Bush opposes "legacy" college admission

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Bush opposes "legacy" college admission
By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 08:29 pm: Edit

Under legacy programs, applicants are given an advantage if their parents or grandparents attended the school. Bush, a third-generation graduate of Yale University, joked about his own legacy.

"Well, in my case, I had to knock on a lot of doors to follow the old man's footsteps," he said to laughter.

Bush's remark came as he was being grilled about his opposition to affirmative action programs that consider race as a factor for admission, particularly through quota systems.

Bush said admission should be based "on merit."

Now I want to see what he is going to do so that minorities including economic minorities aren't shut out of the college admissions "game"

By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:03 pm: Edit

There is also a thread on this topic on the college admissions board.

By Songman (Songman) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit

Emerald said: "Now I want to see what he is going to do so that minorities including economic minorities aren't shut out of the college admissions "game"

??? what am I missing?, in what way are minorities shut out of the college admissions game? ok educate me here.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 05:07 pm: Edit

I was speaking to more affluent public districts have many more resources available for students.
In my own urban district where with a $35 million shortfall in budget which now has grown to $46 million (including the money that voters have already approved to pay for fixing old schools) we don't have enough money to pay for books and supplies let alone have new equipment, safe drinking water and grounds upkeep.
PTA have been raising money to help fill in the gap, paying for extra teachers, tutors and supplementary supplies and programs. Some PTAs raise thousands some hundreds of thousands each year at auctions and other events. Some schools however particularly in areas with lower income and high #s of ESL students, don't even have PTA's.
When you are low income and your local public school is not serving your child, isn't offering the classes they need, the classes that they do offer are overcrowded, not enough desks, you don't really have an option of private school or of moving to a better district.
If these students aren't educated in K-12, how the heck are they going to make it in college even if they graduate from high school?

By Songman (Songman) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 06:23 pm: Edit

True,but this discussion would eventually border on such topics as: socialism ,liberalism vs conservative free market theory etc. Why? In your scenario you desire (I assume) to have a world where there is a level playing field for a public school student before they apply to college. You would rationalize that all public schools should be the same and funded equally.

This sounds good in theory and clearly would be nice if this was a reality. I fear however, that the more affluent districts would just send their kids to private school so they could control the educational process for their kids. Many of the affluent towns that I know of in CT,NY and MA run their public schools like they are private prep schools already anyhow. I am sure other parts of the country do the same.

In addition, if our society was to fund all public schools equally wouldn't everyone desire to go only to the best colleges? What would happen to the 3rd and 4th tier colleges and community colleges?I guess what I am saying is that there is a class system that exists currently in the way education is funded and administered in our country. Many aspects of our life (housing,finding a mate,corporate advancement, etc.) is based on a class system or a compatibilty factor with the person's education,background,breeding and all that non-sense. While I personally dislike this apporoach to the distribution of income or wealth it is the same system basically we have had at least for over 300 years in this country. Is there room for improvement? I think so.What we need, I believe ,is to get democrats and republicans out of this conversation, I fear that will not happen.
Certainly anyone can break out of this economic class division by starting their own business or by heading down the entrepreneurial path. Many immigrants have done so quite successfully much to the embarassment of middle class americans!

I do agree if we do not start at the earliest levels in providing at least 1/2 of what the affluent school systems have at their disposal then I fear the division between educational "haves" and "have nots" will go on for another 300 years.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 06:41 pm: Edit

You would rationalize that all public schools should be the same and funded equally

Actually I think WSF or weighted student funding depending on need of student is more equitable.

Many of the affluent towns that I know of in CT,NY and MA run their public schools like they are private prep schools already anyhow

I have heard that. In Washington we have pretty low funding levels for schools and while some suburban school may have newer buildings, class size is still fairly high, especially in areas where people are moving for the schools!

I think we should be more concerned with why such a high percentage of students don't graduate from high school, let alone attend college. Districts and states don't even count students who drop out before they attend high school as high school drop outs. Kind of like not counting people who are unemployed but who are not qualified for unemplyoment anymore because they have been out of work for so long.
Makes the numbers look better but is it accurate?
States need to be funded according to types of students they serve. Students who are free/reduced lunch need more support services. Districts with high percentage of IEP/504 students, with ESL students need more funding.
Our state needs more higher education slots.
While low income students historically have gotten an AA- certificate preparing to transfer to a 4-yr school like the UW, now they are told no. No more transfers, period.
We don't have enough community college seats, we don't have enough university seats as it is.

