Tuesday, April 12

Affirmative Action shows reduced performance and no critical mass effect

I have kept on banging on about the stupidity of Affirmative Action as is known in the USA and reservations in India. Thankfully, this idiotic and intellectually incoherent argument doesnt get much thrift in the UK despite the efforts of so many politicians to push for social engineering plans like this. But here’s another example of the damage this stupid policy does. I quote:


In the Grutter case, Justice O’Connor suggested that universities could justifiably try to enroll a “critical mass” of minority students. Enroll fewer than that “critical mass,” reason some observers, and minority students will feel too marginalized to perform at their highest levels. In this article, we test whether minority students perform better with other students from their ethnic group in a class or school. To do so, we assemble data on the ethnicity and performance of each student in all classes at two law schools – for three years at one, and for 16 years at the other. Although these schools enrolled a smaller fraction of African-Americans than most law schools, they are located in states with a much smaller fraction of African-Americans than in the United States as a whole. There is also a large amount of variation in the percent African-American across classes. At these schools, we find no consistent evidence that having additional students from one's ethnic group raises a student's performance. Instead, we find some evidence that having additional ethnic peers lowers performance – albeit by a very small amount.

Research highlights

► Adding more minority students to a class or school does not raise minority grades. ► For raw data, adding African-Americans to a class may lower their average grade. ► Some regressions suggest adding African-Americans to a class may hurt A-A performance. ► There is no evidence to support Justice O’Connor's claim of a “critical mass” effect.

Here you go, another nail in the coffin then. When will people learn that you have to make sure discrimination ends rather than push positive discrimination which ends up decaying and impacting the overall pie. In this particular case, the professions are seriously hit. Would you want your doctor or Lawyer or Architect or or or to be appointed on the basis of their qualifications or their skin colour? Bah!

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