race

Research by George Mason University’s David Kravitz and colleagues reveals that, while “affirmative action policies in the workforce have increased diversity,” they’ve also had the effect of “stigmatizing the very workers the policies are designed to help.”

Kravitz and management professors Lisa Leslie of New York University and David Mayer of the University of Michigan built on previous studies that found that affirmative action recipients were viewed as less competent, which creates feelings of self-doubt for recipients.

To counteract this effect, organizations should emphasize the qualifications of new hires, the researchers said, and allow the staff to know them as a person—their interests, hobbies, and such. Companies also should reinforce the message that a stronger, more diverse team helps the whole organization succeed.

“When a person is a member of a group targeted by an affirmative action plan, anyone who believes affirmative action involves preferences may not know why they were hired,” Kravitz says. “Maybe they were hired because they’re great. Or maybe the corporation wants to hit a target. To eliminate stigmatization, make sure everyone knows that the affirmative action program does not involve preferences and highlight the competence and credentials of the new hires.”

Those hired through affirmative action programs also need to be reminded that they were selected for their qualifications and that others know of their qualifications.

Here’s a thought: If “everyone” (employees) need to be made aware that a new hire was brought on board because of his/her qualifications, then why not ditch affirmative action altogether?

The “stronger, more diverse team” mantra seems a lot like that used in education (and which the US Supreme Court unfortunately bought in the University of Michigan Grutter case) — that some mystical “critical mass” of minorities somehow makes the academic experience “better.” (The National Association of Scholars provides a brilliant rebuttal to this belief.)

Read the full article here.

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A campaign dubbed See The Stripes is miffed at Clemson University, in particular its football program, for “fail(ing) to properly encompass the history of the school.”

See The Stripes’ A.D. Carson elaborates, making comparisons between the Tigers’ football squad and … slavery.

Campus Reform reports:

“The ‘Most Exciting 25 Seconds In College Football’ is literally the Clemson Football Program running downhill, away from the university’s slaveholding past and a relic standing as a symbol of it, onto the field that generates significant amounts of money for the school and a large part of it’s [sic] reputation,” the student, who identifies himself as A.D. Carson, says.

“And, yes, to be clear, I am making a connection between the fields the slaves worked for Master Calhoun and the field on which student-athletes give their time, talent, blood, sweat and tears for The Program,” Carson continued.

Carson added that “he wishes he would have known he was attending a ‘school on a plantation.’” If you’re wondering how a supposedly bright individual had absolutely no inkling of the region’s/state’s history, check it:

… he says that even had he been more aware of the southern history of South Carolina school, he still would have chosen to attend the university after he explained his decision to his friends and family.

Whew! Thank goodness!

Clemson political science professor Dr. J. David Woodard says Carson is misguided:

It’s fascism. It’s looking at things only through racial lenses and not seeing anything else when in fact there is no racism associated with this.

Read the full article here.

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There’s been an outpouring of “solidarity” on college campuses across the nation for Michael Brown, even as new data and reports reveal that the initial narrative — that an innocent black teenager was murdered by an angry white cop — is a far cry from reality.

At recent observances at the University of Georgia, UCLA and Yale, for example, students marched in protest or posed for pictures en masse with their hands up and “don’t shoot” signs. Some students suggested the recent incident is by no means isolated, and is more indicative of a pattern of violence by white cops against black victims.

The gathering in Georgia, for example, aimed to express “solidarity” with Brown, and discussed other matters such as “issues of inequality,” and “unrest over acts of violence committed toward minority groups,” The Red and Black student newspaper reports.

At UCLA on Thursday, the call to students declared “Come out with your fellow Bruins and take a stand as a community against police brutality and the extra-judicial killings of young men and women throughout this country. We’re tired of turning on the news and scrolling through our Facebook feeds and hearing of another Black or Brown individual being senselessly executed.” (Emphasis added.)

On Tuesday, students at Yale held a Michael Brown-themed rally in New Haven, Connecticut. The image under the headline shows signs with the slogans “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and the more head-scratching “Murder Is Illegal.” Aside from the “no, really?” aspect of the latter, it clearly pre-determines the outcome of what happened in Ferguson: Officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown.

Art student Henry Chapman came right out and said as much (emphasis added):

… the violent outbursts of some protesters in Ferguson and the looting didn’t make a difference to him – murder is still murder, he said.

“The real issue here is structural racism,” he said. “And the real looting is the structural looting of minorities.”

Another student, Dolores Colon, believed Wilson would be found innocent — not because he acted justifiably, but because “If you are of color, you get the hammer.” She added, “It’s a double standard. (People of color) suffer at the hands of people who are there to protect them.”

The rallies come even as news reports now indicate Brown was shot from the front, and not killed execution-style from behind as initial reports suggested. What’s more, the incident — which has prompted more than a week of riots and unrest in Missouri — has brought renewed scrutiny on crime statistics.

USA Today notes that out of an average of 400 police shootings per year across the US, ninety-six of the victims are black.

Despite the paper’s attempt at a gasp-inducing first sentence (“Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012 …”) note that this is twenty-four percent of the total. While that’s almost double the percentage of the African-American population in the US (13%), it fails to take into account the large disproportionate (violent) crime rate of that population. As such, is that 24 percent actually “out of balance?”

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has written extensively on race and crime, and many of her articles debunk the left-wing conventional wisdom about race “disproportionality” with regards to policing and incarceration.

On Wednesday, in a segment about the media coverage of the Brown shooting and Ferguson protests, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly pointed out that the 400 shootings per year figure is out of an average of approximately 12 million police arrests per year.

