The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Minority Admits Down in UC System; Groups Say Regent Using Asians as 'Pawns'
Feature Story by Jerrod Thompson-Hicks - 6/9/2004While the University of California system bears the brunt of state budget cuts, one UC regent has spent significant time this year pitting Asian American students against other underrepresented minorities in the admissions debate.
Overall, the UC system admitted almost 3,400 fewer first-year students this fall than last, and rerouted 7,600 more would-be first-year students to community colleges. The lower admissions numbers, spurred by budget cuts in response to the state's financial crisis, have hit underrepresented minorities the hardest.
While the proportion of blacks, Latinos, and American Indians – traditionally underrepresented in the UC system – increased slightly less than 1 percent from last year, the actual number of underrepresented minorities admitted was down.
Troubled by the drop in minority admissions, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl issued a statement in which he called the numbers "just flat-out unacceptable."
The most striking drop was among black applicants, whose admission numbers are down 15 percent from one year ago. UC data show that the drop in African-American students was followed by a 9.2 percent decrease for American Indian students, 8 percent for whites, 3 percent for Latinos, and 2 percent for Asians.
The 2 percent drop in Asian student admissions compared with other minorities refutes a recent study commissioned by John Moores, chairman of the UC Board of Regents. The study, which only looks at SAT scores, puts forth that Asian Americans have suffered the most in admissions drops -- purporting that 359 students with SAT scores below 1,000 were admitted, while 1,421 students with SATs over 1,400 were rejected, with 662 of those being Asian American.
A vocal opponent of affirmative action, Moores cited the study in an op-ed for Forbes magazine, asserting that UC's "comprehensive review" policy, which allows administrators to consider factors such as being the first in a family to attend college and barriers that are overcome, discriminates against Asian applicants with higher SAT scores by admitting less qualified African-American, Latino, and American Indian students.
Asian American organizations in California released a joint statement criticizing Moores' attempt to confuse the admissions debate and mislead the public, saying that they refuse to be used as scapegoats for the regent's anti-affirmative action activism.
"Despite the 'model minority' stereotype of Asian Americans as SAT whiz kids," says the statement on behalf of Chinese for Affirmative Action, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and the Asian Law Caucus, "our community would be at a disadvantage under an admissions policy that relied heavily on test scores."
Further, the groups point out, Asian students made up 39 percent of students admitted to UC Berkeley in 2003. The organizations say that Moores leaves out the fact that almost one-third of the students with low SAT scores that were eventually offered admission were Asian.
"Moores allegations are based on half-truths and selective use of data," said Ted Wang, policy director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. "Contrary to Regent Moores' allegations, the data suggests that a significant number of lower-income and other disadvantaged Asian Americans are benefiting from UC's comprehensive review policies."
Rather than using divisive politics to further Moores own agenda, community leaders and educators said they would like him to focus on the real issues facing California students.
"We need to urge the UC Regents to address the real problem and invest their time and effort in using their influence to stop these proposed budget cuts in freshmen enrollment," said Goodwin Liu, law professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. "They should get back on the task of investing in quality, accessible education for California's bright young students of all races."