California Prop 16 (reinstating affirmative action) fails

It may not be as clear as you think. What is clear is that there are probably 6 justices that think that at this point 50 years after AA has had a chance to work it’s magic, race based discrimination in college admissions is probably unconstitutional.

Why are universities so bloody keen on AA if it hurts the people they are trying to help? I was thinking maybe Berkley munged the statistics to make themselves look better, but perhaps it’s actually to make them look worse? Guess I should look it up, so I can see just how crazy they are.

At one time there wasn’t the same tradition of post high school education in black communities. This is no longer the case. By some measures, black women are the most educated group in america (black men still fall far behind), they are more likely to have a degree than any other group (they are followed closely by asian women). Access to college is not the issue. The issue is their representation at the most selective colleges (and to some extent selective high schools, see lowell, tjhsst stuyvesant).

I think there are a lot of reasons for their continued focus on AA. Here are a few guesses:

Some educators think that having a representative student body at top schools will make the students go out into the world with a better relationship with people from URM backgrounds. But as we see what happens is that these kids get conditioned to see URM kids as being the most likely to be struggling to keep up with everyone else. While URM kids going to better matched schools end up with better integration with their white peers.

I think some educators have a savior complex. Some education academics see education as a hammer and every social problem from poverty to racism as a nail. They take it upon themselves to use education to solve all the world’s ills. They think that if only we had more URM at these top schools they would simply rise to the challenge and the whole world would see that there was never any real difference to begin with. That’s not what happens. The kids that would not have gotten in but for the AA frequently struggle and the ones that would have gotten in under their own steam see that the worst students are frequently URM.

I think other educators are deeply bothered by the notion that there are differences in academic achievement between races. They feel the need to do something, anything. They have to close that gap even if it is superficially. In the process they use racial preferences that creates resentment from the people being discriminated against in order to provide these preferences.

The ironic thing is that the people they think they are helping in their mind (I think) is the descendants of slaves growing up in housing projects. The people they actually end up helping are largely immigrants or the children of immigrants. The majority of blacks at harvard are immigrants or the children of immigrants.

I suspect that race based AA (as it is practiced today) is on its last legs.

Asking why that is so probably deserves its own thread. Or has there already been one?

That’s hardly surprising. These people saying tests don’t show ability etc - testing may not be perfect, but it’s better than nothing. And no one should be shocked when past grades predict future ones.

The thing is, if you go to a bad school then you’ll be behind to start with, and also confronted with a drastically faster pace of learning. It’s a big gap to make up, even if you would have done okay in an alternate universe where you had the best education to start with. And unless they can visit that alternate universe there’s no guarantee they can identify such people.

But they seem to be replacing it with lotteries, which is arguably worse. Mediocrity all around. In England they almost eliminated selective education, and today the top jobs are overwhelmingly filled with people who went to private school. So much for social mobility.

If lotteries are worse then one has to explain why charter schools in the USA do not see them as bad.

Also, the idea that in England there is less social mobility is wrong.

Are charter schools different from magnet schools? And which have we been discussing?

I could’ve sworn the last ranking I saw put the UK behind the US on social mobility. Take a look at this:

As for education, not much has changed since this article was written. Think of Jeremy Corbin as Britain’s version of Bernie Sanders, until recently he was leader of the Labour party.

Lotteries, but as usual learning that it is not an evil tool is distressing for some.

Not sure what he was thinking, but IMHO that was to indirectly make the point that there is a lot of work to be done to even the field in England, what I said was not that they are great, only that there and in Europe the opportunities to get to a better level of life than your parents are better there.

The problem is usually to listen to powerful groups that want to tell their listeners or readers to ignore that it is not really a savior complex, what it is missed is that there is racism too that was repackaged to confuse several to join efforts to destroy AA in weaker forms, there is a huge need to ignore that even Asians do notice how misleading that package of rhetoric is from the leaders of the movement against AA.

Since Proposition 16 qualified for the ballot in the spring, Chinese for Affirmative Action has gone all in for it because affirmative action and other equal opportunity programs are fundamental to our mission of defending the rights of Chinese Americans and advancing a multiracial democracy.

Prop 16 will end California’s ban on equal opportunity programs like affirmative action and level the playing field for women and people of color in public education, employment, and contracting.

