|Man Without Qualities|
Thursday, February 06, 2003
The Los Angeles Times reports:
By a 2 to 1 majority, Americans approve of President Bush's call to strike down a race-based admissions policy at the University of Michigan and say that students should be judged only on their academic records, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll. However, when given a possible alternative, the respondents say they would support an affirmative action policy that gives a preference to individuals who come from an economically disadvantaged background, regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.
How can this be? The New York Times assured us that the President's position was all smoke and mirrors and deceptive poll questions! The New York Times says that many Americans who say they favor ''affirmative action'' flip sides when asked about ''racial quotas.'' But that doesn't seem to hold up in the light of the Los Angeles Times poll findings: by about two-to-one people just don't like what Michigan is doing, no matter what it's called.
And for those who think that de facto affirmative action can be obtained under the guise of helping the economically disadvantaged, there is something else to keep in mind: recent history has shown that programs which some thought would benefit the "economically underprivileged" across the board don't do that. The big beneficiaries have been Asian Americans.
Yes, the Supreme Court is likely to ban Michigan style affirmnative action. That should increase pressure on the states to actually reform their education systems to focus on education - since the corrupt, racist alternative of not educating too many minority students and then forcing their advancement through higher education and employment by way of "affirmative action" is probably going to be disallowed. What this all really converges to say is that there is no substitute for educating every student. And that means taking on public school teachers and administrators - which, in turn, probably means vouchers. At least if a majority of the Supreme Court agrees with two-thirds of Americans.
Some state supreme courts have held that various provisions of their state constitutions require education reforms such as elimination of property tax financing for public schools. When will those state supreme courts wake up to understand guarantying universal education in modern America require states to create voucher alternatives to schools owned and run by the state?
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