Phi Beta Cons

Richard Kahlenberg’s Predictable WSJ Article

While many “liberals” are fuming that the Supreme Court will probably revisit the old battlefields of racial preferences now that the Fifth Circuit has declined to rehear Fisher v. Texas, others are trying to capitalize on it by pushing a different approach to “diversity.” One of them is Richard Kahlenberg, who has a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Achieving College Diversity Without Discriminating by Race.” Kahlenberg wants preferences for students from lower socio-economic classes, which he maintains would create better diversity than using racial preferences.

I don’t support that because I think the entire diversity project is misconceived, as I explain in the comment I posted on the WSJ site:

I’m not sure if Kahlenberg has ever been a college professor, but I have. Most professors, certainly those who teach subjects where there is a true body of knowledge to be mastered, are not the least bit interested in diversity. They couldn’t care less about the ancestry of a student, the socio-economic circumstances of his family, his sexual orientation, or any of the other things that “progressives” obsess about. They actually want a homogeneous student body — homogeneous as to academic ability and interest in learning.

The big “progressive” hobby of using government to socially engineer the country to their liking causes a great problem for serious educators, namely that classrooms become increasingly filled with mismatched students who have scant interest in studying. That causes downward pressure on academic standards and grade inflation.

Everyone is unique. We should abandon this folly of trying to make colleges “diverse.”

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

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