I personally would like to see vouchers, charter schools a choice for not just affluent families but lower income families in the type of education that is available for their children.

By Mackinaw (Mackinaw) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 06:47 pm: Edit

My sense is that he opposes legacy admissions to Yale for C students. Whether he opposes it on more general principle is less certain.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 06:59 pm: Edit

In CA we do have equalization of funding. The only thing it has assured is that all school districts are bad. In affluent communities, as a poster above guessed, most who can afford it and can get their kid in, have fled to a private school. Affluent districts have started private foundations which do put some funds into the schools, but those monies have mostly gone for things taken for granted in most States such as music teachers and librarians. I've also lived in NY and CT, where districts could choose to tax themselves to pay for private like schools. I can see how some equalization in those States may be appropriate for everyone's benefit. But I do appreciate Songman's point, so much on these boards seems to smack of socialism after a point. Should we not be allowed to pay the amazing school tax I paid in NY (more than my kid's private school tuitions in CA) to achieve great schools? If I work hard and make money to afford that district should my kids not be entitled to the fabulous education I have sacrificed to give them? However, it's clear that it benefits society, not to mention the businesses people in such districts own, for all kids to be well educated.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:11 pm: Edit

I am not even talking about a great education, merely a "good enough" education.
I want all students to graduate, to be able to read, write, calculate and represent themselves well enough to make a living and not be a burden to society.
I don't expect my local grade school to have micropipettors in the 3 rd grade classroom ( used for dna sampling) as the local private school has, but I do want the teachers to be skilled in teaching math and science not just english and history.
I want kindergarteners( and all elementary kids) to have two recesses a day. I don't want their recesses to be cut so they will have more time to cram for the federally required tests.
Either their curriculum supports the learning they need and want or it doesn't. More test preperation time is not going to make that up.
My older daughters high school had teachers with Ivy league degrees, some with phds. Do I expect that at local public schools? Of course not, but I expect that teachers will be able to proof their own resumes and know how to make a correct spelling list.
I don't expect everything to be equal, I don't want to be the USSR. But I expect a minimum level of competency and of services that is enough to get our kids into the "real" world

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:18 pm: Edit

So what is the problem in Washington Emeraldkity? What are you seeing?

By Songman (Songman) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 08:31 pm: Edit

Washington State or Washington ,D.C.?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 08:46 pm: Edit

State, any thoughts?

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 09:13 pm: Edit

Like I stated our district "lost" track of 34 million dollars, this is coming out of money that directly affects the kids.
We have kids who are on free and reduced lunch, but the meals that they are served for breakfast and lunch are so bad that even when \iwe} qualified, I did not have my daughter eat them. Mostly commodity cheese, white bread, heavily processed low quality meat. The kids who most need good food aren't getting it.
To use the example that most frustrates me, my 14 yr old daughter had an IEP because she has math disability. Part of an IEP which is a federally funded mandate is regular progress reports with the obligation to adjust the IEP during the school year if appropriate progress is not being made.
For 5th grade, my daughter did not have a regular teacher, she had a series of rotating subs because her class teacher was on personal leave and these teachers did not see that she needed to go to resource nor did the resource teacher come get her from the classroom. She was not the only one who didn't learn much that year,but since she was behind away, it was more agregious.
6th grade, she again did not have resource because she cannot tell time, but the resource teacher did not have time to get her out of classroom. I had tried to get response from the teachers, principal and district, doing everything including contacting state but short of hiring an attorney.
She has had two progress reports during the school year in her 5 years under IDEA. 7th grade I finally recieved a progress report at the end of the year after badgering the teacher for months. The report showed that she had made zero progress all year in math, the area of concern. The teacher response was that she did not have time to do it before and it wasn't accurate anyway, as she was sure that she must have learned something.