Left-wing MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who had taken on O’Reilly a year ago about race and crime stats and gotten some basic facts wrong, made an interesting comment after his correction:

But never fear, white America, because we also overestimated the number of white murder victims killed by black assailants in total. According to data from the FBI, as far as we know, there were only 447 white victims killed by black offenders in 2010. That is in a country of over 200 million white people.

It should be noted that if Hayes’ figure is correct, that actually would be roughly half of the yearly average for the previous ten years of 2000-2009. Nevertheless, it would be refreshing if liberals and the media looked at the actual statistics and applied Hayes’ “never fear” attitude to situations like that of Michael Brown.

(College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this article.)

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. You can follow him on Twitter @ColossusRhodey.

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The “conventional wisdom.”

Inspired by the recent news out of Fresno, California where the minority community is upset that a new school hired a white teacher to teach courses on “cultural studies,” I ask the question: Do students (particularly minorities) require instructors of like hue to succeed in the classroom?

In American public schools today, aside from the “achievement gap,” there’s a another type of gap: that between the number of minority students and minority teachers. The number of the former is growing more rapidly than the latter.

The conventional wisdom answer says “yes” to the question. But some recent research says “not so fast.”

According to Walter Hunt, a recent graduate from University of Houston’s Executive Education Doctorate in Professional Leadership program and author of the study, they are not.

Hunt’s research — which examined eighth-graders and teacher diversity in 198 Title I Texas schools — revealed that the achievement gap between African-American and Caucasian students was greater on campuses with a larger percentage of African-American teachers.

“At first glance, it would appear that teacher race doesn’t matter when addressing student achievement of minority students, but there are many layers involved when analyzing achievement of a middle-school student, such as racial identity, self-identity, age, involvement in school activities,” Hunt said in a University of Houston release. “In this particular study, I was surprised to see that the campuses with more African-American teachers did not have the highest African-American student achievement. This just goes to show that having a positive impact on students is a complex, multi-layered process,” he added.

Precisely. It’s probably as complex and multi-layered a process as, say, teacher evaluations, but contemporary conventional wisdom lays much of the assessment of teacher competence on periodic achievement test scores.

To be sure, I get the conventional wisdom of the usual response to the question. It makes sense that someone with a similar background (mainly race) can relate better to students. But as noted, this relationship doesn’t necessarily equate to better academic results … because race is but one factor in any teacher-student connection. There’s also family relationships, past/present socio-economic status, education background … and so on.

Relying only on race invariably leads to the (misguided) notion that people of a particular color are all alike. Do we really want that?

Consider, too: how many Asian teachers are employed in our schools today. With such a paucity (nationally, Asian teachers hover around two percent of the total), the conventional wisdom would dictate that Asian students’ academic achievement be pretty dismal. But, as we all know, it’s actually the best of any demographic.

So, here’s some conventional wisdom for you … some that’s cuts right through the politically correct educationist conventional wisdom: Good teachers of any race will prepare kids academically … and they’ll also be able to relate to them.

How’s that?

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. He has been involved in education for twenty-five years. You can follow him on Twitter @ColossusRhodey.

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Peter Beck is an experienced teacher who has previously taught the three cultural studies courses (African-American, Latino and Southeast Asian) now being offered at the new Gaston Middle School in southwest Fresno, CA. As such, he was hired to teach them at Gaston.

But there’s a problem: Beck is white.

The Fresno Bee reports:

At an early morning news conference Monday, a small group of concerned citizens led by Rev. Karen Crozier met in front of the school on Church Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

People at the gathering said the new school, which is the first southwest Fresno middle school in decades, needs teachers who reflect the ethnic and racial background of its students.

Crozier and others were dismayed to learn the person hired to teach the school’s three cultural studies classes is white. District officials initially considered hiring a teacher of color, she said, but ultimately hired Peter Beck, a former teacher at Hoover High School.

“We’re just saying what the community wants. We didn’t fight for a white male or female teacher to educate our babies,” Crozier said. “We still are at these racial fault lines, and we want someone who will be able to think critically about those racial fault lines and how do we help heal, to restore the problems that have existed.”

A district spokeswoman said Beck “was the best pick for the job and one of only four teachers in Fresno Unified with experience teaching the three cultural studies classes.”

Rev. Paul McCoy of New Light for New Life Church of God had a meeting with Beck and admitted that he is “highly intelligent” and “qualified for the job.”

But, McCoy added, “We told him it’s not about him.”

Read the full article here.

h/t to Joanne Jacobs.

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Yes, intelligence tests like the SAT and the IQ test really do measure something substantial and consequential, argue David Z. Hambrick and Christopher Chabris in a new article for Slate.

The SAT does predict success in college—not perfectly, but relatively well, especially given that it takes just a few hours to administer. And, unlike a “complex portrait” of a student’s life, it can be scored in an objective way. (In a recent New York Times op-ed, the University of New Hampshire psychologist John D. Mayer aptly described the SAT’s validity as an “astonishing achievement.”) In a study published in Psychological Science, University of Minnesota researchers Paul Sackett, Nathan Kuncel, and their colleagues investigated the relationship between SAT scores and college grades in a very large sample: nearly 150,000 students from 110 colleges and universities. SAT scores predicted first-year college GPA about as well as high school grades did, and the best prediction was achieved by considering both factors. Botstein, Boylan, and Kolbert are either unaware of this directly relevant, easily accessible, and widely disseminated empirical evidence, or they have decided to ignore it and base their claims on intuition and anecdote—or perhaps on their beliefs about the way the world should be rather than the way it is…

Read the full story.

What do you think? Are intelligence tests unfairly criticized for reasons of political correctness? Or are some of the common criticisms justified?

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