Bigots for the Left gave birth to this affirmative action baby: Hall of Shame: Roy Pearson, Jr. (African
American lawyer alleges dry cleaner lost his pants and sues the Korean American owners for $67 million).
Who pays for affirmative action? Asian Americans.
Only 57% of blacks who enter law school pass the bar. 43% do not become lawyers. All are saddled with
student debt, routinely running as high as $160,000, not counting undergraduate debt.
3/29/15 Minding the Campus: “25 Years on the Affirmative Action Firing Line”
by Russell K. Nieli
Over the more than 25 years that I have been writing articles and giving talks critical of racial preferences at American universities, I think I have learned something about the contours of the public debate on this issue, especially as it pertains to the more selective institutions. Here are four salient conclusions I have reached.
8/16/13 Los Angeles Times: “South L.A. student finds a different world at Cal. Kashawn Campbell
overcame many obstacles to become a straight-A student. But his freshman year at UC Berkeley shook
him to the core.”
BY Kurt Streeter
School had always been his safe harbor. Growing up in one of South Los Angeles’ bleakest, most
violent neighborhoods, he learned about the world by watching “Jeopardy” and willed himself to become
a straight-A student.
His teachers and his classmates at Jefferson High all rooted for the slight and hopeful African American
teenager. He was named the prom king, the most likely to succeed, the senior class salutatorian. He was
accepted to UC Berkeley, one of the nation’s most renowned public universities.
A semester later, Kashawn Campbell sat inside a cramped room on a dorm floor that Cal reserves
for black students. It was early January, and he stared nervously at his first college transcript.
There wasn’t much good to see.
He had barely passed an introductory science course. In College Writing 1A, his essays – pockmarked
with misplaced words and odd phrases – were so weak that he would have to take the class again.
He had never felt this kind of failure, nor felt this insecure. The second term was just days away and
he had a 1.7 GPA. If he didn’t improve his grades by school year’s end, he would flunk out.
5/20/13 Business Insider: “Affirmative Action Isn’t Helping The Right People”
By Erin Fuchs
As the Supreme Court considers whether affirmative action is legal, it may be a good time
to ask if it’s working as intended.
Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor Kevin Brown supports considering race as a
factor in admissions but says there is a problem in how affirmative action is implemented.
Colleges are giving fewer and fewer spots to “the traditional African-American” students with two
black parents, whose ancestors endured discrimination, while giving more spots to black immigrants,
Brown told Business Insider.
5/17/13 Inside Higher Ed: “New ACE report finds diversity gaps between graduates, overall students”
by Zack Budryk
A new report from the American Council on Education is the third in ACE’s series “Diversity Matters
in U.S. Higher Education” series and is derived from data from the Department of Education.
The average 2007-8 graduate was white, single, childless, in his or her early 20s, and financially
dependent on parents; the average graduate had started college at the age of 18.7 and had spent 5
years in college.
Asian-American and white students were more likely than other ethnic and racial groups to be of
“traditional age.” White students represented 73 percent of those receiving bachelor’s degrees, while
they made up only 62 percent of the overall undergraduate student body and 61 percent of freshmen
African Americans were 14 percent of both the freshman cohort in 2003-4 and of the undergraduate
student body in 2007-8, but only 9 percent of 2007-8 bachelor’s-degree recipients.
12/4/12 claremont.org: “The Perversity of Diversity; A review of Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It, by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr.”
By Thomas Sowell
Anyone who follows public policy issues can easily think of policies that help one group at the expense of
some other group. What is rarer, however, is a policy that on net balance harms all groups concerned, even
if in very different ways. Affirmative action policies in the academic world can claim that rare distinction.
Many among the liberal intelligentsia dismiss criticisms of affirmative action as coming from “angry white
males,” who are presumably just upset at losing places in colleges or elsewhere to either women or
minorities. But if that was the real reason, the question then is why white males are not angry at Asian
Americans, who have displaced more white males at many elite academic institutions than have blacks
or Hispanics. But, as an old song once said, “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.” The way Asian
Americans have done it is by outperforming others, and most of us still recognize that as legitimate, even
in these excessively egalitarian times.
We can probably all agree that affirmative action has an adverse effect on the admissions prospects
of white males. What may seem more controversial is the proposition that affirmative action imposes
serious handicaps on black and other minority students. There have been critics (including me) who have
been saying that for some time. However, the devastating new book Mismatch, by Richard H. Sander and
Stuart Taylor, Jr., has so much overwhelming evidence on the harm done to students who are black,
Hispanic, or from other “under-represented” minorities, that it will be hard for anyone with pretensions
of honesty to be able to deny that painful fact.
Does this mean that academics and others will finally have a fact-based debate over this contentious
issue? Not necessarily. Indeed, not likely. Another highly successful strategy used by academic
administrators and other defenders of racial preferences in higher education has been to simply ignore
any and all evidence that goes against their policies or the assumptions behind those policies. Where
academics or foundations control data sources, they often simply refuse to release the data to those
with differing views. However, this latter strategy will now be like locking the barn door after the horses
are gone. Sander and Taylor already have a decisive quantity and quality of hard data in their book.
