For decades the University of California (UC) relied upon SAT test, as well as grades, to admit the highest achieving students into California’s best universities. Such standardized tests are ubiquitous in society, used in primary, secondary, and higher education, as well as for obtaining a license for most professions, or simply to drive a car.
But the UC determined after much study that, as a group, whites and Asians score higher on the tests than “black and brown communities” (as the left calls them). It thus concluded that the test is inherently discriminatory and must be abandoned for the UC to achieve the goal of “equity” in its admission process.
The UC faculty, through the “Academic Senate,” oversees the admissions process. It explained: “This decision, which is part of the ongoing effort by the university to advance educational opportunity and equity, was based on the view that these tests are biased because they systematically and unfairly reduce the likelihood that underrepresented and low-income high school students will be accepted to the university.”
Yes, University professors, whom one would expect to be among America’s smartest people, concluded that a standardized test must be to blame for a community’s poor performance, rather than members of the community being less prepared. But the truth is, these professors are predominantly leftists, and this is the same flawed logic the left uses to argue that criminal laws are discriminatory when they are more often violated by a minority group.
The UC ignores the most obvious explanation for the poor performance. African Americans (only 5.8 percent of California’s population), are far more likely to have been raised in a single parent home. As Senator Barack Obama noted, children who grow up without a father are nine times more likely to drop out of school. Latinos (39 percent of California’s population) are far more likely to have been raised by recent, legal or illegal, immigrants with less education and English as their second language.
Further evidencing that it is not the test but the test-takers, the Academic Senate considered another test as a replacement. However, it determined that the so-called “Smarter Balanced” test resulted in the same “discriminatory” results!
The truth is, the professors know the test is fair, they just do not care about the qualifications of the applicants. All they care about is “equity,” i.e., that racial and ethnic groups are represented in equal proportion. This leftist thinking ignores the individual in favor of the group. It shows no concern for the underlying reasons children from these groups are not doing better on the test. And, it ignores that not everyone in these groups are underprivileged, e.g., LeBron James’ kids, and that not everyone in white and Asian communities are privileged.
Equity requires the end to Martin Luther King’s dream of equal treatment regardless of race. Equity requires that we look at race to ensure an “equal” outcome.
The left loves to play with language, just as George Orwell predicted. For instance, a transgender person did not have a “sex change surgery,” they had “gender affirming surgery.” Equity is simply a new word that sounds like equality but really is affirmative action. It is being used because affirmative action is widely unpopular and proven after many decades of use not to work. Indeed, it is not just unpopular; in California, it is illegal!
In 1996, Californians voted, 55 to 45 percent, to ban the use of affirmative action in admissions to state schools and in state employment. Just last year, Californians voted to maintain the ban by an even wider margin: 58 to 42 percent.
Yet, the UC believes as long as it calls it equity instead of affirmative action, it is free to practice it. It is quite stunning to see how blatantly the UC is violating state law and the will of the people. The Academic Senate states it must have “an equitable admissions process” because “college degree attainment remains the most effective means of ensuring social mobility,” and “as a state public institution, the UC is obliged to create a student body that is representative of the demographic profile of California.” The UC has an “Office of Graduate, Undergraduate, and Equity Affairs,” and the UC campuses each have a “Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” The UC is practicing precisely what Californians have twice voted to ban.
The natural progression of this demented thinking is to next get rid of the LSAT for law school, the MCAT for medical school, and the GMAT for business school. And then get rid of the bar exam for lawyers, the board exam for doctors, and the Series 7 exam for stockbrokers.
Californians did not vote for this. They voted for the UC to admit the best and brightest among us without regard to race, ethnicity, or gender. They did not vote for a social experiment by woke professors seeking to implement their own utopia of equity.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.