Center for Equal Opportunity

The nation’s only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity.

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Standardized Testing Under Attack ... Again

As predictably as fall marks the beginning of the new school year in campuses across the country, so, too, does it usher in new attacks on standardized testing. The 2011 version comes in the form of a new book, "SAT Wars," a collection of essays that purports to be an authoritative account of the controversy over one particular test used by most selective universities in their admissions process. But far from being an unbiased account of the pros and cons of using any standardized test -- much less the SAT, one of the most thoroughly studied, modified, and continuously validated tests in history -- the book is really an attack on standardized testing per se.

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Here's Linda Chavez on The O'Reilly Factor

In case you missed it, here’s  Center for Equal Opportunity chairman Linda Chavez on The O’Reilly Factor last Friday, talking about the studies that the CEO released last week in Madison, Wisconsin, that revealed severe racial preferences in state university undergrad and law school admissions there—and talking about the thuggish reception we received in Madison.

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Congratulations to the New Haven firefighters!

First, congratulations to the New Haven firefighters and their legal team! Last week the city of New Haven agreed—finally—to pay $2 million and enhanced pension benefits to the firefighters in their celebrated case that went all the way to the Supreme Court a couple of years ago. The 20 firefighters (19 white and one Latino) sued after the city threw out the results of a civil service examination for promotions because it didn’t like the racial results.

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Madison Mob Madness

This has been an exciting week for the Center for Equal Opportunity—and for the cause of true, colorblind equal opportunity.

On Tuesday at a press conference in Madison, Wisconsin, we released two studies that revealed severe discrimination based on race and ethnicity in undergraduate and law school admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with African Americans and Latinos being given huge preferences over whites and Asians.

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Discrimination in celebration of diversity

Last week, the city of New Haven, Conn., agreed - finally - to pay $2 mil- lion and enhanced pension benefits to the firefighters in a celebrated case that went all the way to the Supreme Court a couple of years ago. The 20 firefighters (19 white and one Hispanic) sued after the city threw out the results of a civil service examination for promotions because it didn’t like the racial results.

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New Studies Show Severe Racial Discrimination at University of Wisconsin

(Madison, WI) Two studies released today by the Center for Equal Opportunity reveal severe discrimination based on race and ethnicity in undergraduate and law school admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with African Americans and Latinos given preference over whites and Asians.

The studies are based on data supplied by the schools themselves, some of which the university had refused to turn over until a lawsuit was filed by CEO and successfully taken all the way to the state supreme court. The studies were prepared by Dr. Althea Nagai, a research fellow at CEO, and can be viewed on the organization’s website, www.ceousa.org.

CEO president Roger Clegg will answer questions about the studies when they are formally released at a press conference today at 11:00 a.m. at the DoubleTree hotel in Madison—525 W. Johnson St.

The odds ratio favoring African Americans and Hispanics over whites was 576-to-1 and 504-to-1, respectively, using the SAT and class rank while controlling for other factors. Thus, the median composite SAT score for black admittees was 150 points lower than for whites and Asians, and the Latino median SAT score was 100 points lower. Using the ACT, the odds ratios climbed to 1330-to-1 and 1494-to-1, respectively, for African Americans and Hispanics over whites.

For law school admissions, the racial discrimination found was also severe, with the weight given to ethnicity much greater than given to, for example, Wisconsin residency. Thus, an out-of-state black applicant with grades and LSAT scores at the median for that group would have had a 7 out 10 chance of admission and an out-of-state Hispanic a 1 out of 3 chance—but an in-state Asian with those grades and scores had a 1 out of 6 chance and an in-state white only a 1 out of 10 chance.

CEO chairman Linda Chavez noted: “This is the most severe undergraduate admissions discrimination that CEO has ever found in the dozens of studies it has published over the last 15 years.” Chavez also noted: “The studies show that literally hundreds of students applying as undergrads or to the law school are rejected in favor of students with lower test scores and grades, and the reason is that they have the wrong skin color or their parents came from the wrong countries.”

Roger Clegg added: “The latest census figures have dramatically underscored that America is increasingly multiethnic and multiracial. In such country, is simply untenable for our institutions—including public universities—to engage in politically correct but divisive and unfair discrimination.”

The Center for Equal Opportunity recently joined an amicus brief challenging the use of racial preferences at the University of Texas, in a case for which review by the U.S. Supreme Court will be sought this week.

DOWNLOAD University of Wisconsin Study

DOWNLOAD University of Wisconsin Law School Study

Your Watchdog at Work

Every day we review the Federal Register—a daily publication of proposed rules, regulations, and the like from federal agencies—for items that violate principles of colorblind equal opportunity. It’s rare that we don’t find something that provides grist for our mills here, and here’s an example of a formal comment I sent this week on a recent doozy:

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Should New York City Help Only Black and Latino Men?

The New York Times reported  recently that New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will, to quote the headline, “Unveil a Plan to Aid Young Black and Latino Men.” The article said the plan is “a blunt acknowledgment that thousands of young black and Latino men are cut off from New York’s civic, educational and economic life” and are “disproportionately undereducated, incarcerated and unemployed.” The various social programs will be financed not only by the city, but by Mayor Bloomberg himself, as well as fellow billionaire George Soros.

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The Dubious Celebration of Corporate Diversity

I frequently criticize the use of racial and ethnic preferences by universities and the government, but I should make clear that many corporations are just as bad. I’ve testified before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that such discrimination is widespread yet cannot be justified legally, empirically, or morally. You can read that testimony here , and an updated legal discussion here .

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