The Problem of Mismatch

The most stunning failure, and confirmation that simply admitting more diverse students does not equal better minority achievement, is the dismal statistics of Black and Hispanic achievement compared to White and Asian students in higher education.

Obviously, some of the issues of achievement are attributable to disadvantages that Black and Hispanic students have at the university level. However, given that Thomas J. Epsenshade and Chang Y. Chung found that Black and Hispanic students recieved a ~200 point bump in the SAT in admissions decisions and Epsenshade also found that Black and Hispanic students were many multiple times more likely to be accepted with the same credentials than Whites and Asians. One key credential was grades, which UChicago found was highly predictive of college performance and this logically follows (,Chicago%20Consortium%20on%20School%20Research.).

The achievment gap that follows is thus unsurprising. Dropout rates are 23 and 7 points higher among Black and Hispanic students. The average first year law-school Black student is in the bottom 10% of GPA. This corroborates the early findings of sociologist James Davis in “The Campus as a Frog Pond: An Application of the Theory of Relative Deprivation to Career Decisions of College Men”. Minority students also rank lower in the class than white and Asian students.

All this suggests that minority students may be put at a disadvantage if we embrace crude affirmative action diversity goals rather than seek to prepare minority children better and reduce inequalities of opportunity in childhood and adolsence.

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