Deprived a Chance

January 11, 2010
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Imagine a person who came from a school that is probably not the best is offered the chance to get a good education, compared to a student who has already gotten some of the best education the country has to offer. How would you feel if you were allowed into a nice college, coming out of a school where maybe the bathrooms never worked? What if the textbooks are fifty years old? And what if the teachers try their hardest but don’t have the right materials to teach lessons properly? Compare this to a student who has had a clean school, updated textbooks, and the teachers are offered the best technology to teach their students. Affirmative action is the set of policies that are designed to help minorities get jobs and places in college. They are practiced to help the less privileged minorities get a better spot in society. America shows obvious inequalities against class and race. Affirmative action should be practiced because of inequalities the country has towards minority groups.

Affirmative action helps prevent unfairness based on a person’s class and prior education. First off, according to Jonathan Kozol, in East St. Louis, IL, the governor gives money to an already wealthy town close to East St. Louis. They haven’t gotten the chance to receive the education it takes to get into the good colleges of their choice. In the Milwaukee district, “with 77 percent Black and Hispanic students, annually spends $3,081 less per student than the nearby Maple Dale-Indian Hill district, with 20 percent Black and Hispanic students” (Pryse 1). Why should the government spend money rather wealthy area when East St. Louis desperately needs that money? This shows the unwillingness of the government to spend money on schools with mostly minorities. If these, minority schools can’t get enough money then they can’t be expected to properly teach the students. The schools in that town are probably in some of the best conditions. The East St. Louis schools, however, are badly run down and have had school canceled due to sewage leaking into their school.
Their prior education probably does not prepare them for tests, such as the SATs. The SATs and other merit-based tests only reflect the unfairness of the education system. Minorities aren’t given the right education to prepare for these tests, so how can they be expected to get high scores on them? Also, these legacy kids are probably getting into good colleges that they probably don’t even qualify in. These legacy kids are getting in due to wealthy alumni or having parents in the faculty. In fact, “15 percent of freshmen at America’s top schools are white students who failed to meet their university’s minimum standards for admission…” (Pryse 1). If the students can’t meet the requirements of the university then they should be accepting underprivileged students who can have a chance at a better education than what they got before.

Those who are against affirmative action bring up arguable points. One of their arguments is that it is unfair to a student who has worked hard for them not to get into the college of their choice. They say that if a student has worked hard for a place in a certain college it is not fair to not accept them because the school wants to be diverse. If the student has already worked hard then it should be no problem for them to get into a college of equal academic and extra curricular achievements. They have already had the chance to get a good education and it won’t be hard for them to keep achieving that. Another of their arguments is that affirmative action belittles merit because it should be purely based on merit. If this is true then how can minorities receiving poor education achieve these merits? They can’t achieve those merits if they have had an education or gone to a school where everything is in bad shape. In fact, “the average Black and Latino 12th-grader reads on the level of the average white seventh grader.” It is not possible for minorities to have any merits with an education so lacking. It is not possible to expect minorities to produce any merits with an education that would barely get them into college. This cannot be expected of a minority student in a ghetto high school, where a graduation diploma doesn’t get them into college.

Affirmative action should be kept because of the minority groups experience in the U.S. Minority groups have exposure to inequalities and prejudices. They are unable to have a foundation on which to build their life and ensure their survival in a country that does little to help them. Affirmative action is a way to help them get an education that will help them in their future and to get jobs. Affirmative action, though, is being belittled and needs to be supported and to argue against the matters of those against it. Inequality is not something that solves it self, action must be taken for change to come.





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