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Should colleges use race-based affirmative actionpolicies?You decide!1.1DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:1. How, if at all, should competitive colleges try to address systemicracism? What are the limits of their responsibilities?2. Is affirmative action consistent with the 14th Amendment's EqualProtections Clause?3. To what extent are Asian-Americans unfairly harmed byaffirmative action policies?4. Overall, do affirmative action programs end up helping minoritygroups? Support your answer with evidence.BACKGROUND:Even though discrimination based on race is technically illegal inthe US, many people of color still face the effects of centuries ofsystemic racism. Universities like Harvard have implementedaffirmative action programs to accept more Black, Hispanic, andNative American students. Critics of this practice, such as theplaintiffs of Students For Fair Admissions vs. Harvard, argue thatthese practices unfairly discriminate against Asian Americans. Afederal appeals court recently ruled in favor of Harvard's policies,but the decision may be appealed again and heard by theSupreme Court.1.4NO: Colleges should notpractice affirmative action1.3Affirmative action isactually discriminatingbased on race, especiallyagainst Asian Americans2.6After controlling forgrades, test scores,family background,and athletic status, astudy found thatWhites were threetimes, Hispanics sixtimes, and Blacksmore than 15 timesas likely to beaccepted at a USuniversity as AsianAmericans3.11Asians at Harvardperformed strongeron objectivemeasures, but theirpresence in thestudent body isartificially low3.12Even Harvard found abias against AsianAmerican applicantsduring an internalinvestigation in 2013,but had never madethe findings public oracted on them3.13Black students get anadvantage of 310points on the SATwhile Asian studentsget a disadvantage of1403.14The US should not promotepolicies that discriminatebased on race2.7The 14th Amendmentstates that everyoneshould be treatedequally and prohibitsdiscrimination on thebasis of race3.15Affirmative actionactually hurtsminority students2.8Affirmative action contributesto the so-called "mismatcheffect," where minoritystudents are artificiallyelevated into higher levels offailure3.16According to UCLASchool of Law professorRichard Sander,affirmative action bringsin students that aremore likely to achievepoorly and eventuallydrop out.4.3Black students whostart collegeinterested in pursuinga doctorate and anacademic career aretwice as likely to bederailed from thispath if they attend aschool where they aremismatched.4.4In one analysis, halfof Black collegestudents and a thirdof Hispanic studentsranked in the bottom20% of their classes4.5Only 57% of Blackstudents finishcollege in four yearswhile over 70% ofHispanics, Asians, andWhites finish in fouryears4.6Yes: Colleges shouldpractice affirmative action1.2The US has a duty tocounterbalance historicinequalities2.1Even though slaverywas abolished in1865, de factosegregation is stillpresent in education3.1The median wealth ofWhite families is 6.7xgreater than themedian wealth ofBlack families3.2Racial minorities inAmerica have facedunequalrepresentation anddiscriminationthroughout history,which has made ithard for people ofcolor to rise abovethe poverty line andovercome the subpareducationalopportunities theyreceive in comparisonto their whitecounterparts.3.3Affirmative action may behelpful to alleviatinghistoric inequalities2.2Between 1976 and2008, collegeenrollment of Blackand American Indian/Alaska Nativestudents more thandoubled, and theenrollment ofHispanic studentsincreased sixfold.3.4Today, withoutaffirmative actionprograms, AfricanAmericans wouldmakeup only 2% ofstudents in highereducation3.5Race-based affirmativeaction promotesdiversity better thanincome-based methods2.3Income-basedaffirmative actionmay do little toproduce racialdiversity in schools3.6A Harvard committeefound that race-neutral admissionpractices would leadto less diversestudent bodies3.7We should promotediversity inuniversities2.4Prioritizing diversitybenefits students ofall races3.8Racially integratedclassrooms canreduce students'racial bias, improvesatisfaction andintellectual self-confidence, andenhance leadershipskills4.1Affirmative action haspositive effects on theeducational outcomesand experiences ofcollege students, aswell as on theteaching of facultymembers, accordingto the AmericanAssociation ofUniversity Professors4.2Affirmative actionpolicies such asHarvard's do notunfairly harm AsianAmericans2.5Harvard's percentageof Asian Americanstudents has grownfrom 17% to 21%while AsianAmericansrepresented onlyaround 6% of the USpopulation3.9Professor David Card,a nationallyrecognizedeconomics professor,analyzed Harvard'sadmissions databaseand concluded therewas no discriminationagainst AsianAmericans3.10

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