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Affirmative Action and Similiar Programs Must End NOW

  1. May 22, 2004 #1
    Frankly it absolutely sickens me that lower qualified candidates are always selected over higher qualified candidates simply on the premise of race. I will use UCLA Medical School as an example.

    Click link below:
    http://home.sandiego.edu/~e_cook/vault/medical/losangeles/ucla-med-98.html

    Average White/Asian GPA: 3.8
    Average Hispanic/Black GPA: 3.32

    Average White/Asian MCAT: 11.6
    Average Hispanic/Black MCAT: 9.5

    White/Asians applications accepted: 4%
    Hispanic/Blacks applications accepted: 9.5%

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2004 #2

    arildno

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    Well, GWB jr. was accepted as a student solely on basis of GWB sr.'s merits;
    IMHO, it is more important to take away such standard selection criteria for the privileged than the affirmative action criterion.
     
  4. May 22, 2004 #3
    I agree that one shouldn't be able to buy his way into a school and that's a separate problem that should be dealt with.

    But I simply do not like the idea of whether or not you get accepted, coming down to what race you are.
     
  5. May 27, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

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    More to the point, if the medical school is accepting a class with an average MCAT score of around 10, I think I'll avoid any physicians graduating from there. MCAT scores in the 30s are typically required to get into medical school and 45 is the maximum. Those are also 1998 data, according to your link. What's the standard error of the mean?
     
  6. May 27, 2004 #5
    The three stigmata of the MCAT

    The UCLA scores quotes are averages of the Bio, Phys, and Verbal sections, each of which has a maximum score of 15 (10 is competitive nationally and 9 "makes your life much harder"). The current enrollment averages for UCLA for those three sections are 11.4, 11.0, and 9.0, respectively.



    Do you mean "standard deviation"? La Griffe's analysis of the (similar) 1997 (from Jerry Cook's website - the website linked to above by Blackvision) data says "0.9 standard deviation separated admits from the two groups."


    • MCAT score distributions have a standard deviation of about 2. In 1997, UCLA admitted blacks and Hispanics with average scores of 9.8. Their Asian and white counterparts averaged 11.6. About 0.9 standard deviation separated admits from the two groups.
     
  7. May 27, 2004 #6

    Njorl

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    A-L-W-A-Y-S is a funny way to spell rarely. Your hyperbole indicates racially induced hysteria.

    The effects of affirmative action are small compared to the traditional racial preferences given to whites. The only whites affected are those vying for the last places in average to poor schools. In better schools, legacy programs give unearned advantages to white students by more than a 4 to 1 ratio over black students.

    At UCLA, the question is, do you give the last few places on your admissions list to people who perform badly who have had every advantage? Or, do you give it to people who have performed somewhat worse, but who have had far fewer advantages?

    All other things being equal, the last ones admitted are always going to fail. That is why universities make sure that for the last ones admitted, all things are not equal. Yes, by skewing the admissions system, there is a chance that the last ones admitted will do spectacularly poorly, but there is also an increased chance that they will do well.

    Njorl
     
  8. May 28, 2004 #7

    selfAdjoint

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    At UCLA, the question is, do you give the last few places on your admissions list to people who perform badly who have had every advantage? Or, do you give it to people who have performed somewhat worse, but who have had far fewer advantages?


    This is just as slanted a way to express the issue as blackvision's was. Nobody who makes it to the final cut has performed badly. We're talking about somebody who has performed well, and is white, versus someone who has performed less well, and is black. Prior Advantage is a shallow CONCLUSION. Some of these blacks are as middle class as any of the white candidates, and some of the whites have fought up from blue collar environments.
     
  9. May 28, 2004 #8
    UCLA has one of the top medical schools in the entire country. Ranked #14 in the US by usnews.com . It beats out several key medical schools.

    Now as for the MCAT, hitsquad already seemed to have explained it so I suppose I don't really have to say much. You seemed to have combined the 3 MCAT Bio, Phys, and Verbal together. While the statistics I showed are for just one so 15 would be max.
     
  10. May 28, 2004 #9
    So why do asians get absolutely no affirmative action benefits?

    The absolute best candidates should always be selected. If you get 5,000 applications and you have 800 slots to select. You choose the best 800 based on MERITS. That is after all the whole point of a university. Your academic ability. Not what race you belong in.
     
  11. May 28, 2004 #10
    The question is, is it fair that a black/hispanic student that averages half of a whole grade point below and several MCAT points below the university's average still get over twice the probability of being accepted as other students?

    The acceptance rate for blacks/hispanics was 9.5% while for whites/asians it was 4%. Even though there is a wide gap in credentials between these two groups.
     
