AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE WHITE

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE WHITE HOUSE….Condoleezza Rice says affirmative action is OK:

I believe that while race-neutral means are preferable, it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body.

This, of course, is exactly what the University of Michigan does: it considers race as one factor out of many. Here’s the whole dreary list:

  • 80 points ? GPA

  • 12 points ? SAT scores

  • 10 points ? Academic strength of high school

  • 8 points ? Strength of high school curriculum

  • 10 points ? Michigan resident

  • 6 points ? Underrepresented Michigan county

  • 2 points ? Underrepresented state

  • 4 points ? Legacy admission

  • 3 points ? Essay

  • 5 points ? Personal achievement

  • 5 points ? Leadership and service

  • 20 points ? Socio-economic disadvantage

  • 20 points ? Underrepresented racial-ethnic minority

  • 5 points ? Men in nursing

  • 20 points ? Scholarship athlete

  • 20 points ? Provost’s discretion

As the University of Michigan puts it:

While students with very low grades and test scores typically are denied admission, and students with very high grades and test scores typically are admitted, most applicants do not fall into either of these categories. For that large pool of qualified applicants in the middle range, many other factors — including, but not limited to, race and ethnicity — can make a difference in admissions decisions.

So: it’s not a quota. It doesn’t allow unqualified kids to enter. And race is not a “deciding factor” ? at least no more so than any of the other 15 factors on the list.

Too bad Condi Rice is only National Security Advisor. Karl Rove probably doesn’t have much use for her.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation