Monday, January 08, 2007

Model Minorities, Niggas and U.C. Berkley

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I have some homies that think that if you work hard enough you can achieve anything. I agree.

However, I also know that having a Montessori Elementary education gives a student an unparalled advantage in our modern world.


I often think about what it means to be a model minority who is interested in education. I think about what it would take for the rural folks, the urban folks and the folks in between to care about how ALL CHILDREN WERE EDUCATED, not just their own.


Sunday Times has an education life article on the number of Asian Americans @ Cal.

You see. I love the fact that there are so many Asian folks at Cal, because it forces people to talk about quotas, model minorities and affirmative action w/o Black people being @ the center of the debate.

The oft-cited goal of a public university is to be a microcosm — in this case, of the nation’s most populous, most demographically dynamic state — and to enrich the educational experience with a variety of cultures, economic backgrounds and viewpoints.

But 10 years after California passed Proposition 209, voting to eliminate racial preferences in the public sector, university administrators find such balance harder to attain. At the same time, affirmative action is being challenged on a number of new fronts, in court and at state ballot boxes. And elite colleges have recently come under attack for practicing it — specifically, for bypassing highly credentialed Asian applicants in favor of students of color with less stellar test scores and grades.


While the article states that Affirmative Action has a neutral effect on White applicants. I would like to see the statistics that support this statement. There is a distinction b/w being a minority and and underrepresented minority.

University administrators and teachers use anguished words to describe what has happened since.

“I’ve heard from Latinos and blacks that Asians should not be considered a minority at all,” says Elaine Kim, a professor of Asian-American studies at Berkeley. “What happened after they got rid of affirmative action has been a disaster — for blacks and Latinos. And for Asians it’s been a disaster because some people think the campus has become all-Asian.”

What? Quotas @ Cal. Seems to me like, Affirmative Action.

I wonder what White Parents of college bound age kids think ab
out the Asian presence at Cal? Do they think that the number of Asian students should be limited? I would imagine that some feel that those slots awarded to the approximate 100 matriculated Black and Latino freshman students whose test scores and g.p.a are far below "Cal's Standards" shouldn't be admitted.

What I find interesting is the lack of attention paid to legacy students.

But back to the equal opportunity. Of course Cal is a pure meritocracy. So what if some people don't have access to AP tests and SAT tutors. Everyone has same opportunity right? Thats what my friend thinks.
“I really challenge this idea of a pure meritocracy,” says Mr. Liu, who runs mentoring programs that grew out of his book “Guiding Lights: How to Mentor and Find Life’s Purpose.” Until all students — from rural outposts to impoverished urban settings — are given equal access to the Advanced Placement classes that have proved to be a ticket to the best colleges, then the idea of pure meritocracy is bunk, he says. “They’re measuring in a fair way the results of an unfair system.”

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Go Model Minorities!

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4 comments:

Big Walt said...

In the current educational climate, only two things set one public high school apart from another

1. Access to external resources

2. Integration of external resources into the curriculum

I came out of one of the worst high schools in the county, and were it not for me taking basically all my classes at a local college there's no fucking way I would have accomplished anything.

Schools like my own that are arrogant enough to assume that they can compete with private schools in terms of academic quality and class offerings are dooming their students that don't have an educated background (which I do, sort of) to be non-competitive with basically anybody.

And the two factors I mentioned also seem to go hand in hand. The schools with no built in structure for external input also seem to be the worst at utilizing them.

Either way, the biggest obstacle is schools being based on a communities tax base. The per capita income in Dansville, Michigan is like 16 thou, and moreover there just ain't that many people here. Obviously people in the burbs be like "I don't want my money to go to educate other people's kids blah blah blah."

This is the basic problem in America.

Hummingbyrd said...

Either way, the biggest obstacle is schools being based on a communities tax base. The per capita income in Dansville, Michigan is like 16 thou, and moreover there just ain't that many people here. Obviously people in the burbs be like "I don't want my money to go to educate other people's kids blah blah blah."

This is the basic problem in America.
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Damn. Walt came out the cuts w/ this analysis.

I allways like to see you shine fam.

Perfect Storm said...

Also, another issue with access is that the state, which sets the minimal standards for education, is not really in the business of preparing kids for college.

We already know the strong correlation between degree attainment and future salary, but the state standards are such that any reputable, much less Ivy-League, university is not even trying to admit you based on these meager standards.

For example, the math required for any H.S. senior to graduate with a local diploma is just basic algebra and geometry. And for that exam and diploma, you only need to pass with a 55(!) that is scaled(!!).

In competitive schools, most kids do the same math in the 8th grade!!

Talk about a disparity.

Miss Ahmad said...

asians have been throwing off the curve at cal for years and years. the fact that you can start at laney (local community college) and transfer to cal (berkeley) makes it easier and easier for lower income asians to gain a higher education.

for many i know who have graduated from cal they complain that although berkeley has been hailed the melting pot of the bay that campus isn't...

the cultural climate at cal suffers...leaving students to remain in their own microcosms and miss out on an opportunity to mix and melt..

i sure do miss those parties at the bear's lair though:-)

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