  12. May 28, 2004 #11
    Why did we keep black people in chains for a few hundred years? Why do people kill each other? Why do people do stupid things? Should you give a crap what school you go to? Maybe you should maybe you shouldn't. If competition is what matters or what someone else has and that you do not. You are lost. Real education and I do mean real will come from the desire within you. That desire will be fulfilled no matter what school you go to. If you want to keep up with the Jones, change you name to Jones. Real learning creates a mindset for life. There will never be a perfect relative expression of all things in a symetry of action, but your understanding may get there.
     
  13. May 28, 2004 #12
    Are blacks in America today in chains? What relevance does this have? Should the Chinese of today also get compensation for their horrible treatment during the building of the railroads? Should the Polish deserve special treatment in education also because the Germans kept trying to take them over repeatedly?

    There's a difference between Harvard University and a community college, let's not kid ourselves.
     
  14. May 28, 2004 #13

    Njorl

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    Remind me again in which states asians were enslaved. The bigotry exercised against asians has been small compared to the systemic oppression of blacks in the US.

    Why? Anyone who thinks they've earned something by being the 800th best deserves to be frustrated and disillusioned.
    No it isn't. The whole point of a university is to make money, or serve the interest of the state. Or have proffessors started working gratis since I went? The finer the reputation, the more they can charge for tuition. Universities have decided that racial diversity is an asset, enhancing reputation. You believe that a university should diminish itself just to accomodate a few marginally qualified applicants?

    Njorl
     
  15. May 29, 2004 #14
    Ah so you agree then that Hispanics shouldn't have affirmative action benefits as they haven't been enslaved. Asians were discriminated far more against than Hispanics historically. Hell Asians were even banned from immigrating to the US for a long stretch of period, while that same ban was never in place for Hispanics. And Jews. Don't get me even started there. So you agree that Jews should have affirmative action benefits since they have been horribly treated throughout history correct? Oh but wait, they already overacheive in academics, so your bias will not allow such a thing.

    After you're done with this notion, you might want to ask yourself what relevance does the treatment of your great great great great great great great grandparents have any direct relation to who YOU are today.

    If you think the 1500th best deserves the 800th slot rather than the 800th best that is "disillusioned" And 800th best would be quite impressive in many universities. 2,000th best would even be impressive in many universities.

    Since Harvard University has slightly lower tuition than many many private universities, this fails right off the bat.

    And this same "asset" doesn't apply to the Hollywood industry that is over 60% Jewish? Or law firms, and writers that are also overwhelmingly Jewish. Or how about the NBA, NFL, that is overwhelmingly black. How about mathematical and science fields where Asians are heavily overrepresented? Should every occupation have to PERFECTLY correlate to the ethnic makeup of a population? Or should the best candidates be selected regardless of what the end result of the ethnic makeup is?

    How is a university diminishing itself? Did you mean improving itself? Yes it would be improving itself. Having better candidates, whether for a university, a job, the NBA, or anything, is certainly better than having a worser candidate.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2004
  16. May 29, 2004 #15

    Nereid

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    What do the social science studies into students' university performances show re the relationship between GPA and MCAT scores (as entrance criteria) and things like dropout rates, further university study, salary a year/five years from graduation, etc? How do those who come to university with disadvantages - of any kind - compare with those with manifest advantages? What sorts of differences are there among subjects/disciplines/universities?

    If the objective of "affirmative action" is to give some of those who are socially disadvantaged a bit of help, then such programs could be criticised for not being particularly well focussed (if indeed they ignored kids from poor or rural families, or those with physical disabilities, for example).

    On the other hand, if the objective is a commercial one (as Njorl suggests), then a social science (or business studies?) research program to test the success of affirmative action should be fairly easy to define. Have such studies been done?

    But what if the objectives of university admissions policy include the admission of students who will, by the time they graduate, have acquired a mastery of their chosen fields of study? That might lead at least some universities to consider including criteria such as age and work experience (those with several years’ experience in ‘the real world’ may make far better students – no matter their GPA or MCAT – than those without). Or, they may allow huge numbers in to their first year classes, only to cull >50% at the end of that year (on the grounds that, for example, GPAs and MCATs are such poor predictors of suitability for university studies as to be almost meaningless).

    This thread is in the Social Sciences sub-forum, but to this non-American it looks for the world like a Politics and World Affairs topic; why is it here? :confused:
    Just curious.
     
  17. May 29, 2004 #16
    You don't get it do you. Harvard? Two year for year five year tenyear. I place my knowlege against any human on the planet. I know what I know. There is a difference. It is because of desire. What are you searching for that you need this school rather than another? You won't be successful in another, you will not self actualize? These are ideas to you and nothing more. If you used the instincts you have you would know better and not post the way you do because your understanding would disolve the issue.

    There cannot be loss without gain and there cannot be gain without loss.
     
