Thursday, March 29, 2007

Descriptor Plus

The University of Michigan's vehement diversity quest seems like it's taking a step in the right direction. A Daily article today mentions the use of software that analyzes neighborhoods' socioeconomic status and academic competitiveness for consideration in admissions.

There is a strong demographic imbalance in underprivileged schools; actively recruiting from such schools should begin to take care of (1) rectification of social injustices, and (2) diversity. Since these factors correlate with racial backgrounds, it seems like the U has found a partial workaround to "increase diversity" since the banning of affirmative action. It will be interesting to see, via enrollment statistics next year, whether this is a sincere effort at diversifying the incoming class on many levels, or a disingenuous prop used to put a few more black people in the classroom.

The burden of increasing the value of education is shared beyond the University of Michigan though; trying to equal out racial inequalities that permeate every level of American society just by creating a system for admission into college will not work.

There is a separate issue at hand too: The effects of artificially inflating an applicant's score to place them at a "higher-tier" school when they would be a satisfactory fit for a "second-tier" school. I will probably write about that later. This book has been eye-opening.

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