The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

The Dangers of California's ACA 5

Michelle Liou

Posted on September 4, 2020 04:23

2 users

What are the facts behind Proposition 209 and what are the dangers of California’s ACA 5?

The California Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5, otherwise known as ACA 5, is a ballot proposition asking California voters to repeal Proposition 209 in the California State Constitution. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Proposition 209 prevents discrimination by race, gender, ethnicity, or national origin in the government and higher education.

The main controversy today is that there is a lack of "diversity" in top universities like UCLA. Many Californians have attributed this decline of minorities in UCs to Proposition 209 and have called for its repeal since 2019. However, ACA 5 will ultimately take away the benefits of Prop. 209, harm the academic performance of minority students in colleges, and usher back a system of discrimination.

Before Proposition 209, many UCs (California's public university systems) had very few black honor students. After the passing of Proposition 209, the percentage of black honor students increased dramatically. For example, at the University of San Diego, there was one only black student with a GPA of 3.5 or better out of a class of 3,268 students before Prop. 209. Two years following the proposition, more than 20% of the black freshman had a GPA of 3.5 or better. Additionally, for the first time since 1998, the UCSD report found that there was not a substantial difference in GPA based on ethnicity. Similarly, research into the UC system has shown that Proposition 209 increased minority students' GPAs, graduation rates, and rates of majoring in science or engineering. The researchers correlated the 18% increase in graduation rates to the fact that minorities were getting placed into better-fitted schools. 

By repealing Prop. 209, ACA 5 will remove its benefits and create more issues by increasing the chance of student mismatch and displacement in college admissions. 

When students are accepted into a university because of their race and without regard to how well they fit in with the school, they don't perform as well. A report from Duke University summarizes this idea: "Affirmative action in admissions leads to underrepresented minorities being admitted to colleges with entering credentials that are lower than their non-minority counterparts … As a result, minority students are likely to achieve lower grades and are less likely to graduate than their non-minority counterparts." 

Furthermore, affirmative action policies are empirically proven displace deserving candidates. For example, Harvard's affirmative action policy created a quota system for Asian Americans, where the percentage of enrolled Asian freshmen each year lay around strictly 20%. Consequently, many Asian Americans were possibly snubbed from entry to Harvard despite having better test scores, grades, and extracurriculars than other applicants. If ACA 5 passes, colleges will disregard the academic performances of students and will instead take into account skin color to achieve "campus diversity." 

With the California state senate agreeing to place the proposed amendment on the 2020 November ballot, the future of the UC admissions system and Californian civil rights lies in the voters' hands.

Michelle Liou

Posted on September 4, 2020 04:23

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: WashPost

A look at his views on public funding for religious education, affirmative action, and more.

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest