Richard Sander: Standing up to Deceit in University Admissions

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn reportedly once said, “One man who stopped lying could bring down a tyranny.”

Although admissions policy at American universities is not quite tyranny, it is surrounded by much deceit. In standing up to the deceit, one man has been more important and courageous than all others  And if the deceit is ever brought down, that man will deserve most of the credit. His name is Richard Sander.

Born in Washington, D.C., Sander spent most of his childhood in small towns in northwest Indiana. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1978 from Harvard, he–like Barack Obama–began work as a community organizer in South Side Chicago. 

Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

In 1983, he entered graduate school at Northwestern University, receiving his law degree in 1988 and a PhD in economics in 1990.  In 1989, he joined the faculty at UCLA’s school of law.   

After arriving at UCLA, he soon he noticed–and was very pleased by–the racial diversity of its law school.  As he wrote in his book, Mismatch:

During my years in graduate school, Chicago and its communities had passed through some dramatic events (some of them memorably recounted in Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams from My Father), but the university and my overwhelmingly white classmates seemed largely sealed off from the city. UCLA Law School felt very different. Nearly half of the student body, along with many of the faculty, were non-white; student organizational life was vibrant, and many students spent their precious free time engaged with pro bono organizations in Los Angeles neighborhoods. Classroom discussions reflected the diversity of the students, though not in a particularly self-conscious way.  Cross-racial interaction was ubiquitous and cross-racial friendships were common. After the racial tensions of Chicago and the sequestration of Northwestern, UCLA seemed too good to be true. Of course, in a sense, it was. Like a hundred fictional travelers to new worlds that seemed at first to be utopias, I was gradually to discover that the law school had some disturbing hidden secrets.

One discovery was that race was closely linked to law school performance. Almost all classes other than seminars used anonymous grading, but after grades were turned in, professors could get a “matching sheet” that linked exam numbers to names. After my very first semester I was struck that my Hispanic, black, and American Indian students were mostly getting Cs in a class in which the median grade was a B-. The pattern repeated the next semester–including even students who had impressed me in class. Puzzled, I asked a senior colleague about the pattern. Oh yes, she replied, shaking her head. The minority students come in with weaker preparation. It was a tough problem.

Partly because of his training in economics and statistics, Sander was soon asked to be a technical adviser to the law school admissions committee. After analyzing its data, he learned that there indeed was a stark difference between the preparation levels of different racial groups. For instance, the law school had created an index that combined information about an applicant’s LSAT score, his undergraduate grades, and the difficulty of his college. Whites were essentially guaranteed acceptance if they had a score of 820 or higher on the index and guaranteed rejection if they had a score of 760 or lower. For African Americans and American Indians, however, the corresponding numbers were 620 and 550. Thus, for a 140-point range (620 to 760), a student would certainly be admitted if he were black yet certainly be rejected if he were white.

Although the gap in preparation was generally unknown to the students, the gap in classroom performance, as Sander discovered, was well known. As he notes:

Once, when a student told me about his courseload, I observed that he was in a lot of tough classes graded on mandatory curves. That was true, he responded, but a couple of them were “safeties.” I asked him what that meant. A little embarrassed, he said that was a term for a class that had enough black and Hispanic students to absorb the low grades on the curve. His remark was breathtakingly cynical–and an oversimplification too. (The correlation between race and grades was by no means perfect.) But it was hard to blame him, and I gradually learned that many students thought in those terms.

Sander began to believe that his discoveries were manifestations of a concept that economist Thomas Sowell has dubbed the “mismatch” effect. According to the effect, if students are less prepared for a particular level of instruction–which occurs almost by design with affirmative action–then, not only do they make worse grades than their peers, they actually learn less than they would have if they had attended a less challenging school.  

Eventually, Sander gained access to a large data set constructed by the Law School Admissions Council. After analyzing the data, he wrote his findings in an article, “A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools,” which he published in the Stanford Law Review. Later, he published additional findings in his book, Mismatch.

His findings were stunning. For instance, 53% of black students in his data set never passed the bar exam and thus failed to become lawyers. By contrast, only 17% of the white students failed to become lawyers. Thus, the black-white gap, 36%, is quite large.  

Sander estimated, however, that if law schools would eliminate racial preferences–thus eliminating the mismatch effect–then the black-white gap would fall to about 13%. That is, about two thirds of the gap would disappear.

Sanders’ findings hit a nerve. As he would soon witness, proponents of racial preferences would launch a feverish attack against his findings and him personally.  

One instance occurred at the Stanford Law Review. After its editors decided to publish his article, word began to spread among law professors, and some wrote the Review, urging its editors to withdraw their decision to publish Sander’s article. Eventually, after the administration of the Stanford Law School intervened, the editors agreed to a compromise. They would publish Sander’s article, but hold a competition in which researchers would be invited to submit critiques of Sander’s work. However, if a scholar submitted an essay that mostly supported Sander’s work, it would be disqualified from the competition.  

At several law schools, Sander was invited to present his results. However, unlike the usual speech or seminar, Sander’s presentation would always be followed by another speaker, who would explain why Sander was wrong. 

The general idea,” wrote Sander, “seemed to be that [my results] were too explosive or too dangerous to be presented without some filtering, some sanitizing process.” For instance, for an event at Harvard, Sander spent the day traveling from Los Angeles to Boston. However, once he arrived, he learned that the person scheduled to critique his work would not be able to attend. Sander suggested that her time could be filled with a longer question-and-answer session. However, the event organizer smiled apologetically and explained that the entire event would have to be canceled.

At times, the critiques were outright lies. As Sander notes:

One law school in New York held a well-publicized event that drew an audience of some two hundred faculty and students. After I spoke about “Systemic Analysis,” the school’s admissions director rose and said that none of my findings applied to this law school. At this law school, he said, students of all races earned the same grades and had the same rate of success on the bar. I, of course, had no way to respond to these claims; my data came from databases that did not identify individual schools. But at dinner afterward another administrator leaned over with a confidential smile and said, “I hope [the admissions director] didn’t nettle you too much. He just made all that stuff up to placate our students.”




Source: Breitbart Feed

Obama: ‘The World Is Less Violent Than It Has Ever Been’

In response to ISIS Issues Rules for a New Islamic Caliphate:

Meanwhile, on a different planet, the president told Tumblr users, Wednesday,  that the world has never been less violent or more tolerant than it is right now.

You guys are fed a lot of cynicism every single day about how nothing works and big institutions stink and government is broken. And so you channel a lot of your passion and energy into various private endeavors.  But this country has always been built both through an individual initiative, but also a sense of some common purpose. And if there’s one message I want to deliver to young people like a Tumblr audience is, don’t get cynical. Guard against cynicism. I mean, the truth of the matter is that for all the challenges we face, all the problems that we have, if you had to be — if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you’d choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been.

Unreal.

Not to be cynical or anything – but do you think maybe the people of Iraq, Christians throughout the Middle East, soccer fans in Brazil,  people who live on the Russian/Ukrainian border, school girls in Nigeria, Pakistan, or Afghanistan, and that Marine  currently in a Mexican jail for taking a wrong turn – might have a tiny quibble with that statement?




Source: Breitbart Feed

Robert Duncan Approved as Next Texas Tech Chancellor

LUBBOCK, Texas–The Texas Tech University Board of Regents on Thursday approved Texas State Senator Robert Duncan as the next chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. On July 7th, Duncan will assume his duties as the fourth chancellor of the system.

In today’s press conference, Duncan told reporters that he would be stepping down from his Texas Senate seat “quickly” and that it would be before July 7th. Duncan has served Lubbock and West Texas in Austin since 1992 when he was elected to serve District 84 in the Texas House of Representatives. Duncan then went on to serve in the Texas Senate, replacing John T. Montford who left the Senate to become the first chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. Duncan has served District 28 since 1996.

Duncan thanked the Board of Regents at Thursday’s announcement while looking towards the future. “I thank the Board of Regents for allowing me the honor to serve as Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.  Texas Tech has made a difference in not only my life, but also my entire family,” Sen. Duncan said. “I look forward to building on the momentum we have in place for an even brighter future for our great universities. My goal as Chancellor is to support our individual institutions and our outstanding faculty. I will place the academic success of our students at the core of our mission.”

Duncan was named the sole finalist for the position on May 19.

Duncan moving to Texas Tech means that his Senate seat will need to be filled. District 83 State Representative Charles Perry has already told KFYO-AM that he will run for the Senate seat as soon as Duncan vacates the position. Perry has said that if elected he would hope to see more conservative leadership come out of the Senate.

Follow Chad Hasty on Twitter @ChadHastyRadio




Source: Breitbart Feed

ISIS Winning in Iraq Despite Being Outnumbered 15:1

The seizure of Iraq’s second largest city by a group too ruthless to make it in “core” al Qaeda represents the culmination of years of history and a U.S. foreign policy that has failed to properly conceive of and counter the Al Qaeda movement at its most basic level.

Long War Journal recently produced an excellent GEOINT model of ISIS’s gains across Iraq and Syria; though ISIS’s control of the towns and cities in question is not universal or uniform, neither is the Iraqi or Syrian government’s respective control of their own space. Including recent gains, Al Qaeda now controls a space roughly the size of Syria.  

Iraqi and Syrian towns and cities seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Map created by The Long War Journal. Click to view larger map.

From a tactical standpoint, ISIS’s recent assault fits squarely within traditional special operations doctrine; in fact, it is almost as if Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, has read William McRaven’s master’s thesis. ISIS forces moved swiftly to remove Iraqi army and national police forces from Mosul and other cities under control, outpacing national forces’ ability to react and respond accordingly, despite larger numbers and better equipment.  

According to STRATFOR, a private intelligence and geopolitical analysis firm, Iraq’s 30,000-strong military presence in Mosul was caught by surprise, retreating against a much weaker force and regrouping only near Samarra, 100 miles north of Baghdad. For perspective, ISIS forced more than a full division of the Iraqi army—once the fourth largest in the world—into a 200-mile retreat, all the while suffering a reported numerical disadvantage of 15 Iraqi soldiers for every single ISIS jihadist. The Iraqi military relies on U.S. equipment and training and maintains a relationship with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), but it still turned tail as soon as ISIS made any show of gain. If you can’t win with 15:1 odds, American equipment, years of U.S. training, and guidance from Iran’s Qods force, you probably are not very long for this world.

Irregular warfare such as that we are seeing in Iraq is almost always a dual-sided affair involving (1) a clandestine political entity that seeks to build support and “out-govern” the enemy, and (2) a militant organization designed to intimidate locals, seize space, then weaken and occupy the enemy until a larger political goal can be enforced. For the Viet Cong, this was practiced by what the U.S. government called the “Viet Cong Infrastructure” which was covertly supported by Hanoi. The same strategic principles apply in Islamist forms of insurgency; ISIS and the larger Al Qaeda apparatus are militant organizations that seek establish political control. To this effect, ISIS’s assault has opened up the door for ISIS to put down roots in new neighborhoods, broadening their foothold in a region that is neglected if not ignored by Baghdad and at odds with the state on sectarian terms.

History is determined by the people who care enough to make it happen. ISIS, like the rest of Al Qaeda, is not merely composed of well-armed young men but also of seasoned strategists who have read Mao, McRaven, and Lenin, not just the Qu’ran and Hadith.  

Arab nation-states, the basic building blocks of any kind of regional peace, are dying; the Shi’a governments of Iraq and Syria are now more than ever mere rumps of their former selves, barely able to project power outside of their ethnic and sectarian fiefdoms. The only reason ISIS didn’t expand into Irbil and the Kurdish region of Iraq is that autonomous Kurds met them with greater force than did the Iraqi army​.​

Al Qaeda hasn’t won the titles of Damascus and Baghdad, but it’s time to quit pretending that they have to do so before being recognized as an actual geopolitical threat that controls a huge swath of territory at the heart of the Islamic world. 

Ignore every “expert” who tells you that ISIS is not al Qaeda because their leaders don’t get along. ISIS, like al Qaeda, is involved in a global press to restore a totalitarian conception of an Islamic Empire across the Muslim world, and in the absence of a clear-headed strategy by their enemies, they are winning.  




Source: Breitbart Feed

Gutierrez on Flood of Illegal Minors: ‘Shame on Anybody That Wants to Demonize Children’

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), a vocal advocate of immigration reform, told Breitbart News on Wednesday,  “Shame on anybody that wants to demonize children” who are entering the country without guardians or documentation.

Gutierrez defended the surge of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors flooding border states from Central America, saying the individuals would not qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a directive signed by President Obama in June of 2012 calling for deferred action for particular illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have pursued education or military service in the country.

However, Gutierrez still says that those unaccompanied minors coming into the U.S. should still be given a safe place to stay.

“Were you 17 years old ever? I was a kid. I was a child. I couldn’t fend for myself when I was 17 years old and neither could my own children. The fact is the average age of a child arriving is 14. Half of them are girls. There’s a vast network of people trafficking in human beings and anybody that doesn’t know that go to the United Nations report from last month of April,” he said. “Honduras—murder capitol of the world, and among the ten top countries it’s followed by El Salvador and Guatemala. I know these are the facts. Why would children come from those countries? Now we have a policy in the United States that when they arrive we have to find them a safe place. That’s a very sensible policy we have here in the United States.”

According to The Christian Science Monitor, “During the decade preceding fiscal year 2012, the federal government agency tasked with caring for unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally dealt with an average of 7,000 to 8,000 cases a year… In fiscal year 2011, the number was 6,560. The following year, however, the number jumped to 13,625. This fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2014, federal officials are estimating that the number could be 80,000, according to an internal memo cited by The New York Times.”

Although DACA is not supposed to apply to any non-citizen entering the U.S. presently and only those who came into the country before June 15, 2007, are eligible, critics of DACA say that the directive was opportunity to cause confusion and misinformation.

Asked by Breitbart News how border agents should be dealing with massive influx of individuals crossing the border while trying to handle other duties, Gutierrez replied, “Listen, it’s very clear this is a humanitarian crisis. I want to make it clear. You know something? Shame on anybody that wants to demonize children that reach our shores, OK? I turn on the TV all the time and watch the [televangelists] get on TV and say, ‘Give me money to feed the poor.’  No. they tell us to feed the poor, because there’s a humanitarian crisis in Asia and in Africa and other parts of the world… They’re children.”

“Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) told CSM.

When Breitbart News pointed out that local media outlets in Central America were reporting that the United States was offering amnesty to any minor who made it to the border, Gutierrez responded, “What do you want me to do? You think I control the local media down there? I mean, c’mon. I mean, share with me a small break here. Now I’m in charge of the local media in Guatemala and EL Salvador? I can’t answer for the local media in El Salvador. I’m only telling you they’re children.  And what you’re trying to do is now demonize children and I’m not gonna have it.”


Source: Breitbart Feed