Friday, July 08, 2011

What About "Affirmative Action Grading"?

In many states, it's acceptable, legal and even desirable (according to many) for publicly-funded universities to engage in state-sponsored racial discrimination by applying double standards  and special preferences for certain minority groups when considering students for: a) admission to the university, and b) scholarship funding once accepted, i.e. practice "affirmative action."

Q1: If affirmative action is acceptable, legal and desirable for admissions and scholarship funding when practiced by a university's admissions and financial aid offices, should it also be acceptable, legal and desirable for professors at that university to engage in the practice of "affirmative action" when assigning grades in college classes, i.e. apply racial double standards and race-based preferences for test scores and letter grades? 

Why or why not?  

Q2: Is it consistent for somebody to support affirmative action when practiced by a staff member in the admissions or financial aid office of a university in one building on a college campus, but not support "affirmative action grading" when practiced by a college professor on that same college campus in another building?   

Stated differently, is it logically consistent for somebody to find "affirmative action grading" objectionable, but not find "affirmative action admissions" objectionable?  If race-neutral grading is the accepted standard for the treatment of students IN the classroom, can race-based preferences be justified when selecting students for admission to the university in the first place? 


At 7/08/2011 1:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Apparently the school system in Atlanta thinks its O.K....LMAO!

At 7/08/2011 1:31 PM, Blogger Tracker said...

In addition we should have redistributive grading where the top scores say 40% of any score above 90% be reallocated to those at the bottom of the curve since students at the bottom could use the assistance from top scores as those at the top can afford it and still maintain an A grade.

At 7/08/2011 1:39 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

O.K. to "apply racial double standards and race-based preferences for test scores and letter grades?"


No doubt a couple of the libs on the Supreme Court would say "yes".

At 7/08/2011 1:49 PM, Blogger AIG said...

The answer is simple. Affirmative action in admissions is a "hidden" act, which has no apparent negative impacts on other people. No apparent, because no one think in terms of scarcity of spaces available at a university. So letting some other people in, doesn't hurt me.

But if grade affirmative action can be implemented, that is not a hidden cost. Its very visible, and it hurts everyone else. It affects people's rankings, egos and lots more.

The only way schools (and government in general) gets away with ridiculous policies like this, is because the costs are almost always distributed so much that the costs are almost invisible.

At 7/08/2011 2:03 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

don't give them any ideas.

At 7/08/2011 3:46 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Maybe the NBA should institute a quota for short, fat white guys.

It's only fair.

At 7/08/2011 4:03 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Speaking of Schools, and iphones, and such: S. Korea to completely eliminate printed books from schools by 2015

At 7/08/2011 6:45 PM, Blogger tony Caporale said...


Your post reminded me of this:


At 7/08/2011 7:08 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

In general, affirmative action is probably not the way to go..but still, evidently, more kids get into college on athletic scholarships than by affirmative action.

And, unless things have changed, any girl with great boobs gets through college pretty easily.

At 7/08/2011 7:56 PM, Blogger Don Greer said...

"is it logically consistent"

I think I found the error in your thinking. You assume that they are using logic, when in fact they are using emotion to guide their decisions.

At 7/08/2011 9:46 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"And, unless things have changed, any girl with great boobs gets through college pretty easily."

I don't know where you went to school, but thats cr*p

At 7/08/2011 10:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is great way to handle it! If base grades are adjusted, there is no longer a need for affirmative action elsewhere. Admission boards, academic societies, employers, etc. need not adjust for race because it is already baked in.

At 7/09/2011 8:01 AM, Blogger BigDave said...

This is all a bunch of bunk. Let's start at the beginning of the educational process. It's all about resources.

We know there is a huge difference in resource allocation in education funding between 13k vs 25k in urban vs suburban public school funding. Affirmative action is not even a problem and it hasn't been all that successful in dealing with the real issue.

At 7/09/2011 8:04 AM, Blogger Speedmaster said...

I find treating people differently based on their race or ethnicity morally repugnant.

At 7/09/2011 10:36 AM, Blogger sykes.1 said...

In fact, it has been shown that university faculty do engage in affirmative action grading for blacks and hispanics.

As to the difference between urban and suburban school spending, many urban districts like NYC and DC spend much more per pupil than do most suburban districts.

At 7/09/2011 12:32 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Wow this whole string of comments should be submitted to The fact is that culturally racism still persists in our country, African-Americans and Latinos lack the same job and educational opportunities as whites. Minority communities haven't even had the same chances as whites to escape from legalized racism, the abolition of which is still fresh from a historical perspective.
I know that the idea of white Americans losing out due to reparations for past injustices rankles with a lot of people, and in a way it isn't fair. But what's worse is to let disenfranchised groups continue to lose out when they were the actual victims of these legally sanctioned abuses.

At 7/09/2011 12:57 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


Berkeley and UT. Back then, a girl with great boobs found plenty--and I mean plenty--of eager help from male students, teaching assts, even profs.

I assume men still like a girl with great boobs.

