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The Kids Are Alright (and All Right)



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On September 20, the National Research Center for College and University Admissions released the results of a recent survey it had completed on the attitudes of high school students toward diversity and affirmative action. The survey was quite interesting, but it has gotten little attention in the MSM (and the NRCCUA itself tried to downplay what was most interesting). The bottom line is that high school students are willing to say that diversity is important, but they sure don’t think it justifies racial or ethnic discrimination. Specifically:

***74 percent believe colleges and universities do use race, ethnicity, or religious background as an admission factor (that’s true, certainly for race and ethnicity)

***82 percent say it is not fair to do so (87 percent of whites, 77 percent of Asians, 76 percent of African Americans, and 75 percent of Latinos)

***53 percent said that this lowers admission standards (that’s true, too)

***74 percent say this affects the way minority students feel about themselves (seems likely)

***78 percent say this affects the way nonminority students feel about minority students (absolutely)

***And my favorite: 56 percent “believe adults over-emphasize the importance of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and related issues.”


The NRCCUA tries to argue that students don’t really understand what affirmative action is or how it is used. On the contrary: They see the naked emperor. For instance, the NRCCUA may be horrified that a plurality defines “affirmative action” as quotas, with African Americans most likely to make this equation, but the kids are all right.



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