The book is titled Mismatch because the fundamental problem created for black and other minority
students admitted to elite colleges and postgraduate programs under affirmative action preferences
is not that those students are “unqualified” to be in colleges and universities, but that they are far too
often mismatched with the particular colleges and universities that admit them under standards
lowered to get a desired racial body count, whether expressed as “goals” or “quotas.”
As Sander and Taylor point out, the late Professor Clyde Summers of the Yale Law School was
the first person to explain, back in 1968, why preferential admissions policies for minorities were so
often damaging to those minority students’ education. Summers, incidentally, had years earlier
published a landmark article that criticized labor unions’ discrimination against blacks, so he could
hardly be dismissed as an “angry white male” opposed to minorities’ advancement. Professor
Summers explained that admitting black students to top-tier institutions, when they had academic
qualifications that were at a level that fit second-tier institutions, meant that second-tier institutions
now had a reduced pool of suitable black applicants and would have to dip into the pool of black
students whose qualifications fit the third tierï¿½and so on down the line.
The net result would be a systematic mismatching of black students with institutions up and down
the ranks of academic institutions. This in turn would mean unnecessary academic failures among
black students who were qualified to be successes, though not at the particular institutions where
they were admitted under lowered standards for the sake of demographic representation.
By contrast with Professor Summers’s analysis, the prevailing theory of affirmative action is that
admitting black and other minority students to institutions they might otherwise not qualify for is
giving them a much-needed avenue to upward mobility. But what are the facts?
What a wide variety of empirical evidence in Mismatch shows is that, when black and other
minority students are admitted to colleges and universities where the other students have
substantially stronger academic backgrounds, the minority students fail to graduate as often as
other students and – a crucial fact – they graduate less often than other black students with the
same level of academic credentials as themselves, but who attend other academic institutions
where their preparation is more similar to that of the other students at those institutions.
What Clyde Summers predicted back in 1968 is repeatedly confirmed by data from academic
institutions across the country today.
The reason is not hard to understand. As Sander and Taylor point out, professors tend to pitch
their courses to the level of the students they have. If the black students at an elite college score
at the 75th percentile on tests used nationwide, most would undoubtedly do very well at the
average American college, or at a somewhat above-average American college. But, if they are
admitted to a top college where the other students score at the 99th percentile, the courses they
take are likely to move at a pace that is too fast for their reading speed or their mathematical
skills. These minority students may be perfectly capable of mastering the same material in these
courses, if they were at an institution where the courses moved at a pace, and on a level of
complexity, geared to students with a similar level of academic preparation as themselves.
As Sander and Taylor put it, “A freshman physics class at Dartmouth would presume that
students were comfortable with calculus and fairly complex, realistic models of natural
phenomenon, a freshman class at Fisk, or at the University of Tennessee, would probably
start with algebraic approaches to more classical concepts.” Certainly when I taught introductory
economics to engineering students at Cornell University, and came to the concept of “marginal
revenue,” I would simply say that marginal revenue was the first derivative of total revenue, and
keep moving, knowing that all the engineering students know calculus and would understand
what that meant. But, when introducing “marginal revenue” in an introductory economics course
at Howard University, I prepared numerical examples that would get across the same concept.
What is the practical consequence of all this?
The empirical data presented in Mismatch shows that black students admitted to colleges
and universities where the other students have higher academic qualifications do not graduate
as often, graduate with much lower grades, and, when they start out trying to major in difficult
subjects like mathematics, the natural sciences, engineering, or economics, they end up
majoring in much easier subjects with much less of a payoff in terms of their careers in later life.
Moreover, black students with very similar academic qualifications who attend predominantly
black colleges succeed in graduating with degrees in the natural sciences, mathematics,
engineering, and economics far more often. Nor is this simply a matter of their being granted
college degrees while having less knowledge of their subjects. Predominantly black colleges
are 17 of the top 21 colleges whose black graduates go on to receive Ph.D.s in scientific,
mathematical, and technical fields.
It is not that black students who attend predominantly white colleges avoid majoring in science,
mathematics, or engineering. Initially they choose such majors more often than white students
at the same institutions. It is just that black students subsequently abandon these fields in large
numbers in institutions where they are academically mismatched. As a professor at one of the
black colleges put it, the predominantly white schools are “wasting” well-qualified black students
who “wind up majoring in sociology or recreation or get wiped out altogether.”
In the field of law, there is another external criterion for the success or failure of the education
of students admitted under lower academic standards. That is the ability to pass the bar
examination. Black students admitted to George Mason University Law School with lower
academic qualifications than the other students there had “roughly a 30 percent chance” of
graduating and passing the bar exam on the first attempt, according to Sander and Taylor.
But “students at the historically black Howard University Law School, only a few miles away,
had academic indices very similar to blacks at GMU Law but had a graduation-and-first-time-
bar-passage rate of about 57 percent, nearly twice as high.”
In short, black and other minority students seem to learn better at institutions where the other
students are similar in academic qualifications. The same conclusion is implied in data on
what happened after affirmative action in admissions was outlawed in the University of
California system. When racial preferences were banned by the voters in California, there
were dire predictions that this would mean the virtual disappearance of black and Hispanic
students from the University of California system.
What in fact happened was a 2% decline in their enrollment in the University of California
system as a whole, but an increase in the number of black and Hispanic students graduating,
including an increase of 55% in the number graduating in four years and an increase of 63%
in the number graduating in four years with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Instead of the predicted drastic decline in enrollment in the system as a whole, there was a
drastic redistribution of black and Hispanic students within the University of California system.
Their enrollment dropped at the two most elite campuses, Berkeley and UCLA, by 42% at the
former and 33% at the latter. But their enrollment rose by 22% at the Irvine campus, 18% at the
Santa Cruz campus, and 65% at the University of California at Riverside. After this redistribution,
the number of black and Hispanic students who graduated with degrees in science, mathematics,
and engineering “rose by nearly 50 percent,” according to Sander and Taylor. The number of
doctorates earned by black and Hispanic students in the system rose by about 20%.
In short, the problems created by the mismatching brought on by affirmative action gave way
to significant improvements in the academic performances of black and Hispanic students in
the University of California system after those preferences were banned. In purely intellectual
terms, these results might seem to vindicate what had been long said by critics of race
preferences in college admission, and lead to some rethinking on the subject.
But no such thing happened. On the contrary, new and more clever ways of evading the ban
on affirmative action were created, even by academic administrators who privately admitted
that affirmative action had the bad effects that were found – and this not just in California but
in the academic world more generally. “Diversity” had become a sacred cause, and sacred
causes are seldom defeated by statistics.
10/13/12 Wall Street Journal: “The Unraveling of Affirmative Action: Racial preferences spring from worthy
intentions, but they have had unintended consequences – including an academic mismatch in many cases
between minority students and the schools to which they are admitted. There’s a better way to help the
By Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr.
For the full article, see:
In fact, the majority of students admitted with large racial preferences struggle academically and often
never come close to achieving their goals. At selective schools, more than 80% of blacks, and two-thirds
of Hispanics, have received at least moderately large admissions preferences, according to our analysis
of admissions data from several dozen selective schoolsï¿½that is the equivalent of at least a 100-point SAT
boost, and often much more.
There is now increasing evidence that students who receive large preferences of any kind – whether
based on race, athletic ability, alumni connections or other considerations – experience some clear
negative effects: Students end up with poor grades (usually in the bottom fifth of their class), lower
graduation rates, extremely high attrition rates from science and engineering majors, substantial self-
segregation on campus, lower self-esteem and far greater difficulty passing licensing tests (such as
bar exams for lawyers).
The most encouraging part of this research is the parallel finding that these same students have
dramatically better outcomes if they go to schools where their level of academic preparation is much
closer to that of the median student. That is, black and Hispanic students, as well as the smaller numbers
of preferentially admitted athletes and children of donors, excel when they avoid the problem of what has
come to be called “mismatch.”
Black and Hispanic high-school seniors are actually more likely than similar whites to aspire to careers
in science and engineering (which, along with technology and math, make up the so-called STEM fields),
as first demonstrated by Dartmouth psychologist Rogers Elliott in 1996, and since confirmed in other
studies. Tens of thousands of minority students receive preferences to attend schools where they feel
overwhelmed, especially in STEM classes. As a result, the studies have found, they switch from science
courses and migrate to other fields that, if not actually easier, are at least graded less harshly and are
less sequential in their teaching. The end result: Whites are seven times more likely than blacks to go on
to get doctorates in STEM fields.
Research on law schools by one of us (Richard Sander) – hotly disputed by some scholars when it was
published in 2005 by the Stanford Law Review and now confirmed by economist Doug Williams – found
that mismatch essentially doubled the rate at which blacks and Hispanics failed bar exams. Under existing
preference policies, only one in three blacks entering law school graduates and passes the bar on his or
her first attempt (compared with two in three whites). Simply by reducing mismatch, we could get this ratio
up to one in two.
This same dynamic turned up when several leading educators wanted to find out why so few black
students went on to become professors. Funded by the Council of Ivy League Presidents, sociologists
Stephen Cole and the late Elinor Barber surveyed thousands of young African-American students entering
a broad cross-section of selective schools. The 2003 Cole-Barber book, “Increasing Faculty Diversity,”
concluded that large racial preferences and the ensuing mismatch led directly to lower grades and
diminished intellectual self-confidence. They found that promising young black students who wanted
to become professors abandoned their academic aspirations in droves, while similar black students
who weren’t mismatched were far more likely to stay the course.
In the 1970s, when racial-preference programs were getting off the ground, universities went to great
lengths to admit black students who were the first in their families to attend college. A majority of blacks
attending selective schools in 1972 came from families in the bottom half of the socioeconomic distribution.
Over time, however, complacency and the rapid rise of the black upper middle class has changed that; in
the 1990s, only 8% of black students at selective schools came from the “bottom half,” according to data
from the National Educational Longitudinal Study.
What can be done about the problem of mismatch? Most obviously, we need dramatic improvements
in elementary and secondary schools to narrow the racial gaps in academic achievement. According to
the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the average black 12th-grader is on a par with the
average white eighth-grader. That project will take decades.
Mr. Taylor, a legal journalist and author, and Mr. Sander, a UCLA law professor and economist, are
the authors of “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why
Universities Won’t Admit It,” published this week.
10/10/12 The New Republic: “Race to the Flop: The Problem with Affirmative Action,”
by Richard D.Kahlenberg
Book review: Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities
Won’t Admit It (Basic Books, 348 pp., $28.99)
by Richard H. Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr.
The Issue of affirmative action in higher education – which is headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court
today – presents a conundrum for the justices who, like most Americans, want racial diversity in colleges
yet are uneasy with racial preferences.
10/28/11 AFP: “Asian Americans most bullied in US schools: study,”
By Shaun Tandon
(AFP) Oct 28, 2011
Washington: Asian Americans endure far more bullying at US schools than members of other
ethnic groups, with teenagers of the community three times as likely to face taunts on the Internet, new
4/7/10 U.S. Department of Education report: “Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2008;
Graduation Rates, 2002 and 2005 Cohorts; and Financial Statistics, Fiscal Year 2008.”
Enrollment and graduation data from the more than 6,700 postsecondary institutions that enroll just
under 20 million students and that participate in Title IV student financial aid programs is broken down
by race, ethnicity, and sex, in Table 5 on p. 15.
Graduation rates for both public and private 4-year institutions:
– Asians/Pacific Islander: 66.1%
– Whites: 59.3%
– Hispanic or Latino: 46.5%
– Black or African American: 38.9%
1/5/09 Wall Street Journal: “Housing Push for Hispanics Spawns Wave of Foreclosures,”
By Susan Schmidt and Maurice Tamman
California Rep. Joe Baca has long pushed legislation he said would “open the doors to the American Dream” for first-time home buyers in his largely Hispanic district. For many of them, those doors have slammed shut, quickly and painfully.
Mortgage lenders flooded Mr. Baca’s San Bernardino , Calif. , district with loans that often didn’t require down payments, solid credit ratings or documentation of employment. Now, many of the Hispanics who became homeowners find themselves mired in the national housing mess. Nearly 9,200 families in his district have lost their homes to foreclosure.
Foreclosure Crisis Hits Hispanics
Congressional districts with large Hispanic populations often feature heavy nonprime lending. See how different districts break down in terms of prime and nonprime home loans.
For years, immigrants to the U.S. have viewed buying a home as the ultimate benchmark of success. Between 2000 and 2007, as the Hispanic population increased, Hispanic homeownership grew even faster, increasing by 47%, to 6.1 million from 4.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over that same period, homeownership nationally grew by 8%. In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%, with expensive nonprime mortgages soaring 169%, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.
An examination of that borrowing spree by The Wall Street Journal reveals that it wasn’t simply the mortgage market at work. It was fueled by a campaign by low-income housing groups, Hispanic lawmakers, a congressional Hispanic housing initiative, mortgage lenders and brokers, who all were pushing to increase homeownership among Latinos.
The network included Mr. Baca, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, whose district is 58% Hispanic and ranks No. 5 among all congressional districts in percentage of home loans not tailored for prime borrowers. The caucus launched a housing initiative called Hogar — Spanish for home — to work with industry and community groups to increase mortgage lending to Latinos. Mortgage companies provided funding to that group, and to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, which fielded an army to make the loans.
In years past, minority borrowers seeking loans were often stopped cold by a practice called red-lining, in which lenders were reluctant to lend within particular geographical areas, often, it appeared, on the basis of race. But combined efforts to open the mortgage pipeline to Latinos proved successful.
“We saw what we refer to in the advocacy community as reverse red-lining,” says Aracely Panameno, director of Latino affairs for the Center for Responsible Lending, an advocacy group. “Lenders were seeking out those borrowers and charging them through the roof,” she says.
Ms. Panameno says that during the height of the housing boom she sought to present the Hispanic Caucus with data showing how many Latinos were being steered into risky and expensive subprime loans. Hogar declined her requests, she says.
When the national housing market began unraveling, so did the fortunes of many of the new homeowners. National foreclosure statistics don’t break out data by ethnicity or race. But there is evidence that Hispanic borrowers have been hard hit. In part, that’s because of large Hispanic populations in areas where the housing bubble was pronounced, such as Southern California, Nevada and Florida .
In U.S. counties where Hispanics account for more than 25% of the population, banks have taken back 6.7 homes per 1,000 residents since Jan. 1, 2006, compared with 4.6 per 1,000 residents in all counties, according to a Journal analysis of U.S. Census and RealtyTrac data.
Hispanic lawmakers and community groups have blamed subprime lenders, who specialize in making loans to customers with spotty credit histories. They complain that even solid borrowers were steered to those loans, which carry higher interest rates.
In a written statement, Mr. Baca blamed the foreclosure crisis among Hispanics on borrowers’ lack of “financial literacy” and on “lenders and brokers eager to make a bigger profit.” He declined to be interviewed for this story.
But a close look at the network of organizations pushing for increased mortgage lending reveals a more complicated picture. Subprime-industry executives were advisers to the Hogar housing initiative, and bankrolled more than $2 million of its research. Lawmakers and advocacy groups pushed hard for the easy credit that fueled the subprime phenomenon among Latinos. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who received donations from the lending industry and saw their constituents moving into new homes, pushed for eased lending standards, which led to problems.
