Should Harvard admit fewer black people?

If Harvard admitted students based on the applicant scoring in the top decile of test scores + HS performance, they'll barely admit black people.

'Laolu Samuel-Biyi
Should Harvard admit fewer black people?

If Harvard admitted students based on the applicant scoring in the top decile of (test scores + HS performance), the racial/ethnic composition of its freshman class would be expected to change as follows: White -6% Black -94% Hispanic -82% Asian +108%

— REBUTTAL EXPERT REPORT OF PETER S. ARCIDIACONO | Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard

I saw the comment and report above on Facebook and found it interesting. It was followed by this question:

If Kenyans can be predisposed to running fast (Kenyans win ~80% of major marathons globally) why can Indians or even a smaller group--Tamils--be better at Math?

— Facebook Comment

My Answer:

Higher stakes. The implications will probably be less weighty if the starting line is different based on race for athletic championships. Nonetheless, I only believe in affirmative action if the benefiting group is systematically disadvantaged (e.g women in tech/finance).

Where everyone has the same resources (like Earth to train for marathons) and the opportunity to compete, I don’t believe it’s necessary. For that reason, I don’t believe in affirmative action for school admissions, neither do I stand for standardized tests as a leveling mechanism. I’m not sure if there are alternative testing criteria that can fairly judge potential while being racially blind. Until we get a such a test that has similar pass rates across all races, we’re making a weird biological conclusion!

No one can say “men are better at coding than women”; therefore, affirmative action is justified if women are propped up in the field. Likewise, until we can definitely prove that Asians are biologically smarter than everyone else (they probably are, TBH), affirmative action in admissions is fair.

That was my immediate response, then someone commented and shared this video, where Jordan B Peterson spoke about Equality of Outcome vs. Opportunity and explained why the public needs to respect the “hierarchy of competence”, or face dangerous consequences.

The argument in the video made sense and I agree with it. It changed my perspective on the issue quite a bit. My reviewed take is now that we need to be sure that methodologies used for determining the “hierarchy of competence” are solid.

For example, if it’s definitively proven that the GMAT test score is the best predictor of competence in the medical practice (i.e, having given average scorers the same quality training and compared performance over time), then only the top GMAT scorers should get into the best med-schools, even if they’re all from Australia.

If that’s the case with test scores and college performance, then Harvard should indeed proceed to double their Asian intake and recruit almost no black people. Black people then need to step back and fix/fight the issues that are affecting their test score performance: bad quality high schools, broken and low-income homes etc. The community should seek to fix it from the source rather than attempt to legislate representation at the top.

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