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is a catchphrase whose use has been corrupted by politics, businesses, and academic institutions pushing forth their own agendas.It has made national headlines as the subject of Supreme Court cases, yet it is also a matter most often discussed in vague strokes and in closed quarters. The answer is simple: the essence and rationale for affirmative action have been lost, diluted by the very people who made it necessary to implement in the first place.
Since the 60’s, additional attributes have been added to Kennedy’s order (e.g.
sexual orientation) to continue ensuring that no group of people face unjust discrimination.
It was an unplanned, unintentional side-effect of the centuries of injustice. Notwithstanding the de jure end of segregation, de facto segregation hasn’t ceased: reports from the Government Accountability Office show that the percentage of K-12 public schools with high concentrations of black or Hispanic students (75-100%) has increased from 9% to 16% in the past 5 years; these schools also offer disproportionately fewer math, science, and college preparation courses.
Historically, non-whites were concentrated into select neighborhoods.
The best way to end exclusionary practices is to put special policies, like affirmative action, in place to ensure inclusion. In fact, studies comparing class-based affirmative action to race-based affirmative action at elite institutions indicate that in both cases, students are more likely to succeed—to integrate academically, socially, and eventually graduate—than their counterparts who attended less selective schools.
The theory here is that enrolling minorities in schools they would not have attended otherwise leads to failure; a concept sometimes referred to as “mismatch effect.” Arguably, minorities may not be as well equipped for college due to aforementioned disadvantages. Before deeming a student academically incompetent, you should ask whether colleges are providing a safe space with counselling, tutoring, and support for minorities whose needs are unique and different.The most common argument against affirmative action is that it is unequal. The truth is most believers in affirmative action realize that it is intrinsically unequal.It makes a distinction between minorities and non-minorities, but we believe that it’s okay to do so.Schools that served these neighborhoods thus catered almost exclusively to minorities.In the days of lawful segregation, these school districts were under-funded.We don’t want the policy to last forever, but it needs to last until equal opportunity is I’ve already admitted that affirmative action is unequal; however, it is not unfair.To believe that it provides an unfair advantage requires believing that all remnants of discrimination have disappeared, a statement that just isn’t true.One of the most damaging effects, however, was the creation of a gap–more specifically, an educational gap. Minorities were educated in segregated schools well into the 1960’s (contrary to popular belief, African Americans were not the only ones impacted by school segregation—in many parts of the country Mexican-, Asian- and Native Americans were also segregated).This discrepancy in education between whites and minorities was unlikely an explicit rationale for the discrimination, but it happened. Today the segregation of schools is illegal, but education inequality remains a relevant issue.In case someone disagrees, let’s quickly highlight some key examples: Now that we’re all on the same page we can agree that the past was unforgiving, riddled with institutionalized discrimination, and peppered with favoritism for non-minorities.The effects of this past include, unsurprisingly, innumerable futures and lives lost.