Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Report: Affirmative Action Does More Harm Than Good

Affirmative action produces no concrete benefits for minority students and actually has several harmful effects, according to a new report by the Cato Institute.

"Recent research shows that college admissions preferences do not offer even the practical benefits claimed by their supporters," writes Marie Gryphon, a lawyer and policy analyst with the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom.


Affirmative action in fact results in harm to the minority community, Gryphon found, due to the "ratchet effect:" Preferences at a handful of top schools, including state flagship universities, can worsen racial disparities in academic preparation at other schools by luring away qualified minority students who might otherwise attend those schools.

"This effect results in painfully large gaps in academic preparation between minority students and others on campuses around the country," according to Gryphon.


And the policy harms minority student performance "by activating fears of confirming negative group stereotypes, lowering grades, and reducing college completion rates among preferred students," Gryphon found.

That is, minority students who are "bumped up" into selective schools for which they're ill-prepared show poorer academic performance and graduation rates than if they had attended a less selective institution.

As far as I'm concerned, Affirmative Action is Affirmative Racism. It truly goes against everything the Civil Rights Act of 1964 set out to do: equalize opportunities for ALL people, regardless of color, race, national origin, religion, or sex. The Supreme Court should have ended this program years ago...