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Cool People You Should Know: Marta Tienda

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When I read about the University of California's proposed changes to their admissions standards, which would deemphasize test scores in favor of class rank (Hat tip: Education Optimists), I realized that proposal is a partial outgrowth of a decade of work on higher education access by Marta Tienda. Among educational researchers, Tienda, a demographer and sociologist who teaches at Princeton, stands out for her record of doing research that informs public policy debates about educational opportunity for disadvantaged kids, and for the passion and flair with which she does this work.

After the Hopwood case temporarily ended affirmative action in Texas, the state adopted a plan that gave the top 10% of each graduating high school automatic admission to the two flagship campuses. Tienda mounted a major study of the policy change under the auspices of the Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project, and has since produced dozens of articles on the policy's impact. Her recent paper with colleague Sigal Alon, Diversity, Opportunity, and the Shifting Meritocracy in Higher Education, is a real tour de force for the ground that it covers. They analyzed four datasets covering high school classes graduating in the 1980s and 1990s in order to determine how the relative weights put on grades and test scores in the admissions process have changed over time. Their results support the "shifting meritocracy" hypothesis; selective colleges have increasingly relied on test scores to screen students, which, because of persistent test score achievement gaps, has made it difficult to admit a diverse group of students to these colleges in the absence of race-sensitive preferences. Alon and Tienda, through a series of simulations, show that deemphasizing test scores would allow institutions to admit diverse classes without lowering graduation rates.

Their conclusion is far-reaching, but can be summed up in just one sentence: "The apparent tension between merit and diversity exists only when merit is narrowly defined by test scores."

Tienda's personal story is also quite remarkable. As one of five children and the daughter of illegal Mexican migrant laborers, she planned to become a hairdresser until the 7th grade, when a teacher noticed her talent. As she explains in an interview, "It was such a riveting moment for me that I even remember what the teacher was wearing that day. Until then, I thought that college was only for rich people and I was from a working class family. But when my teacher suggested college and told me that there were scholarships to help good students like me get to college, that was it." Since then, she has been awarded honorary degrees from multiple universities, and has served on the boards of RAND, the Carnegie Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, Brown University, TIAA, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and a dozen other major organizations.

But she's never forgotten where she came from, and continues to do outreach work to encourage disadvantaged kids to go to college, and to make them feel comfortable once they're there. In this profile, you'll see her take no prisoners attitude in full effect. As she exhorted a group of students to carry the torch, "Let me tell you something. If you were admitted, you belong. Your job is to do the very best you can and to bring up two of the classmates you left behind.” Through her research, which has drawn our attention to the potential for disadvantaged kids to succeed and excel in higher education, Tienda has done just that.
24 Comments

Que inevitable follow up story about grade inflation and access to AP courses.

> "The apparent tension between merit and diversity exists only when merit is narrowly defined by test scores."

Well that tells me what I need to know.

Without bothering to read every tedious tract I'm sure I'll find hymns to the manifold benefits of smaller classrooms aka more teachers, homilies about the soul-destroying effects of the failure to fully fund education aka mo' money and stirring denunciations of parents, kids, politicians, TV, drugs, computers, the Internet, society in general, income disparities, the ambient temperature, inadequate diet and obesity.

Oh, and leave us not forget an artfully constructed case for the crucial societal benefits that accrue from the good kind of racism - affirmative action - which, when put to a vote of people who as like as not shop at Walmart and don't drive a Swedish import, gets voted down.

And just in case there were any remaining doubt about this blog or the individual featured in this post:

> "Let me tell you something. If you were admitted, you belong."

Say, maybe a "a demographer and sociologist who teaches at Princeton" could point that large bore education towards determining why affirmative action students wash out at at least twice the rate of non-affirmative action students from an identical ethnic and socio-economic background? Naw, why put a spot light on the fact that once the kids are wrung dry of their value as indicators of the high-mindedness of the university's policymakers they're disposed of without much thought? That'd put a damper on the self-congratulation party.

Wow. Were it not for remarks like those of allen's, we just might forget how critically important education is to civil discourse.

