Merits, not race, key to education

By November 18, 2014December 1st, 2014Uncategorized

It’s time for colleges and universities to scrap affirmative action once and for all and be colorblind when deciding who they admit.

It should be all about the American Dream.

A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in Boston by a group of Asian-American students, parents and others calls for that colorblind approach. The suit names Harvard University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, alleging, “Asian applicants competed only against themselves, not the whole applicant pool, for a limited number of designated spots.”

The suit argues that black, Hispanic and, yes, white students “are given racial preferences over better-qualified Asian-Americans applying for admission to Harvard,” according to the group’s press release.

It’s hard to argue with that. It’s simply not right to reject good, smart students who are qualified because they are one race but not another.

Applicants should be admitted or denied solely based on merit. Their SAT scores, grade point averages, community service, extracurricular activities and other unique gifts should be the critical factors for acceptance — not their ethnicity.

The race designation should be removed from applications so admission officers are forced to select students, or reject them, based on academic potential.

Colleges should recall Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, when he said: “I dream of a day when my children will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.”

The same noble principle should apply to college. Applicants should be admitted by their academic ability — that’s it!

Even TV’s “The Voice” gets the simple point that seems to elude Harvard brainiacs. The judges have their backs to the singers so they don’t grade the singers by their looks. By not being able to see the contestants, the judges listen to the music. That’s how it should be done.

College admissions officers take note. They should be judging everyone on their merits and performance.

If one group excels, then maybe high school administrators need to copy what they are doing right and stop trying to push quotas. Nobody needs a free pass. It takes brains, talent and hard work to succeed in this world.

Bottom line: Colleges and universities should be admitting hard-working, high-achieving students of all backgrounds based solely on academic performance and merit, not race. Dr. King would approve. And the American Dream would take on a new luster.

Adriana Cohen is co-host of “Trending Now” on Boston Herald Radio. Visit or follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.

Adriana Cohen

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist and tv commenator. Adriana’s weekly column appears in newspapers and media outlets nationwide including Fox News, the New York Post, and many others via the Creators Syndicate. To learn more, visit the About page.