A blog by Charles Murray who once called Asian American students the “new Jews” is blasting UC Berkeley’s holistic approach to admissions.
In a blog for AEI, Charles Murray called holistic admissions “admirable in theory but corrupt in practice.”
“The subjectivity of the holistic process permits the school to produce whatever admissions outcomes it wants without the embarrassment of coming right out and saying what it’s doing,” wrote Murray.
The author based his observations on an op-ed piece in the New York Times written by an ethics and writing professor from Stanford who was invited to help judge applicants at UC Berkeley.
Ruth Starkman said the whole process made her “queasy” due to its “opaque and secretive nature.”
What caught Murray’s attention the most, was the stark contrast Starkman painted in “the treatment of Asian American applicants in the holistic approach and the admission results.” Murray says the holistic approach downgrades the importance given to academic criteria which tends to favor Asian Americans so that underrepresented minorities such as African Americans and Hispanics can gain an edge.
I have two children who applied to go to UC Berkeley this fall–one as an undergraduate and the other as a graduate. Both were outstanding academically, both excelled in extracurriculars and both display a sincere commitment to social justice. The younger one got in, the older one did not. Whether the older one was denied due to this holistic approach, I don’t know. But a school doesn’t define you. You define yourself. If you make the most of your opportunities where ever they are given to you, you will succeed.
If society benefits from giving a boost to the underrepresented, then the greater good should prevail. That’s my take. Read Murray’s blog in AEI and Starkman’s account in the New York Times and give me your thoughts.