E - thanks for a great profile.

If my discourse isn't sufficiently civil blame it on the public education system of which I'm a product.

Allen,

What evidence would you point to in support of your claim that "affirmative action students wash out at at least twice the rate of non-affirmative action students from an identical ethnic and socio-economic background"?

What evidence would you point to in support of your claim that "affirmative action students wash out at at least twice the rate of non-affirmative action students from an identical ethnic and socio-economic background"?

Sanders' studies on affirmative action in law schools decisively demonstrate this claim.

Hey TangoMan,

Sanders' studies have been widely criticized for their methodological flaws.

Also, how do you make sense of Tienda's finding that the kids admitted to the flagship schools in Texas via the 10% law done quite well? Clearly many of them would not have been admitted under the old admissions regime.

Still reading up for the series of posts that we discussed a couple of weeks back...hopefully will be able to start those posts next week.

"The apparent tension between merit and diversity exists only when merit is narrowly defined by test scores."

As a University of California study on predicting college success found by examining the records of the 81,722 students who entered the system between the fall of 1996 and the fall of 1999, the SAT I & SAT II had greater predictive validity in measuring success in the first year of school than GPA. Further, if you delve into the details you see that over the course of the 4 year study the predictive validity of the GPA continued to fall, meaning "subjective grading standards" across a wide field of High Schools don't capture a true reflection of content mastery as we see with objective testing. Further, GPA is a reflection of grading criteria that encompass measures such as attendance, class cooperation, work on group projects, etc whereas the objective test simply measures how well a student knows the material.

If Tienda doesn't want to measure merit by objective standards perhaps she can demonstrate other methods which have equal or greater predictive validity.

Sanders' studies have been widely criticized for their methodological flaws.

Criticism is easy to offer, but valid criticism is more difficult to craft. If you wish to point to a specific methodological flaw(s) I'll be happy to engage in discussion but it is unfair to imply that because a study has been criticized that the critics are correct in their criticism.

Also, how do you make sense of Tienda's finding that the kids admitted to the flagship schools in Texas via the 10% law done quite well?

Does she address the gaming that took place after the new admissions system was implemented? With the change of rules came a change of student strategy - no longer was it better to be a small fish in a big pond, now it paid to be a big fish in a small pond.

TangoMan what you wrote doesn't exactly square with the link you provided. Based on that link it appears that the SAT I is merely piggy-backing on the SAT II's stronger predictive validity, and is not as good (alone) as GPA. I don't see how the link you provided shows that the SAT I is a better predictor (did UC drop SAT II as well - I'm not sure) than GPA.

TangoMan,

I've read Richard Sander's study in the Stanford Law Review and I can't find support for the claim that affirmative action students wash out at at least twice the rate of non-affirmative action students from an identical ethnic and socio-economic background. In fact, only 4.7% of African-American matriculants to the most elite law schools in 1991 failed to graduate from law school within five years; a little bit higher than the rate for white matriculants (3.3%), but considerably lower than the attrition rates for African-American entrants to less selective law schools.

In any event, the context for the issue is Marta Tienda's research on access to higher education, not admission to law school. As best as I can tell, the most recent evidence on the effects of affirmative action on the attrition of African-American and Latino students suggests that affirmative action at the individual student level (measured as the difference between a minority student’s SAT score and the institutional average) actually increases retention in the original institution. See Fischer, Mary J., and Douglas S. Massey. 2007. “The Effects of Affirmative Action in Higher Education.” Social Science Research 38:531-549.

John,

TangoMan what you wrote doesn't exactly square with the link you provided.

What I wrote was "the SAT I & SAT II had greater predictive validity in measuring success in the first year of school than GPA."

Explained variance 1996-199:
HSGPA = 0.145
SAT I & SAT II = 0.156

Further, as I mentioned in my comment, if you look at the explained variance of HSGPA it seems to be dropping like a stone:

1996 = 0.17
1997 = 0.158
1998 = 0.135
1999 = 0.119

Conversely, the explained variance seen in the SAT I & SAT II holds pretty steady against time:

1996 = 0.167
1997 = 0.142
1998 = 0.149
1999 = 0.158

The authors note that there as a problem with the 1997 SAT I data (possibly the renorming?)

