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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Quota system fails educational needs

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

About 15 percent of the first year Michigan law students are minorities. If race were no longer considered for admission, that number is projected to fall to .04 percent. And that issue is at the center of a Supreme Court case that may well shape the complexion and makeup of higher education in the years ahead.

Racial quotas are wrong. Attempting to promote diversity on college campuses is a different issue. But racial quotas - which have been ruled illegal by the high court - bring about reverse discrimination. The example are endless.

A white applicant to the Michigan law school is taking her case to the Supreme Court. The applicant was denied admission because of the school's attempt to promote diversity. But that "attempt" runs real close to a quota system and that is at the heart of the lawsuit before the Supreme Court.

I think there's something missing in all of this discussion and I'm amazed the question has not been raised by members of the minority community. Why must colleges and universities lower their admission standards to bring more minorities into the higher education community? What is occurring in public education, especially high schools, that almost automatically produces lower scores for minorities? Something is missing in this formula and yet we fail to address that question.

Colleges should not have to lower their standards for anyone. Minorities should test and score just as high as anyone else seeking admission. And since that is not the case, the problem seems to me to strike long before college admission is sought. The problem occurs in high school and even earlier. Once we address this, perhaps all test scores will increase.

I have no problem with the promotion of diversity. I abhor quotas. And I am firmly convinced that minorities have all the tools in the world to compete one-on-one for any college entrance. But statistics show that this is not occurring. So we must address the problem when it begins, not when it is too late for change.

More minority parents must participate with their children to improve the learning environment. More minority teachers must be recruited to improve the learning atmosphere. More tutoring should be mandated. More minority heroes must come from the academic community and less from the basketball community. And finally, businesses and community groups must unite to provide any financial assistance to young minority students seeking to learn and expand their world.

We need all of the above. By combining the above, we may never need quotas again.

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