Saturday, May 16, 2020
As Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr. show in their 2012 book, “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It,” in the years immediately following Proposition 209, it had three effects on under-represented minorities in the UC system. It increased (1) graduation rates, (2) GPAs, and (3) the number of science or engineering majors.
Call it a Triple Crown. Ordinarily these three goals would be difficult to achieve simultaneously, since they tend to work against each other. Grading curves are traditionally lower in science and engineering than in other departments, so the more science and engineering majors, often the lower the average GPA. Similarly, graduation rates tend to increase when weaker students (with lower GPAs) manage to make it to the end. Happily, “matching” students to the right institution made improvement possible on all three fronts. It’s as if Ford had invented a car that was more powerful, got better gas mileage, and cost less -- all at the same time.
California legislators want to throw all that away and bring back an ugly spoils system. Californians shouldn’t let them.