One of the problems with the SAT I when applied to these diversity discussions is that it OVERPREDICTS the performance of Black students compared to white/asian students, so deemphasizing the influence of the SAT in admissions decisions will tend to harm the interests of Black students.

skoolboy,

In fact, only 4.7% of African-American matriculants to the most elite law schools in 1991 failed to graduate from law school within five years; a little bit higher than the rate for white matriculants (3.3%), but considerably lower than the attrition rates for African-American entrants to less selective law schools.

What good is a law degree if the graduated student can't pass the State Bar Exam?

Data from Texas Bar Exam, 2000:

Percent Passing By Racial/Ethnic Group And Repeater Status

First Timers:
White = 85%
Black = 53%

Repeaters:
White = 49%
Black = 28%

So, all these folks are graduates of law schools. Of the 15% of whites who don't pass the Bar Exam on the first try, 49% manage to pass after repeated attempts. Of the 47% of Blacks who don't pass on their first attempt, only 28% manage to pass after repeated attempts.

So, by downplaying objective data on relying on soft measures designed to increase diversity targets, students will end up deeply in debt, with degrees, in this case law degrees, and as the data above illustrates, 72% of Black law school graduates who don't pass the bar exam on their first try don't manage to pass after repeated attempts, which means that fully a third of Black law school graduates can't pass objective tests to become lawyers, compared to 7.6% of whites.

As best as I can tell, the most recent evidence on the effects of affirmative action on the attrition of African-American and Latino students suggests that affirmative action at the individual student level (measured as the difference between a minority student’s SAT score and the institutional average) actually increases retention in the original institution

Well, there goes the whole rationale for gifted programs.

From their abstract: "If anything, individual students with SAT scores below the institutional average do better than other students, other things equal."

It should now be quite clear that the solution to the achievement gap problem at the High School level, is to simply place all underperforming students, if they happen to be minorities, into gifted programs for which they can't pass the entrance exam. Once firmly ensconced in their new environment these students will, ceterus paribus, outperform the students who earned their way into the programs.

In any event, the context for the issue is Marta Tienda's research on access to higher education, not admission to law school.

Fair enough. Let me get back on track. She tends to assume a number of premises and offers no support for her initial position that diversity based on race produces an enhanced educational experience for the entire student body. She assumes this to be the case and then seeks to refocus an educational system established on content mastery to one that should exist to foster racial diversity in the student body. In effect she is seeking to change the purpose of higher education.

Her research would be more rigorous if she contended with data such as that found by Rothman, Lipset and Nevitte:

As the proportion of black students enrolled at the institution rose, student satisfaction with their university experience dropped, as did assessment of the quality of their education, and the work efforts of their peers . . .
-The same pattern held for the faculty sample's evaluation of the educational milieu. Among faculty members enrollment diversity was negatively related to perception of the quality of education, the academic abilities of the students, and the work efforts of the students.
-**** Noted in footnote #1: Preliminary data analysis finds that the proportion of Asian students is positively related to favorable evaluations of the educational and racial milieu among students, faculty and administrators, while comparable findings for Hispanic enrollment are mixed. So the influence of enrollment diversity may be specific to the ethnic and racial group.

Secondly Tienda doesn't make a single reference to IQ in her paper on Meritocracy in Higher Education which is like an oceanographer pretending that water doesn't exist.

I take it that she simply assumes as given that there is a very powerful return to education at work. However, this process is not as simple as she seems to assume, to whit:

The addition of IQ into the analysis reduces the returns to education, particularly for 1992, so that there is virtually no appreciable increase in the return to education in either sector after controlling for IQ. The increasing return to education found in Table 6 is now picked up by the increasing return to IQ in the professional and service sectors.14

Here's an idea, instead of me picking at the broad flaws of Tienda's research, why don't some commenters point out what they believe are some of her sound conclusions and I'll do my best to rebut the specifics.

