Mike Kueber's Blog

November 9, 2012

Affirmative action that we can all believe in

Filed under: Culture,Education,Issues,Law/justice,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Robert Rivard, the erstwhile editor of the San Antonio Express-New, has a website called the Rivard Report that pushes for the modernization of San Antonio, especially its urban center.  It contained an article yesterday that describes a type of affirmative action that we can all believe in.  The article is titled, “First Generation College Students Share Successes & Advice,” and it describes a program called GenTX that attempts to help kids who would be the first in their family to attend college.  The following is a key passage in the article:

  • Going to college is important to me, because it allows you to explore life,” the 19-year-old explained. “College is a place where you find out who you are and what you can do.   Garrett is a first-generation college student – the first in his immediate family to enroll in higher education.  Along with that title comes many obstacles, perhaps the biggest is finding the path to college. That’s where Generation TX San Antonio came in.  GenTX helped me figure out what to do. They helped with information about the SATs, ACTs and with the actual college application,” said Garrett. “They even helped me create a brag sheet.”

Historically, race-based affirmative action in America has been employed since President Kennedy’s exeutive orders required government employers to take affirmative action to hire job applicants without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.  Initially, this affirmative action amounted to little more than stopping any discrimination, but later evolved into what the British call positive discrimination, even quotas.  Eventually, though, the Supreme Court said “no” to quotas, and since then has been pulling back from even positive discrimination.  Many court observers think the Court is likely to ban race-based affirmative action by colleges during its current term. 

The affirmative action practiced by GenTX is an improvement for two primary reasons:

  1. It is not race-based; rather, it is based on the special challenges facing young students, regardless of race, whose parents didn’t attend college. 
  2. It does not lower the bar for the disadvantaged students; rather it helps them to compete on a level playing field, which is all that someone should expect.

America is beginning to fail in the critical area of socio-economic mobility, and the oft-described cycle of poverty can be broken when a child attends college.  (Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why I have opined that Barck Obama and the Castro twins were not entitled to the positive discrimination that they received – i.e., their parents not only had college degrees, they had graduate degrees and were able to impress on their kids the need to go to college.  Not going to college was never an option for these young men.)


1 Comment »

  1. You seem to be correct. It appears that all three were ‘handed/given’ pathways that they did not earn/deserve. May they somehow give back in valuable ways to our entire society. Que sera, sera.

    Comment by Bob Bevard — November 9, 2012 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

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