Affirmative Action for Underperforming White Men

Affirmative Action for Underperforming White Men

From Inside Higher Ed this morning: US College rejigs admissions to get more white men accepted. That might not have been their explicit goal, but it’s clearly their implicit goal; they’re accepting applicants who did badly at school but did better than average on the SAT. That sounds fairly reasonable, almost as generous as my undergraduate institution, which purposely let its admissions minimum trail that of other institutions (yay Carleton!) because, hey, high school represents a particular form of learning, and not one all of us excel under (yours truly very much included). But that’s not quite what’s going on at Towson University. By opting to privilege the SAT, they are knowingly privileging a test that has a well-known gender bias.

This is a classic case of test score misuse,” said Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. “Towson University is relying on the well-known gender bias of the SAT, which underpredicts college performance for females and overpredicts for males, to recruit young men who have failed to compile strong high school records. Towson’s message to teenagers is wrong-headed: It’s OK to slack off in the classroom, so long as you do well on a four-hour test.”

And not only that:

from the Fair Test Fact sheet:

African American, Latino, new Asian immigrant and many other minority test-takers score significantly lower than white students. Rigid use of SATs for admissions will produce freshman classes with very few minorities and with no appreciable gain in academic quality. The SAT is very effective at eliminating academically promising minority (and low-income) students who apply with strong academic records but relatively low SAT scores. Colleges that have made the SAT I optional report that their applicant pools are more diverse and that there has been no drop off in academic quality.

So why are they doing this? Why are they purposely skewing admissions to get more underperforming white men?

Brian Stelter, a senior who is editor in chief of The Towerlight, the student newspaper, said that he earned a 3.4 GPA in high school and so wouldn’t have needed the new program, but he also said he wasn’t bothered by it. He said that the gender gap is a big issue for students on the campus, so he’s in favor of efforts to do something about it. “If you ask girls on this campus what they think, their top question is: Where are the men?” he said.

So that the girls will have a marriage pool of underperforming white men. Good to know that universities have their priorities straight (no pun intended, ahem).

0 thoughts on “Affirmative Action for Underperforming White Men

  1. Amen. Towson is just being upfront about what it is doing; I see such a massive difference in college readiness between the young men in my class versus the young women. The smart students are all the smart students across genders–but lumped down at the bottom in terms of performance are a whole bunch of lunchbucket guys who have no desire to be in class, have no idea what they are doing at the university, and never developed work habits. At some point, the unis are just taking their money, and it’s really bad.

  2. I have to read more carefully, I was just skimming for the travel pictures and saw this post about viagra… or so I thought.

    Rochelle: I had to fish this comment out of my spam blocker…that’s what you get for using the word ‘viagra’.

  3. Right! Once “we” get rid of all the underperforming white men going to college everything will just fall into place. Everyone knows these underperforming white men are just deadwood taking up space. Then “we” can start doing things like going to the moon etc. I am pretty sure all of the space center people were people of color and women.

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