Mortgage lenders appear to have regarded Latinos as a largely untapped demographic. Many were first or second-generation U.S. residents who didn’t own homes. Many Hispanic families had multiple wage earners working multiple cash jobs, but had no savings or established credit history to allow them to qualify for traditional loans.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus created Hogar in 2003 to work with industry and community groups to increase mortgage lending to Latinos. At that time, the national Latino homeownership rate was 47%, compared with 68% for the overall population. Hogar called the figure “alarming,” and said a concerted effort was required to ensure that “by the end of the decade Latinos will share equally in the American Dream of homeownership.”
Hogar’s backers included many companies that ran into trouble in mortgage markets: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both now under federal control; Countrywide Financial Corp., sold last year to Bank of America Corp.; Washington Mutual Inc., taken over by the government and sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest Mortgage Corp., both now defunct.
Hogar’s ties to the subprime industry were substantial. A Washington Mutual vice president served as chairman of its advisory committee. Companies that donated $150,000 a year got the right to place a research fellow who would conduct Hogar’s studies, which were used by industry lobbyists. For donations of $100,000 a year, Hogar offered to provide news releases from the Hispanic Caucus promoting a lender’s commercial products for the Latino market, according to the group’s literature.
Hogar worked with Freddie Mac on a two-year examination of Latino homeownership in 63 congressional districts. The study found Hispanic ownership on the rise thanks to “new flexible mortgage loan products” that the industry was adopting. It recommended further easing of down-payment and underwriting standards.
Representatives for Hogar declined repeated requests for comment.
The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, one of Hogar’s sponsors, advised the group, shared research data and built a large membership to market loans to Latinos. By 2005, its ranks had grown to 16,000 agents and mortgage brokers.
The association, called Nahrep, received funding from some of the same players that funded Hogar. Some 22 corporate sponsors, including Countrywide and Washington Mutual, together paid the association $2 million a year to attend conferences and forums where lenders could pitch their loan products to loan brokers.
While home prices were rising, the lending risk seemed minimal, says Tim Sandos, Narhep’s president. “We would say, ‘Is he breathing? OK, we’ll give him a mortgage,’ ” he recalls.
Nahrep’s 2006 convention in Las Vegas was called “Place Your Bets on Home Ownership.” Countrywide Chairman Angelo Mozilo spoke, as did former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, a force in Latino housing developments in the West.
Countrywide and other sponsors contracted with Nahrep to set up regional events where they could present loan products to loan brokers and their customers. Mr. Sandos says his organization doesn’t get paid to promote particular lenders.
At the height of the subprime lending boom, in 2005, banking and finance companies gave at least $2.3 million in campaign contributions to members of the Hispanic Caucus, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
In October 2008, a charitable foundation set up by Mr. Baca received $25,000 from AmeriDream Inc., a nonprofit housing company and Hogar sponsor. Mr. Baca has long backed AmeriDream’s controversial seller-financed down-payment assistance program. AmeriDream provided down-payment money to buyers, a cost that was covered by home builders in the form of donations to the nonprofit.
New housing legislation last fall outlawed the program. Mr. Baca is cosponsoring a bill that would allow AmeriDream and similar nonprofits to resume arranging seller-financed down-payment assistance to low-income Federal Housing Administration borrowers.
Such seller-financed loans comprise one-third of the loans backed by the FHA, and have defaulted at nearly triple the rate of other FHA-insured loans, according to agency spokesman William Glavin.
In a news release, AmeriDream said the donation to Mr. Baca’s foundation was intended to fund the purchase of gear for firefighters in his district. Local news reports say the foundation gave away $36,000 in scholarships this year.
Internal Revenue Service records indicate that Mr. Baca’s son, Joe Baca Jr., has an annual salary of $51,800 as executive director of the Joe Baca Foundation, which is run out of the congressman’s home. Joe Baca Jr. says he currently is taking only about half that listed salary.
Mr. Baca’s office declined to comment on the AmeriDream contribution.
Mr. Baca remains opposed to strict lending rules. “We need to keep credit easily accessible to our minority communities,” he said in a statement released by his office.
Mortgage lending to Hispanics took off between 2004 and 2007, powered by nonprime loans. The biggest jump occurred in 2005. The 169% increase in nonprime mortgages to Hispanics that year outpaced a 122% gain for blacks, and a 110% increase for whites, according to a Journal analysis of mortgage-industry and federal-housing data. Nonprime mortgages carry high interest rates and are tailored to borrowers with low credit scores or few assets.
Between 2004 and 2007, black borrowers were offered nonprime loans at a slightly higher rate than Hispanics, but the overall number of Hispanic borrowers was much larger. From 2004 to 2005, total nonprime home loans to Hispanics more than tripled to $69 billion from $19 billion, and peaked in 2006 at $73 billion.
