We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Everything is a crisis these days, and this is not one either. Much of college education has little to do with the workplace, and most practical education is self-education. Still, the author is open to the sorts of educational flexibility that make sense.
Our current preference system has all the perverse kind of contact effects that Allport feared to the extent that it assures, in the very nature of upward-ratcheting, that the typical black or Hispanic student at highly competitive colleges and universities will be less academically accomplished or less academically talented than the typical white or Asian student. The very logic of the system guarantees this result. It's the "dumb jock" problem cast into an ethno-racial mold. Just as the lowering of standards for recruited athletes results in a reinforcement of the association between "dumb" and "jock" on college campuses, so the lowering of standards for blacks and Hispanics reinforces the association -- in the minds of all parties concerned including the black and Hispanic students themselves -- of white and Asian with "smart" and black and Hispanic with "intellectually inferior." "Dumb black and Hispanic affirmative action students" is the inevitable association created, even if strictures of political correctness and concerns over hurt feelings discourage it from being expressed publicly. Systems of differential standards inevitably produce perverse effects of this kind. Within the context of the zero-sum nature of the reshuffling system, upward-ratcheting guarantees that Allport's "good contact" -- i.e. stereotype disconfirming contact -- will always be replaced by "bad contact" -- i.e. stereotype-confirming contact.
Professor Mullen discovers the third-oldest and one of the most competitive colleges in the country attracts a more affluent and more cosmopolitan student body with larger ambitions and wider career options than those of students attending the local neighborhood’s uncompetitive teacher’s college.
Certainly a lot of Yale students come from more affluent and better educated family backgrounds, but comparing Yale and Southern most meaningfully would have to be done on the basis of academic talent. Southern’s students have average SAT scores in the 480-490 range on the three parts of the current test. Yale quotes different 25%/75% figures, which indicate that only 25% of Yale students got under 700 on any of the three parts of the SAT, and another 25% got 780 to 800. Yale admits around 7.5% of applicants these days. Southern admits 71% of applicants.