I posted yesterday about the College Board’s decision to add an “adversity score” to applicants as a end-around race-based affirmative action scheme, It Isn’t Race Based Admissions If You Call It Something Else. I saw that Heather Mac Donald over at City-Journal wrote about it as well and did a better job of it. Her post titled Grievance Proxies has the following sub-heading: The College Board plans to introduce a new “adversity score” as a backdoor to racial quotas in college admissions. Here is the critical snippet:
Advocates of this change claim that it is not about race. That is a fiction. In fact, the SAT adversity score is simply the latest response on the part of mainstream institutions to the seeming intractability of the racial academic-achievement gap. If that gap did not exist, the entire discourse about “diversity” would evaporate overnight. The average white score on the SAT (1,123 out of a possible 1,600) is 177 points higher than the average black score (946), approximately a standard deviation of difference. This gap has persisted for decades. It is not explained by socioeconomic disparities. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reported in 1998 that white students from households with incomes of $10,000 or less score better on the SAT than black students from households with incomes of $80,000 to $100,000. In 2015, students with family incomes of $20,000 or less (a category that includes all racial groups) scored higher on average on the math SAT than the average math score of black students from all income levels. The University of California has calculated that race predicts SAT scores better than class.
That is kind of a lot of data but the general gist is that black performance is not tied to affluence and poor students across all races did better on the SAT than black of all income levels. In other words, the issue here is not “income inequality” and the adversity score is intended to shoehorn underperforming black students into schools at the expense of better qualified white and Asian students.
She also points out the elephant in the room, that Asians score much better than whites and drastically better than blacks even though many of them are relatively poor immigrants. Asians also have a shorted history in America and still have leapfrogged other minorities in terms of performance.
So the problem is not what the advocates of the “adversity score” are saying it is and the “solution” won’t change income inequality, it will just serve to increase the number of black students in college at the expense of white and Asian students.
Heather also points out another significant issue, specifically that this process tends to be a dysgenic selection. Families that play by the rules and follow the path that leads to stable families are punished in favor of families that don’t. The more screwed up your family, the better your odds of getting into an elite college!
The College Board’s adversity score will give students a boost for coming from a high-crime, high-poverty school and neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal. Being raised by a single parent will also be a plus factor. Such a scheme penalizes the bourgeois values that make for individual and community success.
The “adversity score” is just the latest attempt to level the disparity field by assuming that the only reason some students do better than others is that they come from “privilege”. Heather’s solution is pretty generic conservative speak: work hard in school, don’t worry about being told you are acting white and have parents that get married and stay married. That would all help a ton but it won’t get to the root issue. The performance on SATs by race mirrors pretty closely IQ by race. There is a certain amount of inherent, genetically inherited natural intellectual ability that no program or changes in culture will fix. As the son of a doctor in an intact family, I had all sorts of advantages in school. Just by being exceptionally intelligent I was able to sleepwalk through school, including college with minimal effort.
When it came to football though, genetics had the opposite effect. In high school I was significantly shorter than average, had a hard time putting on weight so I was lucky to tip the scales at 125 even though I was strong for my size and while I was in great shape and could run forever, I wasn’t especially quick over short distances. All the work and effort in the world wasn’t going to make up for the fact that trying to tackle a running back that was taller than me, quicker than me and outweighed me by 90 pounds almost always ended badly on my end. No one has an issue with me saying that and everyone would agree. Likewise no one worries about black athletes being wildly overrepresented in the NFL and NBA, especially at certain positions in the NFL like running backs, wideouts and d-backs. Raw, inherent athletic ability in certain sports is fine but when you start talking about raw, inherent intelligence as a measure of ability academically? That is how you get banned from social media and lose your job if you are an academic, so most of them just don’t talk about it.
Biological reality is what it is but we are moving rapidly away from even the pretense of looking at the facts and evidence to make decisions. The results are what you would expect and only getting worse.