Tag Archives: white

The White Male Shortage on Campus

animal-house.jpgSoviet ideologues were famous for adjusting Marxism to the zigs and zags of history, but they were pikers compared to today’s campus affirmative-action apparatchiks. The latest installment from university diversicrats is–ready for this–affirmative action for men, not black or Hispanic men, but white men (see here and here and especially here). Allan Bakke, come back, all is forgiven!

More is involved than the usual “fairness” via biological quota. The financial stakes are huge. Compared to women, white men disproportionally gravitate to wealth-generating fields–business, engineering and the sciences. This predilection will be no small matter in a few decades, and universities are justifiably nervous as the pool of future rich donors shrinks vis-a-vis those who majored in French literature.

What explains this male flight? Let me speculate a bit and offer a reason that dare not speak its name in today’s PC climate: universities are increasingly becoming feminized and many men, to use the anti-discrimination vocabulary, loathe a hostile working environment. In a word, males increasingly feel emasculated in today’s universities. Yes, being outnumbered by women may fuel certain male adolescent fantasies, but believe it or not, a young male who visits a school dominated by women will suddenly have second thoughts about predatory opportunities.

Feminization is most apparent in how schools now combat “boyish behavior.” The movie Animal House depicts this behavior perfectly–drunken frat parties, stupid pranks, clumsy intoxicated sexual aggression, coarse scatological language and countless other crude behaviors celebrating adolescent masculinity. It is not that these behaviors are condemned (and we can all agree that extreme versions deserve punishment). Rather, it is the form of the punishment that is anti-male. Miscreants are often social-worked, and for many young males, therapeutic punishment, complete with public confessions of dubious offenses, is a near-death experience. Imagine Bluto (the Animal House “hero” who famously said, “Grab a brew. Don’t cost nothing”) suffering the obligatory freshperson lectures given by a feminist counselor on non-alcoholic alternatives to beer and on the need for informed consent in all “intimate encounters, including same-sex ones.” Not even the mighty Bluto could survive being told that his manliness is merely socially constructed.

Support Services for Hetero Males?

Antagonism toward fraternities is the most visible outcropping of campus feminization. Recall the disastrous faculty-led imbroglio over the Duke Lacrosse team. What happened at Duke could probably happen almost anywhere given today’s faculty.

Further, add the abolition of male-dominated sports such as wrestling, while adding women’s teams, regardless of demand, in sports like rowing, to satisfy Title IX requirements. And don’t forget all the attention lavished on Women Studies Programs, everything from academic majors to expensive conferences and hefty speaker fees. And where are the support services for heterosexual males? Try putting Playboy in a college bookstore or decorating a dorm room with female pin-ups. These problems are almost inconceivable if the magazines in question were Out or the Advocate, two leading male homosexual magazines. Indeed, a student–let alone a Christian group–protesting gay magazines and homoerotic pin-ups would certainly risk being disciplined for impermissible hostility (and those complaining about Playboy may even benefit from this socially sanctioned outrage).

Underlying this public emasculation is a deeper, less visible faculty-led war on maleness that is currently concentrated in the humanities and social sciences but may well spread into the “hard” disciplines. (For the record, “feminine” and “masculine” here do not exactly correspond to biology. This is about psychology not anatomy. I know “male” female academics that drive their female colleagues crazy with their “male” mentality.)

Guys-Hanging-Out.jpgThis difference is about how to find truth. For males (and again keep in mind the non-overlap with biology), truth is discovered as follows. First, it is axiomatic that a single objective truth exists and this drives inquiry. Second, social niceties are subordinated to truth-seeking and uncivil, upsetting behaviors like sarcasm are therefore tolerable. Emotional feelings about what is right or wrong are irrelevant. Thomas Sowell once told me that he would never return to the classroom since he did not want to hear, “I feel….” Indeed, many males relish the verbal jousting and put-downs and these do not undermine personal friendship. Third, not all views are worth hearing and those wasting time will be forcefully and brusquely cut-off. Those able to marshal hard evidence prevail. In a nutshell, male truth-seeking is authoritarian.