TangoMan,

Do you actually have a critique of the Fischer & Massey study, or do you simply not like the results?

I'm reluctant to describe affirmative action policies in law school as operating the same way as affirmative action policies in undergraduate higher education. There are important differences in institutional selectivity, the vocational specificity of the programs, etc. There are more recent bar exam data from Texas than those you cited, and from states such as New York, and the patterns are fairly consistent: large differences among racial and ethnic groups in pass rates for first-time test-takers; a shrinking of the group differences in pass rates when individuals retake the exam, but concerns that racial and ethnic minorities may be less likely to retake the exam, and thus forego the opportunity to pass; and relatively strong associations between performance in law school, undergraduate GPA, and LSAT scores and scores on the bar exam. In Texas, it's estimated that 80% of minority bar examinees would eventually pass if they retook the exam after initially failing; in New York, the cumulative pass rate for first-time exam takers in July, 2005 is 83% for Blacks, and 89% for Latinos. In both cases, these rates are lower than for white test-takers. Whether these rates make law school a rational investment for individuals and society is a matter of judgment. But it's a bit of a leap to conclude that this is due to affirmative action, which is where this post started.

Do you actually have a critique of the Fischer & Massey study, or do you simply not like the results?

Well, since you asked a direct question, yes, I do have a critique of the Fischer & Massey study. Sorry for going off-topic and for those readers who don't have access to the study, sorry for wasting your time.

Broad categories of critique: 1.) Shoddy research design, 2.) poor model conceptualization, 3.) evoking conclusions which haven't been demonstrated.

Here are some examples of the errors found in the paper, presented in order of appearance:

Starting with the title "The effects of affirmative action in higher education." The effects on whom? They focus only on the student receiving the assistance.

"We do so by measuring the degree to which institutions seem to be employing affirmative action in minority admissions and the degree to which individual students are likely to benefit from such policies."

When constructing experimental models one should try one's best to design them in such a manner as to most accurately reflect the real-world situation. In this case, Colleges serve many stakeholders, such as faculty, alumni, individual students, and the student's peers. This model ignores all of these stakeholders and focuses only on the well-being of the minority student.

Is affirmative action designed to benefit society at large or only the individual recipient of assistance? I think most people would argue that the program should be serving a larger goal rather than extracting value from one group and transferring it to another. Even the Supreme Court hints at such a broad rationalization, that is the harm to individual students who bear the brunt of being passed over for sake of lesser qualified minority students is outweighed by the good to society of affirmative action.

The model employed in this paper only looks at how the student benefits from being a recipient of AA and completely ignores the cost of AA to other students, faculty, alumni and other stakeholders (see my other comment which has been buried in your moderation queue for over 12 hours now.) By using a faulty model the authors have no grounds to issue the sweeping conclusions that they do when all they can attest to is the benefit to the student while ignoring the damage to the other stakeholders.

If the basis for policy evaluation is simply to look at whether anyone benefits, then by golly there are a lot of folks in the US who could stand to benefit from being offered preferential admission to the nation's finest colleges. Think of all of the junkies, the prison population, the illiterates, the destitute, the dumb, etc who would never qualify through traditional admissions procedures. Using Massey & Fischer's standards, all we should be concerned about is whether being admitted to a selective college is good for them, and if it is, then that is the policy we should advance.

Given the data at our disposal, we are not in a position to evaluate what might be called the reverse discrimination hypothesis.

How convenient that this exclusion won't tarnish their investigation into "The effects of affirmative action in higher education."

"The left-hand columns consider the effect of affirmative action on grades earned during the student’s first term of college work. These data provide little support for either the mismatch or stereotype threat hypotheses. At the individual level, our indicator of the degree of a student’s likely benefit from affirmative action had a marginally significant effect, but the direction of the effect was positive, precisely opposite the direction predicted by the mismatch hypothesis."

Land O' Goshen, one must savor this paragraph to appreciate its astounding betrayal of good methodology. The factor "Grades earned" is isolated from the actual course, as though grading standards in Remedial English are identical to those employed in Introduction to Quantum Physics.

