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From the NYT op-ed page:

The Truth About New York City’s Elite High Schools

This month, a select group of eighth graders in New York City found out that they were being offered a spot at some of the nation’s best high schools, the eight “specialized” city public high schools that include Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn Tech and Bronx Science. About 28,000 students took the multiple-choice test required for admission, and 5,078 did well enough to secure a place.

This system, while it might seem meritocratic, in fact leads to a shocking inequity. Even though black and Latino students make up nearly 70 percent of public high school students in the city, they routinely represent only 10 percent of those offered admission to the specialized high schools. This year the city offered admission to only 524 black and Latino students.

The numbers are even lower at some of the most desired schools, such as Stuyvesant, which has space for nearly 1,000 freshmen and offered admission to only 13 black students. And while some of the specialized schools do have a high percentage of Asian-American students, many low-income students from lesser-represented ethnic communities are also left out.

I don’t know what that last sentence means.

In case, you are wondering, here is the latest data:

So, at Stuyvesant (the famous STEM public high school), 598 Asians were accepted, 204 whites, 67 unknowns, 28 Latinos, 13 blacks, 10 multiracials, and 6 Native Americans.

Back to the NYT oped:

The problem, which has grown worse in recent years, has to do with the way students are selected for these schools. The sole criterion is a student’s score on the multiple-choice admissions test.

The traditional hallmarks of a great student — consistently excellent grades, critical analysis skills, leadership and even performance on other state-mandated tests — are all irrelevant under the admissions policy. The test has many quirks that experts have said make it inappropriate for use as a sole criterion for admission.

Which is why Stuyvesant has collapsed in reputation in the 40+ years it has had an exam-only admission system and that’s why nobody writes op-eds complaining about how their race doesn’t get in enough.

Wait, that has happened, right?

For example, the material on the test is not taught in the city’s middle school classrooms; so it’s not as if students are being assessed on what they have learned in school over the years. It’s all about what they learn in test prep programs.

Perhaps what Hewitt is trying to do with the term “test prep” is to dogwhistle to New York City’s shrinking but still immensely wealthy and influential white community that they should support his demand for a fuzzier, more “holistic” admission system so that their white children will have a better chance of getting admitted to Stuyvesant instead of all these products of the Asian test prep juggernaut.

After all, Harvard U. keeps down the number of Asian students it lets in by keeping the admission process subjective by giving a lot of arbitrary power to admissions staffers to let in People Like Us.

Similarly, Harvard-Westlake, the top academic high school in Los Angeles, was discriminating against high-scoring Asian applicants way back in 1981. That year I had lunch with one of my old high school teachers, a scholar with a Harvard U. doctorate, who had moved on to teach at Harvard-Westlake. And he said Harvard-Westlake didn’t take the high test scores of Asian applicants all that seriously because they didn’t contribute as much to classroom discussions.

Amusingly, when the hit TV show “Mad Men” wrapped up a few years ago, its creator Matthew Weiner gave a series of interviews on the Meaning of It All, much of which seemed to do, in his mind, with the anti-Semitism he had suffered in 1981 as one of the few (in his mind) Jews at Harvard-Westlake. After all these years, Weiner was still angry that a local newspaper in 1981 had mentioned that Jews made up 40% of the student body at Harvard-Westlake. Weiner was convinced that this 40% figure was an anti-Semitic hoax to cover up the rampant anti-Semitism at Harvard-Westlake.

Since then, I’ve wondered if in 1981 I’d pressed my old teacher for more details about admissions and class participation at Harvard-Westlake, perhaps he would have expanded on the topic something like this:

“For example, one of my white students at Harvard prep is Little Matty Weiner. He’s touchy, paranoid, perhaps mad, but what he has to say in class is really interesting. You’ll hear a lot in the future from that little mad man!”

So perhaps Hewitt is trying to signal to New York’s white people to join him in his lawsuit to make Stuyvesant admissions more subjective and arbitrary so their kids would have a better chance. Why pay $175,000 to send your kid to private high school for four years when he could go to Stuyvesant for free … if he could only get in?

But does our society have any vocabulary for blacks like Hewitt to signal to white New York Times readers that they should team up against Asians? Will any white person reading this notice?

Back to the NYT op-ed

This is pure arbitrariness.

Or not arbitrary enough.

The flawed admissions policy, and the discriminatory results it yields, are the subject of a pending civil rights complaint my former colleagues at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and I filed with the United States Department of Education on behalf of a coalition of organizations representing black, Latino and Asian students.

Asian students?

Why not white students? White students only get 35% as many acceptances into Stuyvesant as Asian students. Surely that would be prima facie evidence of disparate impact?

But Hewitt seems to lack any framework for making the notion of a black-white alliance against Asian grinds noticeable by all but his most discerning readers.

I see more and more evidence that the Current Year’s prime directive is understood not to be pro-black, but to be anti-white, even if being anti-white objectively works out to be anti-black in effect. Immigration policy is only the most obvious example.

Why is this happening in the largest and most diverse school district in the country? Part of this phenomenon has to do with a powerful narrative that has been woven — not about the test, but about the merit of black and Latino students.

So it’s all Charles Murray’s fault. If only Murray had been punched in the head more, this narrative wouldn’t have reduced black and Latino students’ test scores via Stereotype Threat.

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Is immigration good for the Republican Party?

The second-largest heavily immigrant ethnic group, after Hispanics, are Asian-Americans. Immigration enthusiasts often claim they are natural Republicans because they are thought to be prosperous, law-abiding, family-oriented etc. etc.

The only problem with this theory: these natural Republicans have been voting Democratic.