By contrast, the feminine approach will stress social etiquette–woe to those who interrupts the speaker with, “there’s no hard evidence for that, so let’s move on.” And unlike a male-dominated discussion, everyone, regardless of background and expertise, is permitted to “share” their views and then is thanked for sharing. Consensus-building is central and those rejecting harmony will be castigated as disruptive. Personal relationship often shape discussions–one never disputes friends even if one sharply disagrees and being attacked, no matter how mild, can destroy a friendship. Needless to say, everybody taking a turn to speak can make for long, rambling meetings.

No Eyeball-Rolling–Niceness Counts

To make this concrete, consider a stereotypical male (a nerdy “John”) in a small liberal arts college enrolled in Economics 101 whose instructor (a knowledge facilitator, not a sage on stage) embodies the feminine approach. John wants to learn economics to become rich. The class begins with the instructor explaining that contemporary statistics-heavy economics is only one way of knowing, and this class will focus on alternatives to conventional knowledge. Moreover, there will be group projects to discover ways of making society more just by equalizing wealth and the group project will count for 50% of the final grade. The first two class periods are spent asking each student to explain what he or she hopes to learn plus their opinions on economic inequality. Nobody is criticized or told to stop talking, regardless of factual errors.

Matters go badly for John. The instructor repeatedly chides him for belittling the ideas of others by rolling his eyes and making facial expressions of disbelief. His insistence on finding a single best possible solution to an economic problem becomes repetitive to the point where the instructor suggests that he seek help at the school’s counseling center to manage his anger. John’s recourse to statistical data is interpreted as just showing off. By the third week is he no longer blurting out “What about trade-offs and opportunity costs?,” since nobody pays attention. He discovers that the Internet offers multiple sites explaining economics, he finds a nerdy on-line discussion group, stops attending class and eventually drops out.

Thanks to his Internet contacts, John joins a small start-up and three years later patents a program to detect lying on the Web. It is widely licensed and John is an instant multi-millionaire. Though rich as Croesus he never sends a nickel to his “alma mater.”

This depiction is, of course, an exaggeration but not by much. And this anti-male atmosphere will probably escalate as fewer and fewer males even apply. Meanwhile, those males who do attend and graduate will probably be ghettoized in such traditionally male fields as business, engineering and the sciences (and one wonders how long these majors will survive outside of major universities).

Reversing this pattern, assuming that gender equality is a problem requiring a solution, will be exceedingly difficult. The traditional affirmative solution of lower admission standards to achieve diversity is politically risky. What judge will rule that today’s complex diverse world economy requires students to learn how to interact with white males?

It is equally hard to imagine universities attracting more white males by making the campus more white-male friendly. Will Deans subsidize a fraternity as a “while-male theme house” or sponsor beer-blast toga parties to achieve a critical mass of white males to lessen their social isolation? (But Brandeis did make a faint attempt to attract more males: it gave free baseball caps to the first 500 males who applied.).

Make no mistake–the numbers are indisputable but the source of the problem is unspeakable. No university wants to admit that sex differences are real and often intractable. Men and women are not interchangeable and as many (but not all) women feel uncomfortable in an uber-macho setting, many males (but not all) similarly reject an environment dominated by female values.

How Universities Promote the “Coming Apart” of America

Coming Apart.JPGEvery decade or so, Charles Murray writes a blockbuster book captivating America. First came Losing Ground, focusing attention on our dysfunctional system of public assistance, and, along with Richard Herrnstein, The Bell Curve, a controversial but rigorous examination of the role played by cognitive endowments in American life. I suspect his new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, will be another mega hit. Based on a quick read, Murray demonstrates the growing gaps between affluent upper-middle-class Americans and their blue-collar, lower-income counterparts. He confines his analysis to whites to avoid all sorts of unrelated side issues, including the tendency to see the growing gap between Americans as primarily a problem of race, ethnicity or bias.

Murray’s thesis is simple: a powerful new class has emerged in America, based on cognitive and educational homogamy–the interbreeding of individuals with like characteristics. Colleges and universities have played a key role–particularly the elite institutions, which attract almost no one outside the top ten percent of the nation’s cognitive talent. (Fifty years ago, only three percent of Americans graduated from college, and the elite institutions tended to attract the well-connected and the economically successful, not necessarily the brightest.) These institutions now function as sorting mechanisms. The exceptionally bright now tend to meet and then marry similarly bright partners. In addition to building a culture vastly different from that of mainstream America, they perpetuate the advantages that high levels of cognitive skills offer. As a result, Murray concludes, “Highly disproportionate numbers of exceptionally able children in the next generation will come from parents in the upper-middle class, and more specifically from parents who are already part of the broad elite.” As the new class pulls away from mainstream America, so does the discouraged underclass–now made up of all ethnicities–giving up on work, family and community.

