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Back to October Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 285 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS OCTOBER 2009

Colleges Turn 'Affirmative Action' Against Asian-American Students
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In 1996, Californians voted for Proposition 209, which outlawed racial discrimination in college admissions. Now, however, the University of California (UC) system may be reintroducing racial and ethnic bias in admissions through changes to the process. Currently, the top 12.5% of California high school students based on statewide performance tests are automatically admitted to the UC campuses of their choice. But the UC Regents have proposed ending this policy in 2010.

Former UC Regent Ward Connerly believes this policy change is designed specifically to discriminate against Asian-American students. Connerly reports a conversation he had with a high-ranking UC administrator five years ago, in which Connerly questioned the need for a plan intended to increase racial and ethnic diversity on campus. The administrator replied that unless the university moved to "guide" the admissions process, Asian-Americans would predominate at UC. "What would be wrong with that?" Connerly asked. The administrator explained that Asians are "too dull — they study, study, study."

Current admissions statistics seem to demonstrate that the administrator was right about one thing — Asian-American students do study. The student body across all nine UC campuses is 40% Asian, while the population of California is just 13% Asian. These statistics reflects the high academic achievement of Asian-American high schoolers in California. Asian students make up 55% of the student body at UC Irvine, 43% at UC Riverside, 42% at UC Berkeley, and 38% at UCLA. "Where there are policies that emphasize and reward academic achievement, Asians excel," Walter E. Williams summarized on Townhall.com (6-24-09).

Connerly argues that the UC Regents are well aware that the admissions policy change will reduce the number of Asians on campus. Such proposals for changes to admissions are always run through computer simulation models that predict how changes will affect campus demographics. "The net effect of these changes is that academic achievement will be less significant," states Connerly, "and UC admissions administrators will have the 'flexibility' to discriminate against those 'dull' Asians who 'study, study, study,' all the time without violating Proposition 209." (www.mindingthecampus.com, June 2009)


 
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