AA: Latino Studies

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November 7, 2012 by gmayra

Affirmative action is a policy that has encouraged the increase of representation of minority group members, for education and employment. The controversial argument has many scholars questioning the positive and negative aspect of the policy. Because Latinos suffer and benefit from affirmative action I believe this rule is part of the Latino studies department.

Numerous scholars and studies portray the disadvantages minorities face due to affirmative action. In CQ researcher, Rogers Elliott, retired professor of Dartmouth College from the department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, suggests that minorities are not prepared for meeting the requirements of elite schools. He states “the gap in the SAT scores between minorities and majorities (whites) have not gotten any better… in fact, gotten a little bit worse.” He advocates that lower ranking schools are their, minorities, “chances of becoming a scientist are better.” Because these minorities, Latinos and blacks, are not well equipped for the prestigious colleges affirmative action is not beneficial to the Latinos and blacks. Elliott again argues that affirmative action in elite schools is not the answer for better education for Latinos and blacks as a result to the “huge gap, probably bigger than it would be if affirmative action at an average school.”

However, Professor Richard A. Tapia from Rice University argues that Latinos and other minorities “must have an equitable presence as students and faculty at very top level research universities.” Tapia displays the effect of going to an elite college does on one’s career with the anecdote of “a student from a research school with a lesser transcript [being] stronger than a student from a minority serving institution with all A’s.” Clearly affirmative action is favorable to Latinos and other minority groups, in such circumstances. Although Tapia clarifies that students from “average” institutions are not incompetent, he does confirm an existing gap between colleges. Therefore Tapia suggest that the “isolation, not academics, is often the problem.” He believes that promoting success will combat isolation and support those underrepresented minorities. Affirmative action is just another step to the success he suggests to promote. Because “race and ethnicity should not dictate education destiny,” Tapia believes affirmative action will reduce that “huge gap” Elliott speaks of.

In conclusion, affirmative action can be argued from both sides; it is your choice to decide. Because affirmative action does benefit many of Latinos and other minority groups, it is beneficial. However, it is also negative since it can also place them in advanced circumstances or effect those who are “more deserving” of entering a certain college or of receiving advantages academically. So what side is right?

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