Tricks of the Trade
Mortgage brokers became a key portion of the lending pipeline. Phi Nguygn, a former broker, worked at two suburban Washington-area firms that employed hundreds of loan originators, most of them Latino. Countrywide and other subprime lenders sent account representatives to brokerage offices frequently, he says. Countrywide didn’t respond to calls requesting comment.
Representatives of subprime lenders passed on “little tricks of the trade” to get borrowers qualified, he says, such as adding a borrower’s name to a relative’s bank account, an illegal maneuver. Mr. Nguygn says he’s now volunteering time to help borrowers facing foreclosure negotiate with banks.
Many loans to Hispanic borrowers were based not on actual income histories but on a borrower’s “stated income.” These so-called no-doc loans yielded higher commissions and involved less paperwork.
Another problem was so-called NINA — no income, no assets — loans. They were originally intended for self-employed people of means. But Freddie Mac executives worried about abuse, according to documents obtained by Congress. The program “appears to target borrowers who would have trouble qualifying for a mortgage if their financial position were adequately disclosed,” said a staff memo to Freddie Mac Chairman Richard Syron. “It appears they are disproportionately targeted toward Hispanics.”
Freddie Mac says it tightened down-payment requirements in 2004 and stopped buying NINA loans altogether in 2007.
“It’s very hard to get in front of a train loaded with highly profitable activities and stop it,” says Ronald Rosenfeld, chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, a government agency that regulates home loan banks.
Regions of the country where the housing bubble grew biggest, such as California , Nevada and Florida , are heavily populated by Latinos, many of whom worked in the construction industry during the housing boom. When these markets began to weaken, bad loans depressed the value of neighboring properties, creating a downward spiral. Neighborhoods are now dotted with vacant homes.
By late 2008, one in every nine households in San Joaquin County , Calif. , was in default or foreclosure — 24,049 of them, according to Federal Reserve data. Banks have already taken back 55 of every 1,000 homes. In Riverside , Calif. , 66,838 houses are owned by banks or were headed in that direction as of October. In Prince William County, Va., a Washington suburb, 11,685 homes, or one in 11, was in default or foreclosure.
Gerardo Cadima, a Bolivian immigrant who works as an electrician, bought a home in suburban Virginia for $330,000, with no money down. “I said this is too good to be true,” he recalls. “I’m 23 years old, with a family, buying my own house.”
When work slowed last year, Mr. Cadima ran into trouble on his adjustable-rate mortgage. “The payments were increasing, and the price of the house was starting to drop,” he says. “I started to think, is this really worth it?” He stopped making payments and his home was sold at auction for $180,000.
In the wake of the housing slump, some participants in the Hispanic lending network are expressing second thoughts about the push. Mr. Sandos, head of Nahrep, says that some of his group’s past members, lured by big commissions, steered borrowers into expensive loans that they couldn’t afford.
Nahrep has filed complaints with state regulators against some of those brokers, he says. Their actions go against Nahrep’s mission of building “sustainable” Latino home ownership.
These days, James Scruggs of Northern Virginia Legal Services is swamped with Latino borrowers facing foreclosure. “We see loan applications that are complete fabrications,” he says. Typically, he says, everything was marketed to borrowers in Spanish, right up until the closing, which was conducted in English.
“We are not talking about people working for the World Bank or the IMF,” he says. “We are talking about day laborers, janitors, people who work in restaurants, people who do babysitting.”
Two such borrowers work in Mr. Scrugg’s office. Sandra Cardoza, a $28,000-a-year office manager, is now $30,000 in arrears on loans totaling $370,000. “Her loan documents say she makes more than me,” says Mr. Scruggs.
Nahrep agents are networking on how to negotiate “short sales” to banks, where Hispanic homeowners sell their homes at a loss in order to escape onerous mortgages. The association has a new how-to guide: “The American Nightmare: Strategies for Preventing, Surviving and Overcoming Foreclosure.”
Louise Radnofsky contributed to this article.
8/24/07 Wall Street Journal: Affirmative Action Backfires,
by Gail Heriot
Ms. Heriot is professor of law at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Three years ago, UCLA law professor Richard Sander published an explosive, fact-based study of the consequences of affirmative action in American law schools in the Stanford Law Review. Most of his findings were grim, and they caused dismay among many of the champions of affirmative action — and indeed, among those who were not.
Easily the most startling conclusion of his research: Mr. Sander calculated that there are fewer black attorneys today than there would have been if law schools had practiced color-blind admissions — about 7.9% fewer by his reckoning. He identified the culprit as the practice of admitting minority students to schools for which they are inadequately prepared. In essence, they have been “matched” to the wrong school.
No one claims the findings in Mr. Sander’s study, “A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools,” are the last word on the subject. Although so far his work has held up to scrutiny at least as well as that of his critics, all fair-minded scholars agree that more research is necessary before the “mismatch thesis” can be definitively accepted or rejected.
Unfortunately, fair-minded scholars are hard to come by when the issue is affirmative action. Some of the same people who argue Mr. Sander’s data are inconclusive are now actively trying to prevent him from conducting follow-up research that might yield definitive answers. If racial preferences really are causing more harm than good, they apparently don’t want you — or anyone else — to know.
