Phi Beta Cons

Beating Up on a Straw Man

Inside Higher Ed today has a piece on the research of a professor of higher education (I was not aware that that was a field of knowledge) at NYU, who wants “to counter the ‘blaming the victim’ mentality” wherein people “assume black enrollment declines suggest a lack of merit by black students.” 
Fixating on enrollment declines or advances by groups is a leftist preoccupation. If any non-leftist thinks about the fact that black enrollment at U Cal went down after Prop 209 at all, he’s likely to believe that it reflects a more accurate placement of students according to their individual abilities, not a generalized conclusion about the merits of black students.  
A howler at the end of the piece. Newsweek columnist Ellis Cose is quoted as saying, apropos of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on “affirmative action,” that the decisions mean “we don’t care what social scientists think.”   

That’s right, because the Court is supposed to apply the Constitution, not make policy according to the ideas of social scientists.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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