  18. May 29, 2004 #17

    Moonbear

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    I tried posting yesterday, and the site seemed to have a hiccup, so I'll try to recap my points.

    First, the ranking of UCLA as #14 among med schools was based on their research, which roughly translates into NIH dollars. This has to do with the graduate program and the graduate faculty, and not much to do with the medical students other than the handful of MSTP students who will be earning the joint MD/PhD degree. It ranks somewhat lower for primary care, around 23 or 24 (I had looked it up yesterday, so now I'm trying to remember the numbers without retracing all my steps). Of course that has a lot more to do with the physicians employed by the university, the remainder of the hospital staff, and the quality of the residents they attract, and again, not a whole lot to do with the med students until they reach their 3rd and 4th year and start doing clinical rotations.

    So, how do we measure the success of medical students? Scores on medical boards and placements for residencies. I wasn't able to locate this information (it might be available in the section of the US News and World Report that only subscribers can access; I don't have a subscription).

    Also, there is a lot more to being a successful medical student and physician than just grades and scores. I've run into 4.0, or nearly 4.0, students who do well on standardized testing but have very limited social skills, or who have not been involved in anything other than focusing on academics. Physicians need good bedside manner, med students need to juggle a demanding schedule, so evidence of ability to interact socially and balance studying with multiple other activities are also important in the admissions decision.

    Another issue when offering acceptances to students that is rarely publicized, is trying to gauge whether they will actually accept the offer of admission. The very best students are going to get offers at all the best schools they apply to, which means if you're even a little way down the list of top-ranked med schools, they are still likely to attend another school. Or, a student that would be in the middle of your class might be near the top of a lower-ranked school that gets less applicants and may choose the lower-ranked school because they will qualify for fellowship support at that one, or tuition may be lower without the fellowship support. Also, there are fellowship programs based on things other than scores, such as those that will pay tuition if a student agrees to work in an area with a physician shortage for a number of years after completing their residency. These areas have physician shortages because they are not very popular places to live, so as long as someone has a reasonable chance of success in medical school, if they are willing to commit to working there, then that improves their desirability as a candidate.

    And one last point: Since UCLA is ranked among at least the top 25 medical schools, they must be doing something right in selecting their incoming classes or else they wouldn't be able to maintain their reputation of excellence. Physicians do need to treat all patients, not just those of one ethnic group, so exposing medical students to greater diversity during their training will make them more comfortable with different ethnic and cultural issues important for being better physicians to the patients with those issues.
     
  19. May 29, 2004 #18

    Moonbear

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    Tenyears, very good point. My experience has been that only students at Harvard are particularly concerned with Harvard's reputation. Someone with the drive to learn, thirst for knowledge, and the independence to truly be successful will thrive at absolutely any university. Those who need an extra push to get them to that point will thrive at a smaller university with more direct contact with their professors. Faculty who enjoy teaching more than research tend to apply for jobs at smaller colleges than major research universities, so the undergraduates at those smaller schools get a much better classroom experience. Often they can also find more opportunity for research experiences too because the labs are smaller and more willing to take risks on bringing in an undergraduate who will require more supervision than hiring a post-doc who can work independently.

    My overall experience, though, has been that you're going to learn pretty much the same stuff in your classes at any university. Some larger universities can offer more variety in the upper level classes, so if you're still figuring out what field you like best by then, it's good to have those options. But, it's the things you do outside of the classroom that determine how much you will get out of your university experience. These are the things that don't get taught that are incredibly important for success. Can you manage your time? Can you multi-task? Have you developed leadership skills? Can you communicate your thoughts to people with a range of different learning styles, points of view, cultural backgrounds? Note, while many people will jump to the conclusion that cultural background refers to ethnic background, that's not necessarily the case. There are very different cultures in the Northeastern US than in the Southern US or Midwestern US. If you're a scientist or physician, you need to interact with people who are not just scientists or physicians. When you run a research lab, you need to also manage or work with secretaries, business and grant administrators, and need to communicate your findings not only to other scientists, but also to the general public and media. When you are a physician, you will have patients coming to your office who are from every walk of life: construction workers, custodians, homemakers, children, lawyers, students, bus drivers, etc. You also need to manage an office staff of receptionists, bookeepers, secretaries, nurses, medical assistants, cleaning staff. Harvard arrogance won't get you very far with them.
     
  20. May 29, 2004 #19
    The dropout rate among affirmative action students is substantially higher than the university average as are GPA averages. I do not recall the exact statistics but I do remember there is a wide gap. I will see if I can find it again.
     
  21. May 29, 2004 #20
    Desire aside, there is a difference between Harvard and a lower class university. First, the brightest professors will be teaching there. Even if you're learning the same criterias, this does have an impact. Second, you will be surrounded by students that will on average rank enormously high on the academic scale. This will also have an impact.
     
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