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Non-Garbage In, Garbage Out

The New York Times had a fairly long online colloquy over the weekend on a very short study titled “Whites See Racism as a Zero-Sum Game That They Are Now Losing.” Prepared by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Samuel R. Sommers of Tuft University’s Department of Psychology, the study appeared in Perspectives on Psychological Science. It is straightforward enough:  A large national sample of black Americans and white Americans was asked to use a 10-point scale to indicate the extent they felt that blacks and whites were each “the target of discrimination in each decade from the 1950s to the 2000s.&rdquo The Times colloquy on the study included folks from left (Patricia J. Williams, Paul Butler, and Victoria C. Plaut), right (David E. Bernstein and Abigail Thernstrom), and center (Jeffrey Rosen), as well as the study’s authors.

Dr. Thernstrom and Professor Bernstein made good contributions to the colloquy, putting the study in a historical and legal perspective, respectively. My own thoughts can be summarized as: What’s good (or at least plausible) in the study isn’t new, and what’s new isn’t good.

The results are well-summarized in the study’s graph (figure 1).  Basically, it shows (a) that blacks and whites agree that discrimination against blacks has gone dramatically down over the last half century, and that discrimination against whites has gone up; but (b) that blacks believe there is more antiblack discrimination still than whites do; and, finally, (c) that whites believe that there is now actually more antiwhite discrimination than antiblack discrimination, while blacks think that the amount of antiwhite discrimination is still negligible. None of this is particularly new or surprising. Who can deny that there is less discrimination against blacks now than in 1950; or that, with the rise of affirmative action, there is not at least some discrimination against whites now which was nonexistent a half century ago? And who can be surprised that blacks are more sensitive to remaining discrimination against them, and more dismissive than whites of the extent of politically correct discrimination against whites now?

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School Officials Attack Easter, Thanksgiving and White Oppression

A column by Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the financially strapped Lakeville, Minn., school district (94 teachers let go) found enough money to send a delegation to the annual state “White Privilege Conference” now going on in Bloomington. Carol Iannone at Phi Beta Cons picked up the story, as did blogger Hans Bader at the Washington Examiner. Bader said the Conferences have lashed out at Easter, Thanksgiving and of course, white people. “Past speakers at White Privilege Conferences, ” Bader writes, “include Obama’s Department of Education appointee Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay. Lesbian, Straight Education Network.”  The Seattle school district, a veteran participant in the White Privilege meetings, has claimed for years that “individualism ” is a form of “cultural racism,” and insisted that Easter eggs be referred to as “spring spheres,” to avoid offending non-Christians.

Reading Kant and Debating White Nationalists

cpac-2009.jpgThe many surveys backing up what those of us in the academy know only too well—that liberals vastly outnumber conservatives—are used to bolster the idealistic argument for “intellectual diversity.”
But a viewing of an incident at the recent CPAC conference and a video of a philosophy professor further confirmed my beliefs that it is not intellectual diversity that is needed as much as intellectual anything, and that that need is much more urgent than often recognized. The New Left began its onslaught on Western civilization through violent demands in the 1960s for the inherently anti-intellectual “studies” that replaced the traditional disciplines, like philosophy. The New Leftists and their intellectual descendents in the academy have just about succeeded in their mission of destroying the foundation of Western civilization: and that is reasoned inquiry. We see the outcome every day, in the nonsensical pontifications of tenured professors and inchoate expressions of our young people—even those involved in conservative politics.
Take for example an incident at CPAC with a group of young adults denouncing white nationalist Jamie Kelso captured on tape. They remind me so much of the college students I teach. Their reactions of disgust as Kelso’s aim becomes apparent indicate that their hearts are in the right place.

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Do Rich, White Protestants Have a Big Edge in Admissions?

