I respond to Adil

>Date: 15 May 2003 13:25:54 EDT

>From: Alexander D. Talcott

>Reply-To: alex.talcott

>Subject: Re: response!

>To: Adil Warisuddin Ahmad

Hi, Adil

I appreciate your response. I find my self going back and forth between keeping my mouth shut on race to make my contribution to Dr. King’s call for colorblindness…and then talking about other folks’ insulting attempts at overcompensation.

I don’t know if it’s that I don’t get your two points. I specifically made my letter short and bulleted to provoke other talk. My facts stand alone and are interesting when considered together. I don’t really draw any conclusions in my letter.

Regarding point 1, it’s either national or international aspirations or guilty overcompensation for past discrimination or current inequities in performance.

Regarding point 2, here’s an excerpt from a 2001 article I wrote:

” According to Michele Hern�ndez, a former assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth and author of the 1997 book, A is for Admission: The Insider’s Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges, applications from minority students are literally flagged early on. “At Dartmouth,” she writes, “minority-student status is designated by blue tags for black students, red tags for Hispanic students, and black tags for Native American students.” Admissions officers apply different criteria to these applicants. Hernandez says that officers are willing to trade off test scores for class rank, or vice versa–and will generally “give less weight to test scores and class rank than would be accorded to nonminority applicants”–when weighing a decision about a non-Asian minority candidate. “For white students without tags, modest test scores are not offset by superior class rank.” According to 1992 data, the average SAT score of black students at Dartmouth is 218 points below that of whites.

Hern�ndez notes the cost of hosting minority students for special recruiting weekends–“Dartmouth in a typical year spends in excess of fifty thousand dollars to fly or bus accepted minority students to the campus”–and finds that the real difficulty is that “many of the highly selective colleges end up fighting over a small number of qualified minority students, such that it becomes a Sisyphean task to enroll even a low number of minority students at each individual college.”