by John Hawkins | August 27, 2002 11:05 pm
Help Black Kids Succeed Instead Of Changing The Definition Of Success: This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the thought process of so many people who claim to support “civil rights” these days…
“State scholarships based on merit – those that go to students based solely on academic achievement – are widening the gap between white and minority college students, according to the head of Harvard University’s Civil Rights Project. Gary Orfield, a co-director of Harvard’s Civil Rights Project, was quoted as saying that scholarships based on merit usually go to (white) students who can afford college without the extra financial help….Critics of merit-based scholarships say financial help should not go to people who already are succeeding. According to wire reports, Orfield’s study recommends that the definition of “merit” be expanded so more minorities will benefit.”
That is exactly the wrong mentality to have. If minority students are not getting as many merit based scholarships as they should then the solution is not to change the “definition of merit”, it’s to figure out how to help more minority students improve their performance so that they qualify.
Lowering standards for minorities helps absolutely no one. Whites resent it and if you’re black, you’ll always wonder if you would have been good enough to get your merit based scholarship if you were white. In effect, Orfield’s suggestion would be the equivalent of putting an asterisk beside the name of every black kid who won a “merit based scholarship.” That’s not fair to the white kids who’d get cheated out of a scholarship they deserve because of their race or the black kids whose performance would be an open question because of lowered standards. We need to make every effort to have a color blind society and this sort of thing take us in the opposite direction.
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