At 7/09/2011 1:32 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

In the U.S. at the university level, it's unfair:

1. The "most competitive" universities are not much better than average universities.

2. Grading is unfair, because much of it is often based on instructor's value judgements.

3. Someone who graduated taking easy classes at a top university is rated higher, by society, than someone who graduated taking hard classes at an average university.

At 7/09/2011 4:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"We know there is a huge difference in resource allocation in education funding between 13k vs 25k in urban vs suburban public school funding"...


If YOU want urban public schools to have more money (to waste of course) then why don't YOU shovel it out of your own wallet?

At 7/09/2011 6:55 PM, Blogger Alan said...

We have it, in a way: Most faculty I know will not give failing grades, and one of the reasons is that they fear that the people they fail may disproportionately be minorities. They may be wrong about that: In my many years of teaching I have never had a single black student I thought was stupid, though I've had a fair number of whites and Asians who were. But, for reasons I'm not sure of, black students in an affirmative-action environment tend not to get particularly high grades either.

At 7/09/2011 8:26 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Also, I may add, students are sometimes graded for the most ridiculous reasons.

I was in an Econ 5000 class and there was a new professor, who received his Ph.D recently from a top eastern school and was gay.

He called me to his office one day and accused me of plagiarism, although he obviously had absolutely no proof.

He gave me a failing grade and told me my paper was so good I must of cheated.

I had to show him a paper I wrote before, in another class and econ subject, that was similar in style, writing, methodology, etc. to prove I didn't cheat.

Although, the paper proved I didn't cheat, he gave me a barely passing grade, for a paper he thought was too good!

He seemed to enjoy playing these type of games, it seems, because most of the students kept a low profile in class.

Moreover, I may add, I thought my grades were too high in some classes and too low in others, e.g. receiving a higher grade in a harder class because I did well in an easier class with the same professor.

Or received a lower grade, because a professor was too arrogant to consider another idea.

At 7/09/2011 11:18 PM, Blogger Fountainthink said...

How about using affirmative action to elect a president?

At 7/09/2011 11:19 PM, Blogger Fountainthink said...

How about using affirmative action to elect a president?

At 7/10/2011 7:26 PM, Blogger Bobby Caygeon said...

Well if they get in without merit, then they probably need to be kept without merit too, right?

At 7/11/2011 3:50 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I'm sure you'll give this post very little thought because most with your mindset don't give much thought to anything other than the overly-simplistic idea of basic injustice and view it like religion, in that it is nearly impossible to disprove the effects (or lack thereof).

It is not "The" man who leaves nearly 80% of black children fatherless, it's "that" man (and, of course, the idiotic women who allow this practice to continue).
The point of that example is that we have a far greater cultural class problem than that of race - and continue to excuse it for fear of the racist label.

When one sees the reasons given, and adjustments made, for the 'cultural bias' of standardized tests, it becomes very clear...
Example: Tests aren't fair because fewer black kids know the definition of words like "mauve". Who's fault is that? The government? Racists? I knew my colors by reading my crayons before kindergarten. Probably because, between their jobs, one of my parents was usually home with me....and, if not, a neighbor or sister.

I came from a small, 'white-trash' town in Missouri and went to a nearly all-black college. I've seen bias and discrimination from all sides, however most meaningful problems come from the devil within... the best example I can give is one of a brilliant black man I know who was ostracized from his community because of his desire to be an Uncle Tom....fortunately for him, he has a wonderful family and has gone on to be an amazing meteorologist and a world class percussionist.

I'm sure you can dream up a Mr. Burns-type character to blame for the fact that many minority children would rather beat up a peer who chooses to read than hang on the corner, and you may be right in some strange ways, but I'd ask you to exercise some caution when accusing us of being racist because some of us feel it necessary to address ALL of the problems in minority communities.

At 7/11/2011 4:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"He seemed to enjoy playing these type of games, it seems, because most of the students kept a low profile in class"...

Well PT if you would've smacked him in the chops a few times then the magic of those games would've evaporated for him...

Nothing teaches like trauma...

At 7/11/2011 7:11 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


I don't know how you drew your conclusions about me.

I just said girls with great boobs can skate through college.
Athletes too.

I would prefer we bring affirmative action to the NBA, the NFL and baseball.

Although a pair of Ukrainians control the boxing heavyweight division now. Who'd a thunk it?

At 7/12/2011 10:25 AM, Blogger Mike said...


I actually thought about addressing my post:
"Ben (not Benjamin)"
There's another "Ben" on here.....scroll up 10 post above mine....and right before one from you.
It wasn't you this time, bud!

BTW, when you say you went to UT, do you mean the real one or the one with the checkerboard end zones in Tennessee? My cute, blonde wife went to UT and has nice boobs.....and, while I'm sure she wouldn't mind hearing someone say that, she'd disagree with anyone suggesting she got any extra help.
But, then again, she'd have never asked (flirted) for help in the first place.
In fact, I think the term, "double secret probation" was stolen by Animal House and based on her first semester.

At 7/14/2011 8:27 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Isn't it a bad idea to have the educational institutions claim that blacks or Latinos are stupider and need help? How does that help black or Latino workers in the real world?


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