Just how much are “legacies” – students with family ties to graduates – granted an edge in admissions to the most elite institutions in the United States?
Until recently, the answer to this question, based on relatively simple analyses of acceptance rates of legacies and non-legacies, had been fairly settled. Legacies, according to the best evidence, have been treated surprisingly well in the cutthroat admissions game, in which the best and brightest are competing for increasingly scarce and valuable terrain in the American meritocracy.
In a sense, the American meritocracy has functioned as it should, producing an increasingly rich vein of highly qualified students, including both legacies and non-legacies alike. Among legacies, families hope to maintain and reproduce family privilege for the next generation and beyond. Among non-legacies, the goal is even loftier: to vault a child into a fundamentally improved social and economic class, which could vastly alter the child’s future opportunities and the economic future of a family’s future generations.

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Are Blacks and Hispanics More “Holistic” Than Whites And Asians?

In “Rising Admissions Standards Have Kept Top Colleges Out of Many Minority Students’ Reach,” Peter Schmidt reports in the Chronicle of Higher Education on yet another study of blacks and Hispanics being “channelled” into less selective colleges.

The most selective colleges have raised the bar for admission over decades in which more black and Hispanic students have gotten into the game, leaving such institutions as out of reach for many minority applicants as they had been decades ago, a new study found.
As a result, long-term improvement in the academic preparation of black and Hispanic students and growth in the share entering postsecondary education has not translated into their increased representation at highly selective colleges. Instead, it has left the nation with a higher-education system in which rising numbers of such students are channeled into less-competitive colleges while the most-selective institutions become increasingly associated with students who are relatively wealthy and, for the more part, white or Asian American, the study revealed.

The study was conducted by Michael Bastedo, an associate professor of education at the University of Michigan, and several graduate students there. They analyzed long-term data on students who were high school seniors in 1972, 1982, 1992, or 2004. A paper based on the study, “Access Without Equity: Longitudinal analyses of institutional stratification by race and ethnicity, 1972-2004,” can be found here.

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Title IX Has A Disparate Impact–for Black Women

It has dramatically increased the number of white women (and girls; surely women even today remain girls until some point in their K-12 school years) playing on sports teams, but “most of those teams, especially those at the college level, have remained overwhelmingly white.”

Title IX, it turns out, hasn’t benefited female athletes of color nearly as much as it has their white teammates. And the resulting gap, says one legal scholar in a newly published book, poses a challenge for those who rally passionately around the law.

This news comes from yet another report of yet another “gap” we have to worry about, with its inevitably accompanying “disparities,” in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Narrowing the Gap, which features a new book, Getting in the Game: Title IX and the Women’s Sports Revolution, by Deborah Brake, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
“Title IX did not introduce problems of racial inequality into our nation’s school system,” Prof. Brake acknowledges. “The problem is,” she argues, “Title IX doesn’t do anything about it, either.”

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Yes, Elite Colleges Are Biased Against Poor Whites

If damaging evidence against affirmative action turns up in a pro-affirmative action book, the author often explains it away as misunderstood or exaggerated. This has happened once again, this time to a book that made no splash when it was published last October, but drew attention here at Minding the Campus in criticism that spread to Ross Douthat’s column in The New York Times, Pat Buchanan’s syndicated column and now Time magazine.
The book is No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, a careful study of admission practices at eight unnamed elite colleges by Princeton sociologist Thomas J. Espenshade and a research associate, Alexandria Walton Radford. Writing here on July 12th in an article headlined, “How Diversity Punishes Asians, Poor Whites and Lots of Others,” Russell K. Nieli of Princeton wrote that the book reported an immense admissions disadvantage to Asians (because admissions officers think there are already too many in the best colleges) and poor whites, who are penalized by favoritism, not only for blacks and Hispanics, but also for whites with middle-class and upper-class backgrounds. None of the criticism that greeted Nieli’s article has focused on the anti-Asian bias. All of it has dealt with the slim chances of poor whites at the most selective colleges.
Time magazine this week interviewed Espenshade about Douthat’s charges that elite education seems inclined to exclude the poor of red-state America. (The book does not mention red-state America at all.) Espenshade said this:

What I think he did was take a relatively minor finding and push an interpretation that goes beyond the bounds of available evidence. We have this finding that if students held leadership positions or won awards in career-oriented extracurricular activities when they were in high school, there was a slightly negative impact on their chances of being admitted to one of these top private schools. Now, what are these career-oriented activities? Douthat mentions as possibilities, and I don’t deny it, that it could be participating in a 4-H club or Future Farmers of America, but those aren’t the only types of activities that might fall into that broader category. It could include Junior ROTC. It could include co-op work programs. It could include a host of things. And these aren’t necessarily rural types of activities. My interpretation is that [having leadership positions or winning awards in career-oriented activities] suggests to admission deans that these folks are somewhat ambivalent about their academic future.

