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Sunday, July 26, 2009

What keeps me up at night

This week's installment from Warren E. Williams raises some interesting questions concerning the creme de la creme of our armed forces' cadre of officers.
"Let's go over what the Naval Academy sees as an artificial achievement barrier. A black candidate with B and C grades, with no particular leadership qualities, and 500 on both portions of the SAT, is virtually guaranteed admittance. A white student, who's not an athlete, with such scores is deemed not qualified.... Many black students are admitted to the Naval Academy through remedial training at the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, R.I., which is a one-year post-secondary school. Finishing the year with a 2.0 GPA, a C average, almost guarantees admission to the academy. A C average for remedial work is nothing to write home about. Occasionally, when students don't make the 2.0 GPA target, the target is renegotiated downward. Minority applicants with SAT scores down to the 300s and with Cs and Ds grades (and no particular leadership or athletics) are also admitted after a remedial year at the Naval Academy Preparatory School. "
Speaking as someone who didnt have the best grades in the world, I can't say that it's a bad thing that less qualified students are given a year to try and catch up with the others in their class. It's just that I never realized that the bar would be lowered so much as to allow nearly anyone with the ability to read these words the shot at attending such a prestigious school simply because of race. With the world becoming more and more dangerous, this makes about as much sense as allowing unqualified candidates receive firefighter jobs due to the supposed neeed to fill quotas. (or "goals" as they are now known by the Michael Bloomberg set.

2 comments:

Larian LeQuella said...

I don't like it, but it's a result of so many societal factors that any proposed solution will be uglier than the racism implied in the policy. Many tests are geared to a white cultural upbringing. Many minorities are in financially disadvantaged areas, without access to the tools that would give them an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and ignorance. I was lucky (straight A student with all sorts of activities, so I had my choice of schools), even though I had an immigrant background, and not from any high economic background.

Keep in mind though, these FEW that are given the opportunity make up such an insignificant number of our forces, that even if they end up being unqualified in the end, they are easily put at a job with little significant impact. And who knows, it could be just the thing to break one family out of the cycle of poverty and ignorance. Again, not agreeing with the policy, but we as a nation have a lot of catching up to do.

(I actually knew a white [redneck from Georgia] guy that also managed to re-negotiate his scores to get into the Air Force Academy. He was still dumber than a pile of rocks, but he used the system as well. Still a dumb policy though.)

JD Curtis said...

Thanks for your comment Lunk. The part of the article that hit home for me was..

Some black students, who were admitted to the academy meritoriously on the same basis as white students, resent the idea of being seen as having the same academic qualities as blacks who were given preferential treatment, in other words being dumb.

It must be hard for those who legitimately earned the a place at the academy when others have it virtually handed to them.