Take William Kidder, a University of California staff advisor and co-author of a frequently cited attack of Sander’s study. When Mr. Sander and his co-investigators sought bar passage data from the State Bar of California that would allow analysis by race, Mr. Kidder passionately argued that access should be denied, because disclosure “risks stigmatizing African American attorneys.” At the same time, the Society of American Law Teachers, which leans so heavily to the left it risks falling over sideways, gleefully warned that the state bar would be sued if it cooperated with Mr. Sander.
Sadly, the State Bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners caved under the pressure. The committee members didn’t formally explain their decision to deny Mr. Sander’s request for this data (in which no names would be disclosed), but the root cause is clear: Over the last 40 years, many distinguished citizens — university presidents, judges, philanthropists and other leaders — have built their reputations on their support for race-based admissions. Ordinary citizens have found secure jobs as part of the resulting diversity bureaucracy.
If the policy is not working, they, too, don’t want anyone to know.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hopes that it can persuade the State Bar to reconsider. Its soon-to-be released report on affirmative action in law schools specifically calls for state bar authorities to cooperate with qualified scholars studying the mismatch issue. The recommendation is modest. The commission doesn’t claim that Mr. Sander is right or his critics wrong. It simply seeks to encourage and facilitate important research.
The Commission’s deeper purpose is to remind those who support and administer affirmative action polices that good intentions are not enough. Consequences also matter. And conscious, deliberately chosen ignorance is not a good-faith option.
Mr. Sander’s original article noted that when elite law schools lower their academic standards in order to admit a more racially diverse class, schools one or two tiers down feel they must do the same. As a result, there is now a serious gap in academic credentials between minority and non-minority law students across the pecking order, with the average black student’s academic index more than two standard deviations below that of his average white classmate.
Not surprisingly, such a gap leads to problems. Students who attend schools where their academic credentials are substantially below those of their fellow students tend to perform poorly.
The reason is simple: While some students will outperform their entering academic credentials, just as some students will underperform theirs, most students will perform in the range that their academic credentials predict. As a result, in elite law schools, 51.6% of black students had first-year grade point averages in the bottom 10% of their class as opposed to only 5.6% of white students. Nearly identical performance gaps existed at law schools at all levels. This much is uncontroversial.
Supporters of race-based admissions argue that, despite the likelihood of poor grades, minority students are still better off accepting the benefit of a preference and graduating from a more prestigious school. But Mr. Sander’s research suggests that just the opposite may be true — that law students, no matter what their race, may learn less, not more, when they enroll in schools for which they are not academically prepared. Students who could have performed well at less competitive schools may end up lost and demoralized. As a result, they may fail the bar.
Specifically, Mr. Sander found that when black and white students with similar academic credentials compete against each other at the same school, they earn about the same grades. Similarly, when black and white students with similar grades from the same tier law school take the bar examination, they pass at about the same rate.
Yet, paradoxically, black students as a whole have dramatically lower bar passage rates than white students with similar credentials. Something is wrong.
The Sander study argued that the most plausible explanation is that, as a result of affirmative action, black and white students with similar credentials are not attending the same schools. The white students are more likely to be attending a school that takes things a little more slowly and spends more time on matters that are covered on the bar exam. They are learning, while their minority peers are struggling at more elite schools.
Mr. Sander calculated that if law schools were to use color-blind admissions policies, fewer black law students would be admitted to law schools (3,182 students instead of 3,706), but since those who were admitted would be attending schools where they have a substantial likelihood of doing well, fewer would fail or drop out (403 vs. 670). In the end, more would pass the bar on their first try (1,859 vs. 1,567) and more would eventually pass the bar (2,150 vs. 1,981) than under the current system of race preferences. Obviously, these figures are just approximations, but they are troubling nonetheless.
Mr. Sander has his critics — some thoughtful, some just strident — but so far none has offered a plausible alternative explanation for the data. Of course, Mr. Sander doesn’t need to be proven 100% correct for his research to be devastating news for affirmative-action supporters.
Suppose the consequences of race-based admissions turn out to be a wash — neither increasing nor decreasing the number of minority attorneys. In that case, few people would think it worth the costs, not least among them the human costs that result from the failure of the supposed beneficiaries to graduate and pass the bar.
Under current practices, only 45% of blacks who enter law school pass the bar on their first attempt as opposed to over 78% of whites. Even after multiple tries, only 57% of blacks succeed. The rest are often saddled with student debt, routinely running as high as $160,000, not counting undergraduate debt. How great an increase in the number of black attorneys is needed to justify these costs?
The most important other recommendation of the Civil Rights Commission is a call for transparency. As a matter of consumer fairness, law school applicants — regardless of race — need to know the statistical likelihood that someone with their academic credentials will successfully graduate and pass the bar. Once informed, they can better decide whether to undertake the risk of attending that particular school, or any law school at all. If law schools are unwilling to undertake this simple reform, it should be mandated by law.
Under current practices, law school applicants are at the mercy of admissions officers for that information; it is almost never provided except on a class-wide basis where success rates are positively misleading. Minority students whose academic credentials are substantially below their average classmates are lulled into believing that they are just as likely to graduate and pass the bar. When they don’t, they may be stuck with the bills, not to mention the loss of several years of their lives.