The results of a massive multilingual Presidential election exit poll conducted last November in eight languages of almost 11,000 Asian voters, 82 percent of them immigrants, have finally been released by the liberal Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

The findings are exceptionally bad for the GOP.

Among these Asian voters, Kerry drubbed Bush 74-24.

This is not a perfectly representative sample, so the real figure probably wasn’t quite so awful. The AALDEF exit poll was conducted in 23 cities in 8 states east of the Mississippi, only one of which (Virginia) voted for Bush.

Still, no less than 76 percent of Asians do live in “blue”—Democratic—states. And the dominant Asian state missing from the poll, California,where one out of every three Asian-Americans lives, went solidly Democratic. In the already-reported Edison-Mitofsky exit poll, Kerry won California’s Asians 66-34. So Bush wouldn’t have done all that much better if the whole country had been surveyed in this new poll.

Previously, the most publicized 2004 figure for Asian-Americans was from the troubled “national” version of the Edison-Mitofsky exit poll. It showed Kerry winning by a mere 56-44.

However, merely a few hundred Asians filled out the long questionnaire used in the national Edison-Mitofsky poll. Edison-Mitofsky’s own data shows that among the much larger (and thus more reliable) sample who filled out either the short form or the long form, Bush captured only 39 percent.

Similarly, the Los Angeles Times’ national Exit Poll showed Bush carrying only 34 percent of Asians.

Conclusion: although the exact figure isn’t quite clear, Bush lost the Asian vote by a landslide.

Yet the President’s father won a majority of Asians in 1992—even while losing the race. And Bob Dole appears to have edged Bill Clinton in 1996 among Asians.

So, although the GOP likes to imagine that immigrants will move toward them over time, the historical trend with Asians appears to be in the opposite direction.

And the future looks even worse. Among first-time voters in the AALDEF poll, Kerry won 78-20. Among American-born Asians, who are presumably more assimilated, Kerry was victorious 80-18. Among 18 to 29-year-old Asians, Kerry won 84-14.

Of particular interest to GOP strategists should be Bush’s performance among South Asian voters (mostly Indians, Pakistanis, andBangladeshis). They are the wealthiest, best educated, and, due to their English-language skills, the most articulate of the Asian immigrant nationalities. And, thus, increasingly the most influential.

While the Chinese and other East Asian immigrants come from reserved cultures that value harmony and tend to dislike electoral politics, the Asian Indians are more loquacious and opinionated. Thus we’re seeing more South Asians in the American opinion media, such as Ramesh Ponnuru, Dinesh D’Souza, and the pseudonymous founders of the Gene Expression blog, just to name a few on the right. They won’t be the last.

GOP strategists from Richard Nixon onward have focused on Jewish voters more than their small numbers might appears to warrant, because of the strong Jewish role in the media and campaign finance. Now they also need to start thinking hard about Indians.

Little data has been available before on South Asian voting, so the 2,700 South Asian participants in the AALDEF exit poll offer an important first look.

The result: among South Asians, Kerry clobbered Bush—90-9!

Maybe this is not nationally representative because Indians are more spread out across the country than other Asians, who cluster in blue states.

Still …

Milton Himmelfarb famously observed in the 1960s that Jews live likeEpiscopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans. If the AALDEF poll is at allaccurate, South Asians live like Jews but vote like blacks.

This is terrible news for the GOP.

Why have Asians deserted the GOP? After the 2000 election, John Derbyshire wrote an insightful article for on the topic. I’d like to add another perspective drawn from my affordable family formationhypothesis.

In the last two Presidential elections, inland Republican states have been distinguished by lower housing costs and, not surprisingly, higherrates of being married and having babies among their white populations.

Two processes are going on: 1) The more family-oriented people tend to move to regions with affordable housing and good public schools, and they make those states more Republican because they vote on family values issues. And, 2), for people on the margin in their desire for marriage and family, the affordability of housing influences whether or not they start down the path toward marriage, children…and Republicanism.

Asian immigrants tend to prefer more expensive (and thus Democratic-voting) parts of the country. For example, the cost of living in California is now 51 percent above the national average—in large measure because housing costs are 130 percent higher.

High home prices are not as much of a deterrent to Asian immigrants because, on average, they don’t feel they need as many square feet per family member. With their tendency toward extended families living together, they more often have three, four, or even five paychecks per household. They can outbid native-born American nuclear families with only one or two paychecks.

And this Asian influx, such as in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles, drives home prices up even higher.

The difficulty of affording a house puts added financial pressure on the natives to wait longer to marry—four of my seven closest friends fromhigh school in L.A. didn’t marry until after their fortieth birthday—and have fewer children.

This in turn makes them less likely to become Republican family-values type voters.

As the Asian immigrants become citizens and begin to vote, they look around for guidance from the native voters. My theory: not beingparticularly excited about politics, but highly sensitive to status signals, they notice that in their region, the Democrats are the prevailing party. So they join the crowd.

But what about the Asian immigrants’ “strong family values”? Why don’t they make Asians vote Republican?

The little-understood paradox is that many Asian immigrants cocoon their children within such all-enveloping extended families that they don’t need much help from the government in insulating their kidsfrom anti-family cultural threats.

They don’t need laws to help them raise their children because they have such a strong web of customs.

For example, the West Asian immigrant family that lives on my block has lived within an insulated Old Country social world during theirquarter-century in America. They entertain countless relatives, but never their neighbors.

(A study by Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam of Bowling Alone fame showed that a city’s level of ethnic diversity is negativelycorrelated with its sense of community.)

In contrast, American-born nuclear families rightly feel more at risk from a corrosive culture. They therefore want their elected officials to validate the norms helpful in raising their children.

In every way, current mass immigration isn’t helping them.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Asians 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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