Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Missing the Mismatch Forest


Inside Higher Ed today has an article on a paper released Friday by four professors at Duke regarding application of “the controversial ‘mismatch’ theory” to their school. Here is an abstract of the paper. And  here’s the comment I posted:   

All very interesting, but doesn’t this article miss the forest for the trees?  The most important point, found in the last line of the table but not commented on, is this: The first-year GPA for white and Asian students was 3.33 and 3.40, respectively; for black students it was 2.90; for Latinos was 3.13. So the ethnic groups that, in all likelihood, got preferences (look at the rest of the table) did substantially worse than the ethnic groups that did not (e.g., a half-point gap between blacks and Asians). Sounds like confirmation of “the controversial ‘mismatch’ theory” to me. (This is not news, of course: The Shape of the River acknowledged that African Americans at selective schools on average had a class rank in the 23rd percentile, versus the 53rd percentile for whites; the Center for Equal Opportunity’s studies over the years have found similar gaps.)


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