July 31, 2006

Watch these SCOTUS matters

So tells us Roger Clegg:

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights heard important testimony on Friday — two witnesses arguing that social science evidence shows that racial balancing in K-12 classrooms has important educational benefits, and two saying that such evidence is lacking (see here and here). The testimony is very timely, since the Supreme Court has granted review in a pair of cases, one from Seattle and one from Louisville, that raise the question whether racial preferences in student assignments to ensure such balance is constitutional. It seems dubious that social science could ever justify racial discrimination; certainly if there is a division of opinion among social scientists such discrimination cannot be justified.

As Hube and I noted previously, the always-nebulous notion of "diversity" actually shows little to no educational benefits. The noteworthy National Association of Scholars study (mainly in reaction to the Michigan affirmative action case) can be seen here. In addition, keep in mind what Hube noted almost a year ago: It (diversity) didn't raise the academic standards of the intended beneficiaries in northern Delaware, or in the famous Kansas City case.

If by "educational benefits" diversity proponents mean "socialization," that's actually an entirely different matter, and hopefully judges won't be fooled. I'm sure there are some decent arguments to be made for "diversity," but better educational performance (or "benefits") doesn't seem to be one of them.

Posted by Felix at July 31, 2006 07:11 PM | TrackBack

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