ignore such students or assuage our guilt by saying they don't have to attend one of the premier schools since there are many other excellent universities that would love to have them? Of course not. Instead, many universities take into account factors such as parental education, socioeconomic status, obstacles overcome, learning environment, living environment, responsibilities, special family circumstances, etc., which allows these students admission. The universities correctly reason that if these students could overcome such significant adversities in their lives, they will likely make great contributions to our nation.

This is the principle we should call "compassionate action," and I believe it is the right one for our current dilemma: While race-neutral, it takes a disadvantaged background into account and extends a helping hand to those who need it most. As it turns out, in the U.S., the largest percentage of people from disadvantaged backgrounds happen to be blacks and Hispanics. Those groups will be given a slightly lower bar because of their real difficulties, not from a presumption that their skin color requires it.
affirmative_action  economically_disadvantaged  U.S._Supreme_Court  admissions  race-neutrality  Stanford  applications  SAT  education  students  compassion  Appalachia  disadvantages  GPA  presumptions 
august 2012 by jerryking

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