CAA Co-Executive Director Vincent Pan has been serving as one of the three Yes On 16 campaign co-chairs along with Eva Paterson from the Equal Justice Society and Thomas Saenz from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

CAA staff, including Hong Mei Pang, Eva Poon, Sally Chen, and others have led and presented at dozens of town halls and community briefings. These gatherings were conducted across languages and with community leaders from different sectors.

CAA has also been a leading voice in the media, debating against opponents of affirmative action on radio and television, and making the case to the editorial boards of every major state newspaper. We have won the endorsements of the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times, the San Jose Mercury, the East Bay Times, and Sing Tao Daily.

They lost that effort, but as usual they and many others are not going to fade away.

Perhaps but the point remains that race is not a barrier to access to higher education. Noone needs affirmative action to gain access to schools. They need affirmative action to get into the the most selective schools.

There may still be a gap even if you correct for schools. In NYC, the merit based system is augmented by something called the discovery program which admits kids that missed the cutoff if they meet certain economic criteria. In the past this led to a lot of poor kids from predominantly asian schools getting in through the program. They adjusted the program to effectively exclude predominantly asian schools. The asian enrollment increased as the asians at less represented schools took up the spots. So they ended up replacing poor asians at predominantly asian schools with poor asians at predominantly URM schools. Schools are important but they may not be the only factor. There may be something else going on.

Perhaps. Perhaps the pipeline to the most competitive schools for kids in public schools will dry up. But right now there is some antipathy towards gifted programs/tracking in education departments across the country, there is even some antipathy towards the concept of gifted and a push to treat every kid as gifted. There seems to be a notion that if we just trained our teachers better they would be able to provide the exact level of academic enrichment each child needs without segregating kids by academic ability. I have my doubts.

Because charter schools do not have a choice. I cannot think of any charter school program where the school is allowed to select based on an admission test. They must rely on the self selection of lottery admissions but a lot of them would prefer to have admissions criteria.

Can you restate that with a few more periods. I am not sure what you are trying to say here. Maybe use a few more words?

Once again the overwhelming majority of asians in california voted against prop 16.

Neither are the white supremacists. Some people cannot be convinced of their error. But if california votes 55-45 against affirmative action, I don’t think it has much support across the country.

The rationalization by folks like vincent pan is almost pathetic. He blames “trumpism” for the loss on prop 16 in a state that voted overwhelmingly for biden. He had a 10::1 money advantage. He had endorsements from dozens of newspapers and hundreds of elected officials. He had celebrity endorsements. And they still lost. Democracy in action.

You can’t shout people into agreeing with you, you have to convince them and knee-jerk accusations of racism as the primary argument don’t seem to be doing the trick in california (and probably doesn’t work anywhere else either). It’s keeping the visible and vocal opposition pretty low but in the voting booth where everyone’s voice carries equal weight, people seem to be rejecting affirmative action as it is practiced today.

Right you are. I don’t think they will listen to the loud financed bigots. Despite all their screams. And while I do agree that it is not 100% accurate to blame the defeat of proposition 16 on Trumpism, the reality is that a lot of the moves to dismantle AA are coming form the white supremacist. You are correct they are not fading away, perhaps one should take into account and not ignore that there is an axe to grind when their rhetoric seems to support what opponents to affirmative action think.

I went to a secondary school that was opposed to streaming. By the final year each class was divided into three groups - learning the same subject at different levels and preparing for different exam papers - which the teachers had to divide their time between. No teacher training can allow then to be in three places at once or provide an individualised curriculum for each child. It’s an idealistic plan that benefits nobody.

Prop 209 was passed 25 years ago. This is not an effort to dismantle AA, this is a resistance against reimposing AA. AA had not been status quo in california for a quarter century. White supremacists are not alone in opposing affirmative action. 57% of california voted against it. This is the third time in 25 years that california has voted against affirmative action. Prop 16 was rejected by a larger margin than the margin by which prop 209 was implemented in 1996. The last time they tried to repeal prop 209 they lost by even more but the current climate probably gave the push to repeal prop 209 a boost. The excuses are wearing thin.

You are mistaken about who the financed bigots are. Prop 16 had a 12::1 money advantage in trying to reimpose affirmative action over the opponents of prop 16 trying to prevent race based discrimination.

