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... comparison to those offered to the white population. The United States is a competitive economy, and economic success is dependent on productivity. Productivity is most commonly a result of knowledge, education, and upbringing.
Children primarily gain these qualities from parents. Therefore, children with parents of poor income and limited education will be at a disadvantage. The poor, limited educational opportunities offered to blacks during post-slavery years just recently ceased to affect the latter-born generations. Also, because of past treatment minority communities are often of a lower quality. This further influences the child's limited ability to increase her / his human capital. Most importantly, though, society has control over the education that minority students receive.
The unequal education offered to minority children is often a result of the unequal access to educational resources, such as quality teachers and an appropriate curriculum. Minority baby boomers were educated in segregated school systems where the funding was considerably lower, and thus where educational standards were inferior. The effectiveness of affirmative action, however, has been proven through the observance of SAT scores; those of African Americans have climbed fifty-four points between 1976 and 1994, as white students's cores hardly fluctuated. (Curry, p. 141) Through the analysis of school finance cases in various states, it was found that schools serving large populations of minority students were under financed on nearly every level (Mills, p. 113). According to the 1991 report to Congress by Taylor and Price, Inequitable systems of school finance inflict disproportionate harm on minority and economically disadvantaged students.
On an inter-state basis, such students are concentrated in states, primarily in the South, that have the lowest capacities to finance public education. On an intra-state basis, many of the states with the widest disparities in educational expenditures are large industrial states. In these states, many minorities and economically disadvantaged students are located in property-poor urban districts that fare the worst in educational expenditures. (Curry, p. 163) Jonathan Kozol's studies discovered that public schools accommodating students of color in an urban setting, on the average, spend half as much as similar schools in suburbs for children with special needs. Studies have shown that factors influencing student achievement include school size, class size, curriculum, and the qualification of teachers. Studies further indicate that minority students are less likely than white students to receive these resources. () According to Oakes, a University of California-Los Angeles professor, and Orfield, a Harvard professor, in multi-racial schools minority students are often placed in lower level courses of larger class size, along with less qualified teachers and a lower quality curriculum. It has been concluded that differences in teacher qualification and class size are just as, if not more, influential than the influence of parents and family life (Thomson, p. 114).
A Tennessee study of elementary schools found that minority students are twice as likely to be assigned to the least effective and least qualified teacher (Thomson, p. 117). The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future found that new teachers who were hired without certification were assigned to teach underprivileged, often minority students who required expertise instruction. Research has concluded that although grades and test scores may be up to par, black students are often assigned to simpler, less competitive, often non-academic courses. Through the analy zation of various studies, the High School and Beyond Surveys and the National Educational Longitudinal Surveys have shown that minority and white students who take similar courses consistently perform similarly. According to Robert Dreeben of the University of Chicago, high-ability minority students in the first grade who performed considerably inferior to their white counterparts are experiencing the detrimental results of an unqualified instructor (Taylor, p. 63).
In many instances, affirmative action has shown its positive impact on the lives of students across the nation. Rene A. Redwood writes, "Because of my junior-high-school counselor's commitment to inclusion and a private prep school's effort to reach out to students from different backgrounds, I went on to a high-quality undergraduate education at Tufts University. " In addition to this, many prestigious educational institutions claim that affirmative action has helped them recruit highly successful minority students (Taylor, p. 110). Many feel the most horrendous results of affirmative action, and therefore the primary reason why it should be stopped, are quotas.
Quotas sanction a predetermined number of jobs and educational opportunities for specific races, similar to a racial reservation. Many people's views indicate that quotas were established because leaders were insincere when providing equal opportunity. In fact, the National Alliance for the Advancement of Colored People never endorsed quotas, which were unnecessary until corporate and municipal leaders were unwilling to uphold the spirit of affirmative action (Taylor, p. 147). A famous quote is often stated by affirmative action advocates, "Affirmative Action is good for America.
Quotas are illegal" (Taylor, p. 154). Others believe that quotas are necessary because of the intense opposition to affirmative action, and therefore courts must, though rarely, establish temporary conditions to correct the violation of affirmative action legislations. When a court must mandate quotas, however, it is usually because employers are guilty on heavy counts of discrimination. Affirmative action has accomplished a great deal in the few decades it has been implemented.
It has made extraordinary impacts on the work force, especially pertaining to the inclusion of minorities in society. Initially, it was gravely needed because of the failure to sustain the employment of minority workers. Because many have just recently come into the workforce, the "last hired, first fired" policy is a common reason that many are kept unemployed (Altschiller, p. 212). Affirmative action has also inspired internships and other work programs to connect the work force with education, therefore further easing the often-difficult transition. Evidence that affirmative action has greatly increased the amount of minority workers in occupation was discovered when Benjamin Hooks, executive director of the National Alliance for the Advancement of Colored People, concluded that affirmative action policies are responsible for the increase in number of minority politicians, doctors, and lawyers (Altschiller, p. 273). One of the most effective measures of affirmative action in this area is the requirement of government contractors to make goals and timetables exclusively for the purpose of hiring minorities, taking into consideration minority ratio in the job pool of a particular market.
All affirmative action candidates agree that the access to society and the job market of minorities must stay open, even if legal provisions are necessary for it to be upheld. It is evident in many cases that affirmative action has raised the standard of living for many minorities. It is shown that affirmative action is responsible for the exceptional growth of the African-American middle class. From 1970 - 1987, "the percentage of black families earning more than $ 25, 000 /year increased 8 %, " according to the United States Census Bureau (Curry, p. 212). Many believe the white race created race / class correlation. This is evident according to the Kerner Commission; "white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto.
White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it and white society condones it" (Curry, p. 213). In addition to education, affirmative action also brings a greatly diversified view to many professions. Because of certain ethnic backgrounds, young minority doctors are "more likely to be knowledgeable of and sympathetic towards the economic, social, and cultural needs of minority patients; more likely to pursue careers especially relevant to the needs of such patients and far more likely than physicians from other groups to practice in undeserved minority communities" (Mills, p. 138). Also, a black lawyer can bring valid, though different qualifications that would have otherwise been overlooked by our justice system. When Proposition 209, legislation abolishing affirmative action, was legalized in California, professors at all University of California campuses were prepared for protest actions. Such activities included teach-ins, rallies, and seminars in disagreement with the state's decision.
Much similar, highly protested legislation are being reviewed in numerous states around the country such as Ohio, Arizona, New Jersey, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon, Florida, and Washington. Anti-affirmative action proponents are battling this, using statewide ballot initiatives, lawsuits, and federal legislation (Taylor, p. 203). Landmark lawsuits are taking place in Washington and Michigan over admissions policies, and affirmative action has proposed heated debate. For these stated reasons, affirmative action continues to be necessary for minorities to achieve equal opportunity in the work force, education, and society. If abolished, minorities would suffer in innumerable different aspects, as previously demonstrated.
Words Count: 3, 010. Bibliography: Altschiller, Donald. Ed. Affirmative Action. New York: H.
W. Wilson Company, 1991. Curry, George E. Ed. The Affirmative Action Debate. Reading: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. , 1996.
Ezorsky, Gertrude. Racism & Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991. Glendon, Mary Ann.
Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse. New York: The Free Press, 1991. Mills, Nicolaus, ed. Debating Affirmative Action: Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Inclusion. New York: Dell Publishing, 1994.
Taylor, Jared. Paved with Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. , 1992. Thomson, Judith Jarvis. The Realm of Rights. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990.
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Research essay sample on University Of California Affirmative Action