The authors completely omit any reference to academic ghettos like African-American Studies, Hispanic Studies, etc.

To properly reflect reality, which is what social science purports to study, they would need to control the affirmative action student's performance against normally-admitted students in the same classes.

Then in the 2nd sentence they have the gall to come forth with the following observation, "These data provide little support for either the mismatch or stereotype threat hypotheses." Well of course the data doesn't support the hypotheses because your research design is wholly inadequate.

Then in the 3rd sentence they note the positive effect to the student's performance without accounting for the special summer programs many, if not all, of the 28 selective institutions run for their affirmative action admits and the "guidance" on course selection that these students receive, which a cynic might believe has something to do with how so many end up in academic ghettos notorious for loose grading standards.

The middle columns of Table 2 show the effects of affirmative action on grades in the fall of the sophomore year. At the individual level, the marginally positive effect discovered in the first term of college coursework disappears. At the institutional level, however, the negative effect turns significant, suggesting that greater institutional use of affirmative action may indeed exacerbate stereotype threat to undermine grade performance.

Imagine that, in the sophomore year the affirmative action students in these selective colleges begin to integrate into more regular classes as they transition out of some of the remedial classes they required in order to rectify some of their foundational shortcomings. And for some odd reason the researchers find that as these students compete against their more able peers that they don't achieve the stellar performance witnessed in their freshman year. How odd. One would think, if we relied solely on the model offered by the researchers, that as they've already received the benefit of one year of college experience, and excelled in performance beyond that of their non-AA peers, that they would be ideally situated to increase their performance in the following year, but it seems that their inadequate high school experience has better prepared them to perform in their first year of college than their first year of college has prepared them to perform in their second year of college.

Ah, but this is conveniently explained away by the dues ex machina of stereotype threat, no doubt being misinterpreted liberally to justify any phenomena the researchers don't wish to address. In fact, it is this loosey-goosey invocation of stereotype threat which is documented in Sackett's paper on the pervasive misinterpretation of stereotype threat:

The authors document that this research is widely misinterpreted in both popular and scholarly publications as showing that eliminating stereotype threat eliminates the African American-White difference in test performance. In fact, scores were statistically adjusted for differences in students' prior SAT performance, and thus, Steele and Aronson's findings actually showed that absent stereotype threat, the two groups differ to the degree that would be expected based on differences in prior SAT scores.

How convenient that Massey & Fischer could rely on this dues ex machina to explain the performance drop of affirmative action students as they progress into the regular academic stream rather than noting that these students, who did not qualify for admission on the basis of their academic performance, are now more fully integrated into the student body and thus competing against their more capable peers, the ones who didn't qualify for admission based on their academic performance.

I shudder to think that this piece of agitprop is hailed as good research and is being used to justify educational and social policy.

Whether these rates make law school a rational investment for individuals and society is a matter of judgment. But it's a bit of a leap to conclude that this is due to affirmative action, which is where this post started.

No leap involved at all. Case in point is George Mason University Law School:

The best example of this is George Mason University Law School - an up-and-coming law school in Northern Virginia with a somewhat conservative reputation. GMU's problems began in early 2000, when the American Bar Association visited the law school for its routine reaccreditation inspection. The site evaluation team was unhappy that only 6.5% of entering students were minorities.

Outreach was not the problem; even the site evaluation report (obtained by the Center for Equal Opportunity's FOIA request) conceded that GMU had a "very active effort to recruit minorities." But the school, the report noted, had been "unwilling to engage in any significant preferential affirmative action admissions program." Since most law schools were willing to admit minority students with dramatically lower entering academic credentials, GMU was at a recruitment disadvantage. The site evaluation report noted its "serious concerns" with the school's policy. . . . . .