Espenshade is right that his critics missed the book’s clear point that membership in 4-H clubs, the Future Farmers of America and high school ROTC was not enough to harm the chances of applicants to the elite colleges—the problem is holding high office in these groups (as Senator Sam Brownback did by the way in FFA) or winning group awards, because admissions officers think that such achievements might indicate a lack of seriousness about higher education. But Espenshade goes too far in saying that “there was a slightly negative impact on their chances.” His book says on page 126 that “Excelling in career-oriented activities is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission,” which seem more like crippling damage rather than a “slightly negative impact.” As Nieli wrote: “The lower-class whites proved to be all-around losers… Having money in the family greatly improved a white applicant’s admissions chances, lack of money greatly reduced it.” If you read the whole book, the prejudice of the elite schools against poor whites seems clear. As a political issue, this is a sure bet to gain ground.

Don’t Trash the Future Famers

Russell K. Nieli’s recent article, “How Diversity Punishes Asians, Poor Whites and Lots of Others,” drew a lot of attention, including a mention in Ross Douthat’s New York Times column. Referring to the book, No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, a 2009 study of elite college admissions, Nieli wrote that the authors, Thomas J. Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford, found that a student’s chances of gaining admission to an elite college dropped by 60 to 65 percent if they were involved in ROTC, 4H Clubs, Future Farmers of America “and other activities that suggest that students are somewhat undecided about their academic futures.” Several readers, irritated by the implication that future farmers are Red State rubes, sent in lists of important people who have been FFA members. The noted members included Jimmy Carter, Sam Brownback, Nicholas Kristof, Willie Nelson, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Lyle Lovett, Don Henley of the Eagles and Jim Davis, creator of Garfield.

Asians and Whites Have to Stay Longer

Carolyn Rouse, a Princeton cultural anthropologist and gender specialist, has an unusual classroom procedure. In her course on “Race and Medicine,” she invites black students to leave class ten minutes early because blacks have a shorter life expectancy than whites. According to the university news service, “Through this startling offer, typically not acted upon by her students, Rouse initiates a discussion about racial disparities in health care, a topic that is just one conduit to her core intellectual and personal interest: social inequality.”
There is much to ponder here. To be consistent about departures based on life expectancy, Rouse would presumably need to usher out morbidly obese students and three-pack-a-day smokers about two minutes into her class, followed by reckless drivers and enthusiastic consumers of exotic chemical compounds. Besides, inviting blacks to cut out early does not appear to be a surefire way to promote equality. Taking courses whose titles begin with the words “Race and…” doesn’t look like a positive idea either. They are usually classes in grievance production. Come to think of it, though, leaving a class in grievances ten minutes early may help a bit, though probably not as much as skipping the class entirely.

White Men Don’t Go to Ed School

The University of Michigan’s education school has released statistics breaking down the percentages of women and ethnic minorities enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate-level programs, and as Roger Clegg of National Review’s Phi Beta Cons points out, there’s one group that seems to be conspicuously missing: white males. Actually, males in general seem to be mostly missing from the student bodies at Michigan’s ed school and elsewhere. A Washington Post article published in May lamented the near-absence of black male teachers in Washington-area schools—a sad fact because the presence of strong, smart African-American role models among teachers may be the best hope that schools have of reversing the endemically high dropout rates among black male students.

The Michigan statistics are as follows: Among the ed school’s 510 students enrolled in graduate-level programs (usually aimed at producing faculty for high schools and middle schools), 68 percent are female and 22 percent minority. The 257 students enrolled in undergraduate programs at Michigan (typically aimed at producing elementary-school teachers) are 73 percent female and 16 percent minority. Michigan doesn’t say whether there is overlap between the women and minority-group populations, but it’s almost a sure bet that the overwhelming number of minority students in education programs at Michigan are women. According to the Washington Post story, only 2 percent of America’s 4.8 million teachers are black men.