The problem is that the admissions officer’s job is to enroll students, not to draw the risks of failure to their attention. Indeed, in some cases, the officer may be frantic to enroll minority students in order to comply with the stringent new diversity standards of the American Bar Association Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. As the federal government’s accrediting agency for law schools, the ABA Council determines whether a law school will be eligible for the federal student-loan program. The law school that fails to satisfy its diversity requirements does so at its peril — as a number of law school deans can amply attest.
Decades of law students have relied upon the good faith of law school officials to tell them what they needed to know. For the 43% of black law students who never became lawyers, maybe that reliance was misplaced.
Asian-Americans are the most qualified but have the lowest chance of admission to medical school
than any other racial or ethnic group. See Center for Equal Opportunity and click on
1. Preferences in Medical Education: Racial and Ethnic Preferences at Five Public Medical Schools, and
2. Racial and Ethnic Preferences and Consequences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
6/21/01 http://www.jewishworldreview.com: “Affirmative action doctors can kill you,” by Linda Chavez,
Center For Equal Opportunity —
The American Medical Association meets this week in Chicago for its annual conference, and there will
be plenty of controversial public policy issues on its agenda. But one issue you can bet the AMA won’t talk
about is what effect the widespread practice of admitting blacks and Hispanics to medical school with
lower qualifications than their white and Asian counterparts is having on the medical profession.
By now, most Americans have gotten used to the idea that colleges and universities apply double
standards when it comes to admitting black and Hispanic undergraduates — even if they don’t like it
very much. The assumption has been, however, that these students somehow catch up over the next
four years and go on to be just as successful as their white and Asian peers.
This notion was given a boost a few years ago when two influential former college presidents,
William Bowen and Derek Bok, published the findings of a study on affirmative action, “The Shape of
the River,” in which they claimed that minority students who benefited from preferential admissions
standards nonetheless went on to perform well, earning graduate degrees at higher numbers than
might be expected.
What Bowen and Bok didn’t say is that the same degree of racial preference being given to
minority students at the undergraduate level applies to graduate schools, too, including medical schools.
For the first time ever, we now have the hard numbers to prove that medical schools routinely give
preference to less-qualified black (and sometimes Hispanic) applicants than to others.
The Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), which I head, has been studying the issue of racial
preferences in college admissions for the past six years.
We’ve now turned our focus to medical schools and are in the process of gathering information on
every public school of medicine in the country. So far, we’ve analyzed six medical schools, representing
every geographic region of the country, and the pattern for medical schools is the same as it was for
Black and Hispanic students are being admitted to medical school with substantially lower college
grades and test scores than whites or Asians. If you’re a black or, to a lesser degree, Hispanic
applicant, your chances of being admitted to medical school are far greater than whites or Asians
with the same college grades and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores.
At the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1997, the odds ratio of a black applicant
being admitted over a white with the same grades and MCAT scores were nearly 30-to-1. At the
State University of New York, Brooklyn, the odds were nearly 23-to-1 in 1996 and were 9-to-1 in
1999. At the University of Maryland in 1999, they were 21-to-1, and at the University of Georgia in
1996, they were 19-to-1. At Michigan State University College of Human Medicine they were
12-to-1 in 1997 and 14-to-1 in 1999.
But more disturbing even than the finding that medical schools seem to be admitting less-qualified
students on the basis of race and ethnicity is that many of these students can’t pass their licensing
exams, despite greater resources directed toward helping them than other students received.
At every medical school CEO studied, substantially larger numbers of black students than whites
either did not take or failed their initial licensing exams, and, in most instances, failed their
subsequent licensing tests as well. These higher failure rates don’t just mean personal
disappointment. Since medical education requires a huge allocation of resources — and at state
schools, this usually means tax-payer funding — medical students who do not go on to become
doctors are a poor investment.
More than 3,500 white and Asian students were not admitted to the schools CEO studied,
despite having better grades and test scores than black and Hispanic applicants who were
given preferential treatment. Since grades and, in particular, MCAT scores are very good
predictors of performance on the licensing exams, we know that a higher percentage of these
students would have passed the exams if they had been admitted.
So, who wins? Certainly not the whites and Asians denied the opportunity to study medicine.
But neither do the blacks and Hispanics who were admitted to medical school but could not
And all of the rest of us — of all colors — suffer, too, from a shortage of qualified doctors.
A benchmark for medical competence is the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Exam
Part I. Every medical student in the US must pass it to become a physician. Students take the exam two
years before graduation. The most comprehensive study of NBME pass rates was published in 1994 by
Beth Dawson et al (Journal of the American Medical Association 1994 272:9 674-9). The authors examined
the performance of every medical student in the U.S. taking the June exam for the first time over the years
1986, 1987 and 1988. Dawson and her colleagues found that white medical students passed the NBME
test at a rate of 87.7 percent and blacks at 48.9 percent. Notably, when Dawson’s study looked at entering
students with similar academic credentials, the pass rates on the NBME exam were independent of race,
pointing an accusing finger directly at affirmative action. For all its good intentions, affirmative action has
created two levels of competence in American medicine, separated by a bit more than one standard