Academic Achievement Suggested for College Admissions
October 31, 2006, 02:44 AM
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Former University of California regent Ward Connerly has long toiled to end race-based college admissions. He is currently taking his message of old-fashioned standards to Michigan.

After heading the campaign for Prop. 209, which passed with 54 percent of the vote in 1996, he pushed a similar initiative in Washington state that passed in 1998 with 58 percent.

Now, Michigan voters will decide Nov. 7 whether to end affirmative action in their state's renowned public colleges and its public schools and other state agencies, and Connerly is helping the campaign. Polls conducted earlier this month showed the initiative in a dead heat.

"If we can win a blue state like Michigan, it is a powerful message that preferences are not embraced; it will hasten the demise of treating people differently," said Connerly, who says he will persist until affirmative action is banned in every state. [Opponent of racial preferences takes quest to Michigan, San Francisco Chronicle 10/30/06]

Meanwhile, the social engineers at the University of California are still fighting academic attainment as a basis for entrance [UC urged to rely less on tests for admissions]. Rather than depending on tried and true measurements of scholarship, a new report recommends that characteristics like "spark" count for more than grades and test scores.

The latest trendy scheme sounds like the lego exam proposed a few years back, in which students were judged on qualities like taking the initiative, problem solving and working well with others. Also known as the Bial-Dale College Adaptability Index, the test did not win acceptance even though its goal was to admit more minority students to college whether they were academically qualified or not.

Interestingly, the ethnic makeup among UC Berkeley freshmen has become more Asian than white, but apparently Chinese, etc. are no longer considered diverse.