Proponents of change, i.e., progressives, people who believe that A Nation at Risk, is correct and their ilk, suggest that it is not fair if every sub-group of humans in the United States is not represented in every category of human endeavor, including education, in accordance with their relative percentage of population.
College in particular they say that we must have every category of human, every race must be present in college the same percentage as they are in the population as a whole. That is, if a group X is 25% of the US population then college should be made up of 25% Xs.
It may sound good on the surface but it is not practical. ‘Practicability’ is one characteristic of ethical theories. Meaning that is if it is not practical then it should be considered unethical. Another characteristic of ethical theory is ‘Universalizability’. To make it apply to everyone. These two combine to make this unethical. Where does it stop? If we have 1% left-handed, transsexual, transvestites with a club foot, then would we need to have 1% of all college students like that? College and education in general should be for scholars and not based on any physical attributes, including race and sex.
Also, this gets into outcomes and a guarantee of them. You cannot guarantee outcomes. Everyone has the opportunity to go to college, if they can handle it. Not many can handle it, though. You do not have the right to be POTUS, rich, athletic, etc. What makes you think that you have a right to be intelligent?
Proponents say that everyone can learn. That is one mistake they make. Not everyone can learn everything important and nobody can learn everything. Nearly everyone can learn Elementary School level stuff and fewer can learn Junior High/Middle School and fewer yet can learn at the High School level. College is even harder than high school.
The proponents of change suggest that if a group is not represented equal to their percentage of the US population then they are underrepresented.
They generally talk about minorities. They generally mean Blacks. If this is so, then they are wrong.
The percentage of American college students who are Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native has been increasing. From 1976 to 2011, the percentage of Hispanic students rose from 4 percent to 14 percent, the percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander students rose from 2 percent to 6 percent, the percentage of Black students rose from 10 percent to 15 percent, and the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students rose from 0.7 to 0.9 percent. During the same period, the percentage of White students fell from 84 percent to 61 percent.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). Digest of Education Statistics, 2012 (NCES 2014-015), Chapter 3.
College Students 2011 1976
Whites 61% 84%
Blacks 15% 10%
Latino 14% 4%
Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 2%
White alone, percent definition and source info White alone, percent, 2013 (a) 77.7%
Black or African American alone, percent definition and source info Black or African American alone, percent, 2013 (a) 13.2%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent definition and source info American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2013 (a) 1.2%
Asian alone, percent definition and source info Asian alone, percent, 2013 (a) 5.3%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent definition and source info Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2013 (a) 0.2%
Two or More Races, percent definition and source info Two or More Races, percent, 2013 2.4%
Hispanic or Latino, percent definition and source info Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013 (b) 17.1%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent definition and source info White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013 62.6%
% of population % in college % representation
Whites 62.6 61 97.4
Blacks 13.2 15 114.1
Latino 17.1 14 82
Asian/Pacific Islanders 5.5 6 109.1
Not much in the way of under-representation here!!! Since this is true then only Whites and Latinos are slightly underrepresented by their own definition. Blacks are NOT underrepresented in college, neither are Asian/Pacific Islanders, for that matter. Others make up the other 4% of college students. If you average Blacks, Latinos, and Asian/Pacific Islanders you get 101.73% representation. So, minorities, as a group are slightly over-represented, not under-represented.