“Only Blind Chance”: The Growing Telephone For”Random Selection” For College Admissions

Random selection is not generally an approach that the majority of men and women opt for in the selection of physicians or even restaurants or even a film. However, it appears to be the newest model for some in higher education. Former Barnard College math professor Cathy O’Neil has written a column calling for”random selection” of all college students to guarantee racial diversity. It’s ever so easy:”Never mind optional standardized evaluations. She’s not the only one contending for blind or random entries.
Others also have denounced standardized testing as vehicles for white supremacy. Education officials such as Alison Collins, vice president of the San Francisco Board of Education, have declared meritocracy itself to become racist. There is a growing criticism that the issue with higher education is the fact that it relies on merit rather than status as the driving standards for admissions.
O’Neil and many others are arguing not only for blind but actually random selection to achieve true diversity.
Others have called for just random selection. In 2019, the liberal New America foundation argued that highly selective universities and colleges must admit students by lottery. Amy Laitinen, Claire McCann, and Rachel Fishman  argued that not only should admissions be random but colleges”would eliminate all qualification not just to Title IV aid but also to federal research dollars” They argued that this”This could eliminate admissions tastes that overwhelmingly favor white and wealthy applicants, such as for athletes and legacies.”
In her column, O’Neil admits there is a”drawback” like the fact that”programs to the most selective colleges would soar, causing approval rates to plunge and departing the’strongest’ candidates with minimal probability of getting in their chosen schools.” But she treats the disadvantage of eliminating the worth of actually doing well in high school and evaluations as only a matter of privilege:”The kids who fought to find great grades, who invested their high school years getting really good at obscure yet in-demand sports, the legacies and the offspring of large donors, could lose their benefits.”
In an earlier column, I noted that the movement by California to get rid of standardized evaluations happened after California voters rejected a costly campaign to reintroduce affirmative action in school admissions. The Supreme Court is also considering whether to take the case of Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Litigants cite a research finding that Asian Americans needed SAT scores that were roughly 140 points higher than white students; the gap with both admitted African American and Hispanic students is even greater.
The case could allow for opinions about the problem following years of conflicting 5-4 decisions that have mastered both for and against such race standards admissions. There is a concern among universities that the Court could be moving toward a clear decision against using race as a standard. Even the author of the 2003 majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, said that she expected”the 25 years from today, the use of racial preferences will no longer be essential to further the interest approved today.” That was approximately 25 years ago.
I noted:
“From the Harvard instance, the scores are especially significant because the litigants allege that abstract variables were systemically used to disfavor them on issues such as likability and personality. While the lower courts ruled for Harvard, the trial judge did note that there may have been prejudice in favor of minority admissions and also invited Harvard to deal with such”implicit bias” while tracking’some substantial race-related statistical disparities in the evaluation procedure.’ But what if there aren’t any’statistical disparities’ because there aren’t any objective data?”
O’Neil claims for blind and random selection just because it would prevent such court inspection.
“Faculties wouldn’t have to be worried about fighting with claims of racial discrimination at the Supreme Court due to construction the admissions procedure could be nondiscriminatory. No more”soft” standards. No more biased evaluations. Just blind chance”
Blind selection is the final default place for many colleges. Universities have spent years working about court decisions restricting the dependence on race as an admissions standard.  Many still refuse to disclose the entire data on scores and grades for all admitted students. If faced with a new choice further restricting (or entirely eliminating) race as a standard, blind selection could effectively remove any basis for judicial review.
It would also destroy any significance for the students to work to achieve greater achievement in math, science, and other areas. O’Neil is appropriate. They would be free to devote their time”smoking pot and getting laid between reading Dostoyevsky and writing bad poetry.” The new version for admissions could vary from Hunter Thompson to Hunter Biden.
The drive for blind or random admissions would be the greatest sign of the decadence of culture. What O’Neil is describing is that a method made for the intellectual dilettante. Naturally, countries like China are moving to dominate the world market with kids who aren’t focusing on good sex and lousy poetry. Higher education has long been based on intellectual accomplishment and discovery. Admission to higher rated schools has been a crucial motivating factor for millions of students, such as the children of several first generation Americans. Their accomplishment has translated into national advancement in mathematics and the market. It has served to attract greater opportunities and development for all Americans.
Today, recognition of such accomplishment is rejected by authors like O’Neil because”perpetuating the privileges of wealth” and preventing true racial diversity within our universities. So we’ll eliminate merit-based admissions entirely and also reduce higher education to a lottery system based on pure luck.
And, when the world discovers that bad poetry holds the key to the new international market, we’ll once more grow as a world power.