And despite the hundreds of politicians endorsing prop 16; despite all the celebrities endorsing prop 16; despite dozens of newspapers endorsing prop 16… prop 16 failed. All their screaming and accusations of racism and white supremacy didn’t work. Californians saw through the race baiting rhetoric and rejected race based discrimination in one of the bluest states in the country. I expect the supreme court will do the same and we can start working on addressing the underlying issues rather than applying superficial band aids to the problem.

Charter schools may be magnet schools, may offer specialized or advanced programs without being magnet schools, or may be the regular public school for a particular district. Generally speaking the most reasonable definition of a charter school is “an otherwise public school [does not charge tuition, is ultimately funded by the government] whose management at the school level has been contracted out to a private corporation or nonprofit.” There’s a lot of ambiguity because people who think that charter schools are a panacea and people who oppose any shifting of power away from teachers’ unions both are interested in muddying the waters as to what we’re talking about.

Disproportionately many of the “schools which purport to offer advanced curricula but do admissions based on a lottery rather than a test” that I am familiar with are charter schools.

Yes, but just the Chinese For Affirmative Action guys said, they will continue, just as women and the Gay community had to continue after even more years in the wilderness.

It remains a very underwhelming argument to ignore that bigots like Pete Wilson helped Prop 209. The point stands, not all the ones that opposed prop 16 were bigots, but they were helped by them. My impression is that many of the ones that ignored why change is needed is that they rather have the government work harder to do real reforms at the root of the issue, that is what most of the efforts should be going while several Hispanics and blacks will continue to be ignored.

Prop 209caused large immediate changes to URG UC applicants’likelihood of UC admission and enrollment. Each URG UC applicant became substantially less likely to earn admission atevery UC campus in 1998, with average declines as high as 25 percent at UC Berkeley and down to 4 percent at UC Riverside, which admitted all UC-eligible applicants. In general, URG applicants became 8 percent less likely to earn admission at anyUC campus after 1998.

Prop 209 also discouraged many highly-qualified URG students from applying to any UC campuses, likely because those students believed that they would be unlikely to earn admission to their preferred campus after the end of AA. Figure 2presentsestimates from statistical models measuring the change in the proportion of UC-eligible California high school graduates who applied to at least one UC campus by 200-point Academic Index bins. It shows that more than 200 African American and 800 Hispanic/Latinx students –7 percent of all URG applicants –were discouraged from applying in 1998, relative to a ’94-95 baseline. Most of these students would have been admitted to at least one UC campus, and many had sufficiently-high AI’s to be admitted to anyUC campus

He is welcome to continue. Those who oppose race based discrimination will continue as well. It’s not like race based discrimination disappeared in california when prop 16 was defeated. For example Lowell High School in San Francisco recently went to a lottery system (it is also a majority asian magnet school that used to be majority white).

There is a difference between the fight for gay rights and the fight for the type of AA that people are pushing for. Gays and women were fighting for equal rights. The proponents of Prop 16 want special rights. Some people see that as a pretty big difference.

Just because you don’t give up doesn’t mean you will win. Not if we don’t give up either. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your side is determined and my side is ready to throw in the towel. Between the two of us, I like our chances in the supreme court and I doubt any future court will ever be able to reverse a ruling that strikes down race based affirmative action absent a constitutional amendment.

That is wrong as usual. It is noticeable that the anti-gay people also used that argument against change.

As for your ongoing argument about the supreme court, it is also underwhelming to ignore that the biggest racist troll in chief was responsible for putting more right wing judges there.

You were the one that brought up financing. I am merely pointing out that your side. The losing side. That is the side that had the overwhelming money advantage.

And you are correct, implementing discriminatory policies to provide superficial fixes to a real problem is bad. Trying to fix those real problems is good. We agree that this is where most (I think all) of the effort should be directed. But it’s not. it mostly directed at discriminatory policies that will temporarily boost statistics without boosting what those statistics are supposed to represent.

You seriously think that blacks and hispanics are being ignored? Are you kidding?

Right, but I was not talking about monetary advantage. Just saying that avoiding who was behind the proposition is omitting a lot.

And this a bit of straw-manning, I was not talking about ignoring all, I was not saying that, only that a very significant part were as the result of prop 209, read the cite again.