A Real Problem, the Wrong SolutionEdit
I believe that many of this nation's poor children are not afforded the same quality education as are children of a higher economic class. Often times, these children are minorities; however, while these problems are real, the current affirmative action program is not the solution. Programs that give aid or admissions preference based on race are flawed because there is the possibility (and not as remote as many would think) of giving a wealthy African American who went to a good high school admittance preference over a poor non-minority who attended a lesser high school. More effective would be giving need-based aid and admissions preference based strictly on economic status, a truly color-blind system. Many states have begun enacting top ten percent programs in which the top ten percent from any high school in that state are guaranteed certain scholarships and admission to state schools. This method of correcting the educational gap rewards hard working students at different level schools and does not make a blanket race discrimination. The states are beginning to move towards these types of programs and in doing so are following the guidance of the U.S. Supreme Court who struck down the use of racial quotas.
Redress for past grievances, or turning the tables?Edit
The fact is, affirmative action is about giving added opportunity to a select group of minorities, to the detriment of the majority and the non-select minorities. It is discrimination at its core, and maintains the status quo in racial issues instead of directing the country to be truly equal.
So what are some solutions that can be used to reform the current Affirmative Action laws that would continue to help the disadvantaged, while preventing abuse?
One of the weaknesses identifed above is the possibility of giving an unfair advantage to a black youth who comes from a good school. Should school rankings be used to prevent this, giving the advantage automatically to the student from the lower ranked school?
The description of the top ten percent programs in some states doesn't solve the problem, because it leaves 90% of the students struggling for their future opportunities. What can we do to give opportunity to 100% of the students? Is that a worthy goal?
- Equal Opportunity for all. Equal not being better, nor worse, than every one else. If you want something, you'll have to earn it. This requires, however, equal opportunity to primary and secondary education. Many children do not get an equal education, and this is hardest hurdle to overcome.