- May 1, 2012
- Reaction score
- Gulf of Mex 26.609, -82.220
NAACP Tries to Kill the Golden Goose
By Robert Weissberg
The last 75 years have seen remarkable civil rights progress. As Jesse Jackson would put it, African-Americans have gone from the outhouse to the White House. Foremost in this campaign has been the NAACP (and its closely aligned Legal Defense Fund). Cataloging this progress might fill an entire library.
The City once tried to make these schools more racially and ethnically diverse while still upholding the law by establishing a pre-high school program limited to blacks and Hispanics. This program was ruled unconstitutional. In the 2012-13 school year, for example, only two percent of the 967 students offered admission to Stuyvesant were African-American.
So, what does the NAACP argue? These tests, it is claimed, are racially discriminatory despite the veneer of objectivity. In their words, the tests are "unjustified, [and have a] racially disparate impact." Moreover, it is asserted that these tests have never been shown to predict a student's academic potential even though many of these schools' graduates go on to distinguished careers (Attorney General Eric Holder is one such graduate). The complaint further adds that diversity suffers from an overwhelmingly white and Asian student body.
Is the NAACP still advancing the African-American civil rights agenda? A little thought will demonstrate the opposite -- if successful, this complaint will make matters worse, especially for poor blacks and Hispanics. Consider the opportunity costs, all the lawyer fees and data-collection -- money that could be better-spent on tutoring smart kids within hailing distance of passing the test. Less obvious, but perhaps of greater long-term consequence, is the tactic of beseeching unelected Washington bureaucrats to reverse laws enacted by a democratically elected state legislature. Surely if the NAACP's argument is as strong as claimed, they should lobby the state legislature in Albany, where the policy can be openly debated. After all, this is far more democratic than seeking a Washington bureaucrat's fatwa. And what if new, less sympathetic bureaucrats come into power if Romney wins? Is this any way to run education?
Want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? Kill off quality public education. And this is exactly what the NAACP is attempting to accomplish. They should find a more promising cause.
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