I was the head of the parent group, I was in the school building every day, I went to board meetings, but I could'nt get an appropriate education for my child. If I can't do it, how can people who don't speak english, who are intimidated by authority, whose kids have even more need than mine get help for their kids?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 03:39 am: Edit

I was the head of the parent group, I was in the school building every day, I went to board meetings, but I could'nt get an appropriate education for my child. If I can't do it, how can people who don't speak english, who are intimidated by authority, whose kids have even more need than mine get help for their kids?


By Mom2003 (Mom2003) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 05:34 am: Edit

Was Bush the governer of Texas when they implemented their big change away from race based preference system to taking top 10% of each school automatically into the UT system? If so, he has plenty of expericence with encouraging economic diversity, possibly at the expense of racial diversity.

Legacy is a different matter however...

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 09:43 am: Edit

Did anyone else watch that speech (to the Minority Journalists' Assoc) on C-Span? It was actually quite funny. I'm one of those people (and I know quite a few of them) who usually cannot stand to watch the B-man on TV -- I change the channel as soon as he comes on the news. But this was different -- he wasn't speaking in front of a crowd of hand-picked loyalists ready to cheer his every statement (or mis-statement). This crowd applauded a little bit, not very frequently. The questions got more applause than the responses.

The best moment was when a representative of the Native American Journalists' Assoc (from the Seattle P-I, I think), asked him what his views on tribal sovereignty were -- he said something like the following: "well, it means you're a soveriegn. you're a sovereign entity." big pause, during which you could actually hear people in the crowd laughing at him...

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 09:56 am: Edit

I'm personally ambivalent about the value of legacies to colleges. But I'd rather not criticize Bush for coming out against them. After all, a large proportion of leaders in his generation are themselves legacies.

As for his daughter benefitting from legacy status, Princeton would have loved to have admitted her (remember the Princeton break in into the Yale admission database?) Universities love famous folks or children of famous folks, with or without legacy status.

We did discuss legacies before Bush came out against them, and we stuck to the issues. Let's get back to them.

End of moralizing rant.

By Ellemenope (Ellemenope) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 10:12 am: Edit

There should not be "a special exception for certain people in a system that's supposed to be fair," says Bush.

Maybe this is Bush's out--college admissions is not supposed to be fair.

By 3togo (3togo) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 10:55 am: Edit

> Many of the affluent towns that I know of in CT,NY and MA run their public schools like they are private prep schools already anyhow.

hmm ... I live in one of those towns and I can see how that is true in many respects as the towns/cities have the resources/focus to ensure the kids get good faciities and teachers.

There is an aspect of these public schools that is VERY different ... public schools can not pick their students and can not dismiss their students nearly as easily as a private school. My kid's schools has a much wider variety of academic skills, special needs, and behavior problems than a typical private school. The diversity of those first two (along with the racial and economic diversity) are why my wife and I are very pro public schools K-12. The biggest con is the tougher time dealing with behavioral situations.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:36 am: Edit

Emerald, I just read your post. Disgusting! I have also had a child in public school with an IEP. When he entered the system I read the 4 inch think, single page book covering laws. As you noted, all of these things are mandated federally and unfortunately not fed funded. Our local schools not only did not follow the rules, but principal on down, they did not even know them! And as the cost of complying with them came out of the general budget, they were not interested in learning about them. I did hire an attorney and we got things straightened out pretty quickly. When I later saw that the principal put his heart into doing the right thing, I donated the extra costs back to the school because we could afford to. In school districts I lived in later in States with good school funding, there was no problem and IEPs were followed like clockwork. I figure it's the smart parents' jobs to ensure the school districts do what they are mandated to, so fight!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:56 am: Edit

Mom 2003, the changes were prompted by a court case, known as Hopwood versus the State of Texas.

Here's a PBS story from that time. FIY, the Law Professor quoted (Lino Graglia) is a very controversial figure who has repeatedly attacked minorities in higher education with scathing remarks.

On this precise subject, it is interesting to note that UT-Austin will again use race as one of the admission's criteria (1 out of 15), and this starting in 2005. On the other hand, the other flagship institution, Texas A&M will not incorporate race in its admission policies. They did, however, decide to abandon the preferences given to legacies. Considering the proud history and tradition of the school, this happens to be a mistake of epic proportions and a slap in the face of many families in Texas.

In this case, two wrongs do not make one right.

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