2008-03-31

10% Works Too Well

In Texas, my home state, my alma mater fought vehemently against race based admissions 10 years ago and was successful. Texas made it illegal for schools to use race based admissions. Instead our now President, then governor did one thing that was actually smart, he guaranteed that if you were in the top 10% of your class in high school, you were automatically allowed admission into a state school, including University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M and two top state schools. Now the President of UT Austin is mad it is working too well. He feels he is ignoring other kids with high potential while being forced to enroll these 10% students. Just to give you some pointers on how the 10% rule has worked in the past 10 years:

* Students admitted under the 10% rule get better grades than other students. Plus, they graduate at higher rates.

* Racial diversity at the Austin campus improved. The number of Hispanic students has risen by 29% and the African-American student population by 32%.

* Economic and geographic diversity improved as well. Before the law took effect, the Austin campus drew from 616 high schools. Now it draws from 853 schools.

(this is all from the link I just provided)

This 10% rule was widely popular when rolled out, getting support from all angles. Now it is an issue. I think the issue is that Rebecca, the "C" student with rich parents is now getting pushed aside for LaKeisha, the straight "A" student with broke ass parents who can't provide private funding and donations to the school. We are starting to mess up legacies that were based upon nothing more than who you were related to. I think the expectation was that the 10% would automatically be mostly white, and it wasn't. Now that admissions are based upon merit, instead of race, these same people are still crying reverse racism, and now their white kids have to go to "less prestigious" schools. Oh well.

Thanks Prometheus 6 for posting this article.