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That achievement gaps persist in college is often cited as proof that this idea is correct.In other words, if black students with lower SAT scores than their white peers also receive worse grades in college, or more often switch into “easier” majors, then surely they were less college-ready to begin with.This expectation is not unfounded; research consistently shows that bias still exists today in the education system.
These results suggest that students’ psychological environment plays a large role in both their grades and major selections.
Another aspect of the psychological environment we target with experimental exercises is the expectation of many black and Latino students that they will be treated differently in academic environments than white students.
In reading the many articles in the Affirmative Action packet and viewing the film "Beyond Black and White: Affirmative Action in America" one can see many views on the subject.
Both sides of affirmative action seem to be the right one until the other viewpoint is looked at.
If these modest exercises to reduce psychological strain in the academic environment can have such a powerful effect on the performance and engagement of students of color, without changing anything about their knowledge or credentials, it cannot be simply a lack of ability or preparation holding back these students’ achievement.
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Instead, this extensive body of research suggests that academic outcome measures such as test scores and grades habitually underestimate the ability of students of color, and instead often reflect the presence of threat in their environment—both before and during college.Justice Scalia, along with the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation and others, continue to present this hypothesis as fact even though the primary evidence for this argument has been called into serious question by many scientists.At the core of this argument is the idea that schools with race-conscious admissions policies give preference to students of color over white students even though they are objectively less qualified, as evidenced by lower average pre-college test scores and grades.One psychological strain faced by students of color that we study in our experiments is stereotype threat.Decades of science has shown that pervasive stereotypes of certain identity groups as less intelligent or less capable in academics often lead students of these groups to worry that they could be judged through the lens of these negative stereotypes.Another good point made on the pro side of affirmative action is that by offering a certain number of jobs to minorities only, in turn creates diversity within the workplace.By moving minorities into the mainstream of society, the stigmas and racial prejudices that people have will soon be eliminated by the simple fact of interaction.I, myself, if had to pick pro or con, would be torn between the two, because to me it seems like both point of views have a justifiable cause and make a reasonable argument.First, in discussing the pro side of affirmative action there are many positive and meaningful reasons as to why this policy should exist.To put it another way: Let’s imagine that we strap a 15-pound weight to a runner’s back during her qualifying race. The lazy solution—the “mismatch” solution—would be to keep the weight on her back and assign the runner to a slower heat where she might be able to win, despite the extra weight.Most would probably agree, however, that the real solution is to remove the weight and assign the runner to the faster heat that matches her true ability level.