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Commentary By Roland G. Fryer, Jr.

Affirmative Action in College Admissions Doesn’t Work — but It Could

Education Higher Ed, Affirmative Action
I benefited greatly from affirmative action. I very much hope my children will not — because the current system contains significant weaknesses. The fate of the American Dream depends on reforming it to make it work.

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in an affirmative action case involving Harvard, where I am a professor. Many people who are concerned about racial representation at elite institutions fear that the justices will end the practice as we know it. But if they do, they could provide an opportunity to create a new, data-based system that would truly help level the playing field for disadvantaged kids.

I was raised, in part, by my father, who was sentenced to eight years in prison when I was in my teens. He never emphasized education — he beat me up more times than he read to me. I didn’t meet my mother until I was in my 20s. While my test scores were stellar in the early grades, I became indifferent to school and angry at the world by the time I took the SAT in high school. My score was well below the national average, partly because my only goal was to score the 700 minimum for college athletic participation, and partly because I took the test while still drunk from a party the night before.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Washington Post (paywall) ______________________ Roland G. Fryer, Jr., a John A. Paulson Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is professor of economics at Harvard University and founder of Equal Opportunity Ventures. This piece originally appeared in The Washington Post