Mismatch at Duke

There’s a news story here about how “Black students at Duke University are angry over a university research paper that found African-American undergraduates at the school are disproportionally more likely to switch from tough majors to easier ones.” The story suggests that many think researchers should keep such unpleasant facts to themselves, but there’s not much in it that denies the truth of the paper’s conclusion. The story also notes that the paper’s findings suggest that “attempts to increase representation [of minorities] at elite universities through the use of affirmative action may come at a cost of perpetuating underrepresentation of blacks in the natural sciences and engineering.” The paper was cited in the amicus brief filed this fall by Stuart Taylor and Richard Sander that makes that point in urging the Court to grant review in Fisher v. University of Texas, a challenge to that school’s use of racial and ethnic preferences in undergraduate admissions (word on the Court’s decision may come today, by the way). 

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