GMU was finally notified of its re-accreditation in 2006 - just in time to start the seven-year cycle over again. When the ABA again visited in 2007, its site evaluation team again expressed doubts about the school's diversity efforts and it seemed that GMU might be in for a rough time again. This time the GMU dean shot back with the facts. Fully 45% of the African American students that the ABA had pressured GMU to admit experienced academic failure (defined under GMU's academic regulations as a GPA below 2.15) in their first year. In contrast, only 4% of other students did.

I'd say that the case is pretty clear that admitting unqualified students through affirmative action is the cause of much academic despair for some of those unqualified students.

For an alternative account of what happened at George Mason, see Andy Guess’ press report at Inside Higher Education. Guess states that the amount of “involuntary academic attrition” at GMU—that is, instances in which African-American law students are suspended and must reapply to continue, based on their poor academic standing—has dropped to zero. Officials at GMU attribute this to “an expanded outreach program that pairs each incoming minority student with both a student and an alumni mentor.” Guess quotes GMU’s Vice-President for University Relations as saying, “We feel that we’ve made significant progress, although you can always do better … The numbers speak for themselves. In the early 2000s, we had an attrition rate of more than 60 percent of our first-year African-American students. This year we admitted more African-American students than in any of the last four years, and this year we had an attrition rate of zero…I think the support program has made a difference and I think the appropriate admissions standards for a top-40 law school have also made a difference.”

The conclusion I draw from this is that, with appropriate programming support, institutions can substantially reduce the attrition and academic failure of their racial and ethnic minority students. I recognize that TangoMan and others may view such programs as evidence of “foundational shortcomings” among entering students that should have disqualified them from admissions in the first place. TangoMan may also contend that the admission of such students has an adverse impact on many other stakeholders in these institutions, such as students who are passed over for admission, and that therefore it’s wrong. That’s a legitimate value position—but let’s be clear that this is precisely what it is: a statement about values. Others, myself included, and possibly the Supreme Court, suggest that there is a societal good advanced by expanding the number of minorities in the legal profession through thoughtful admissions policies. That’s also a values statement.

TangoMan may also contend that the admission of such students has an adverse impact on many other stakeholders in these institutions, such as students who are passed over for admission, and that therefore it’s wrong. That’s a legitimate value position—but let’s be clear that this is precisely what it is: a statement about values.

I for one could live with Affirmative Action with only a few tweaks. For instance, if students were asked, during their application process, if they were in favor of such "social justice" endeavors or opposed, and then during the application review process only those students who indicated their agreement with AA would be cut in order to make room for the less capable to take their place.

So, for instance, skoolboy, you would get a letter from Harvard, maybe even a certificate, which stated that you were admitted to Harvard Law but because of your support for AA your space was being reallocated to an unqualified minority. This way you could bear the consequence of your position and I, a co-applicant who is opposed to AA, would run no risk of being displaced.

A second compromise that might make AA more tolerable is to restrict the applicant pool. I see no justification whatsoever why a recent immigrant to the US, if they are a minority, should receive any preference. Society has not done them any wrong, they came to our country willingly and have not faced any supposed generational discrimination. Restrict AA to black students who can show that their parents were born American citizens.

TangoMan,

I trust that you will not be surprised that I am unwilling to characterize minorities admitted to institutions of higher education via affirmative action as "unqualified" or "less capable". To be sure, the academic histories (i.e., prior grades and admissions test scores) of affirmative action beneficiaries are, on average, weaker than those of admits who are not affirmative action candidates. But I assume that institutions admit applicants that they judge to be qualified for admission to their institutions. Grades and test scores do predict performance, although not perfectly; but the term "capable" connotes an intrinsic quality of the individual that doesn't seem to capture the impact of past exposure to higher- or lower-quality educational environments. Could you live with "less prepared"?

Could you live with "less prepared"?

For the sake of this debate, sure. In general, no, but we can save that issue for a future debate.

But I assume that institutions admit applicants that they judge to be qualified for admission to their institutions.