The Michigan statistics bear themselves out in figures released by other education programs. The University of Illinois-Chicago doesn’t include a gender breakdown of its enrollment but notes that only 40.4 percent of its ed-school students are non-Latino whites. A photo on Boston University’s education-school website shows a handful of men sharing a classroom with a sea of women. Men simply aren’t going into K-12 teaching, it would seem. A 2008 survey by the National Education Association (NEA) revealed that just 24.4 of the nation’s teachers are male.

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Ethnic Studies: ”White Studies” in Black and Brown?

Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education on July 4 (“Who Gets to Define Ethnic Studies?”), Kenneth P. Monteiro, dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State, criticizes what he calls “a piece of legislative hubris from Arizona that purports to ban ethnic studies in public schools.”
Monteiro was referring to Arizona House Bill 2281, passed in May, a month after Arizona’s controversial immigration legislation. It prohibits school districts or charter schools in the state from offering any classes that

1. Promote the overthrow of the united states government.
2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

Continue reading Ethnic Studies: ”White Studies” in Black and Brown?

White and Non-White Freshmen to Spend Time Together!

In the early 90s we noticed that Brown and Yale were conducting separate freshman orientations for non-white students. Since then this casual segregation of new students has spread widely and has come to be seen as normal. Typically minority students arrive a week early and are instructed on how to cope with a historically white institution before the whites appear. The theory seems to be that arriving minority students need special protection and a thorough race-based analysis of themselves and American culture before facing Caucasian classmates. By the time the whites show up, minority students have bonded with one another, thus reinforcing for yet another college class the identity politics and separatism so dominant on the campuses today.
Over the years, separate orientations have gradually come to be seen as analogous to separate water fountains. So the new trend is to blur the enforced segregation a bit. Mount Holyoke has just announced a new plan: a special orientation for whites. This fall whites and non-whites will have parallel orientation programs, meeting separately and “exploring their own racial identity and thinking about power and privilege,” said Elizabeth Braun, dean of student at Mount Holyoke, then coming together as an “inclusive” group discussing (white) power and privilege. Braun said the college will look for white freshmen “with an interest in anti-racism,” as if that were a hard -to-find hobby on an elite campus today. According to Inside Higher Ed, “she said she viewed this as a valuable alternative to eliminating special orientations for minority students.” This means that even on a relentlessly PC campus like Mount Holyoke, pressure is rising against segregating freshmen along racial lines. That’s a good sign. A better sign would be a move away from freshman race-and-gender indoctrination and just have a normal orientation.

Probing The Black-White Achievement Gap

The Kellogg Foundation is funding a survey of four college campuses by Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute and the Educational Testing Service to examine how students of color’s experiences on college campuses impact the notorious black-white achievement gap.

Namely, it will examine how the students feel “welcome and unwelcome, respected and disrespected, supported and unsupported, and encouraged and discouraged.”

However, will the researchers be interested in evidence that the black-white achievement gap is connected to aspects of parenting and peer identification that begin long before college? That is, will there be room in their assessment for, as it is put these days, culture over structure?

In his detailed survey of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Black Students in an Affluent Suburb, the late Berkeley Anthropology Professor John Ogbu found that black parents often aren’t aware of how closely they need to attend to their children’s homework and are less likely to confer with their children’s teachers, and that black teens have a tendency to disidentify from school as “white.” Subsequent studies have shown that black students are likely to spend less time on homework than white or Asian students and are less likely to be popular if they achieve in school.

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Do Rich White Kids Win With Affirmative Action?

Color and Money: How Rich White Kids are Winning the War Over College Affirmative Action  by Peter Schmidt

Reviewed by George C. Leef

Exactly how important is a college degree from a prestige school? Many believe that having such a degree is extremely important – a virtual guarantee of success in life. The higher education establishment works hard at propounding the idea that without a college degree, a young person’s life will be one of almost Hobbesian misery and the elite institutions go a step further and portray themselves as the essential training grounds for the nation’s leaders. If you accept those views, the destiny of the nation is largely shaped by who goes to college and where.

Peter Schmidt has swallowed them hook, line, and sinker, which isn’t surprising for a reporter who has been immersed in higher education for many years. In his new book Color and Money he writes, “In modern American society, many of us assume – or at least desperately hope – that the people in leading positions in government, business, and the professions are our best and brightest… How do we decide who deserves such status? Generally, we rely on academic credentials. We entrust the task of identifying and training our best and brightest to our elite higher education institutions…”

Continue reading Do Rich White Kids Win With Affirmative Action?