While we wait to find

While we wait to find out what position, if any, President Bush is going to take in the University of Michigan racial preference cases, here is Thomas Sowell’s latest on the subject, from the Washington Times. Sowell shows that the key study relied on by proponents of racial preferences in college admissions — The Shape of the River, by Bowen and Bok — is flawed. That study understates the extent to which African-Americans admitted as a result of preferences fail to perform acceptably at college because it fails to differentiate between blacks who receive preferences and those who are admitted without them. Other studies that do not engage in this bit of trickery show what any reasonable person would expect — when admissions are substantially relaxed, those who are admitted by virtue of the relaxed standards are significantly more likely not to do well in college. Thus, Sowell shows that at state universities studied, relaxed standards translate into massive differences in graduatation rates.

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