High School Grades Vs. Affirmative Action Essay

High School Grades Vs. Affirmative Action Essay

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This puts a lot of stress on students when a single test has the ability to “make or break” them, and the effect magnified in students who already have testing anxiety. Minority students are the most affected by the focus on standardized testing; statistically, they have lower test scores (Niu & Tienda 49). “An important policy lesson concerns the disproportionate emphasis on standardized tests in college admissions despite growing evidence that high school grades are stronger predictors of college success” (Niu & Tienda 65).
A concern of both affirmative action and Top X% plans is the possibility that the best student candidates are overlooked for various reasons such as race or high school attended. Under affirmative action policies like that of the University of Michigan, a minority could receive a significant racial boost, placing them higher on the admissions list than a more intelligent student. The Texas 10% plan “did not lead to the admission of ill-prepared students” (Fletcher & Mayer 181). Texas students who graduated within the top 30% of their high school class remained unaffected by the policy change (Niu & Tienda 64). “There is tentative evidence that students who graduate at the top of their high school classes generally perform well in college… because of their strong motivation to excel” (Niu & Tienda 46). Tienda and Niu also found no evidence that students were seeking out-of-state options because of supposed overcrowding at Texas universities (45). A main success of the Texas Top 10% plan is that it targeted various groups by a design dependent on high school economic status. The amount of resources a high school is allocated greatly affects the performance of its students. Because all high schools receive the ...


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...eity of high schools positively affects the potential effectiveness of percentage plans within the system.
In a perfect world, we would not need to rely on complex systems to ensure everyone has an equal chance at higher education. If we must use said systems, we should try to make them as fair and effective as possible. As evident in old United States affirmative action court cases, unfair policies were sometimes implemented. Texas, alongside other states across America, sought alternatives they hoped would enrich diversity. Sadly, the majority of these programs were unable to sustain the healthy amounts of diversity the universities once knew. The future American education system would benefit greatly if universities across the nation adopted Israel’s comprehensive plan. Not only would racial diversity be cultivated, but geographic and economic diversity as well.

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