You'd be surprised where irrationality pops up, ie. The stock market has entered a new phase and will never stall or fall, housing prices can go up forever, rewarding out-of-wedlock motherhood will not increase out-of-wedlock childbirth. The point is that minority representation on campus is not entirely about admitting qualified students who can excel at the institution, rather a large component of such efforts has to do with self-image and posturing. For instance, Harvard extends great effort on creating the appearance of reaching out to the African-American community and admitting Black students. However, 75% of Black students at Harvard are immigrants or children of immigrants - the upshot being that Harvard cares more about appearance than the substance of helping educate African Americans with extended family history in the US. In fact, schools like the University of Chicago seek out candidates in non-US territories in order to boost their minority representation. As the George Mason case illustrates, the accrediting agency was more concerned with having quotas filled than with admitting qualified applicants.

I have a problem with Marta Tienda's and skoolboy's use of graduation rates to justify affirmative action practices at selective colleges.

Tienda says that schools could hypothetically increase diversity without lowering gradutation rates, according to eduwonkette's summary of her work. Skoolboy states: "In fact, only 4.7% of African-American matriculants to the most elite law schools in 1991 failed to graduate from law school within five years..."

Are they serious? How can graduation rates be used to show that these students achieved academic success? Almost anyone can GRADUATE.

As a graduate of a selective college and law school, I can state unequivocally that it's pretty darn tough to fail to graduate from college/law school.

Has anyone compared the GPA's of the people admitted under affirmative action to those admitted based on their qualifications alone? Ability to graduate doesn't mean that they are more qualified (or as qualified) as the numerous students who were not admitted because they were not affirmative action recipients.

I'd bet a whole lot of people could GRADUATE from Harvard or Yale or U Mich if they were admitted... they might graduate with a 2.0 GPA, but they would graduate.

If "ability to graduate" was the only criteria for entrance to college, an Ivy League school would have 20,000 freshman instead of 2,000.

You have to come up with a better argument for affirmative action than the students' general ability to graduate.

Comments are now closed for this post.

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Michelle Rhee teacher contract
Mike Bloomberg
Mike Klonsky
Mike Petrilli
narrowing the curriculum
National Center for Education Statistics Condition of Education
NCLB
neuroscience
new teachers
New York City
New York City bonuses for principals
New York City budget
New York City budget cuts
New York City Budget cuts
New York City Department of Education
New York City Department of Education Truth Squad
New York City ELA and Math Results 2008
New York City gifted and talented
New York City Progress Report
New York City Quality Review
New York City school budget cuts
New York City school closing
New York City schools
New York City small schools
New York City social promotion
New York City teacher experiment
New York City teacher salaries
New York City teacher tenure
New York City Test scores 2008
New York City value-added
New York State ELA and Math 2008
New York State ELA and Math Results 2008
New York State ELA and Math Scores 2008
New York State ELA Exam
New York state ELA test
New York State Test scores
No Child Left Behind
No Child Left Behind Act
passing rates
Pearson
picking a school
press office
principal bonuses
proficiency scores
push outs
pushouts
qualitative educational research
qualitative research in education
quitting teaching
race and education
racial segregation in schools
Randall Reback
Randi Weingarten
Randy Reback
recovering credits in high school
Rick Hess
Robert Balfanz
Robert Pondiscio
Roland Fryer
Russ Whitehurst
Sarah Reckhow
school budget cuts in New York City
school choice
school effects
school integration
single sex education
skoolboy
small schools
small schools in New York City
social justice teaching
Sol Stern
SREE
Stefanie DeLuca
stereotype threat
talented and gifted
talking about race
talking about race in schools
Teach for America
teacher effectiveness
teacher effects
teacher quailty
teacher quality
teacher tenure
teachers
teachers and obesity
Teachers College
teachers versus doctors
teaching as career
teaching for social justice
teaching profession
test score inflation
test scores
test scores in New York City
testing
testing and accountability
Texas accountability
TFA
The No Child Left Behind Act
The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains
thinktanks in educational research
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Tom Kane
Tweed
University of Iowa
Urban Institute study of Teach for America
Urban Institute Teach for America
value-addded
value-added
value-added assessment
Washington
Wendy Kopp
women and graduate school science and engineering
women and science
women in math and science
Woodrow Wilson High School