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美国大学为何不能接受更多亚裔学生

更新时间:2017-2-4 10:07:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

White Students’ Unfair Advantage in Admissions
美国大学为何不能接受更多亚裔学生

As a Chinese-American alumnus who interviews applicants to Yale, I’m often asked one question by Asian-American students and parents: “Will being Asian hurt my chances?”

作为一个面试耶鲁大学申请者的华裔美国人校友,亚裔美国人学生和家长经常问我这样一个问题:“身为亚洲人会有损于我们的机会吗?”

I deflect these queries, since I’m just a volunteer, not a member of the admissions committee. But I understand their concern.

我选择回避这些疑问,因为我只是一个志愿者,不是招生委员会的成员。但我理解他们的担忧。

A 2009 Princeton study showed Asian-Americans had to score 140 points higher on their SATs than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than blacks to have the same chance of admission to leading universities. A lawsuit filed in 2014 accused Harvard of having a cap on the number of Asian students — the percentage of Asians in Harvard’s student body had remained about 16 percent to 19 percent for two decades even though the Asian-American percentage of the population had more than doubled. In 2016, the Asian American Coalition for Education filed a complaint with the Department of Education against Yale, where the Asian percentage had remained 13 percent to 16 percent for 20 years, as well as Brown and Dartmouth, urging investigation of their admissions practices for similar reasons.

一项2009年的普林斯顿研究显示,为获得相同的机会进入顶尖大学,亚裔美国人的SAT分数需要比白人高出140分,比西语裔美国人高出270分,比黑人高出450分。2014年的一项诉讼指控哈佛对亚裔学生的人数做出限制——20年来,亚裔在哈佛大学学生中所占的百分比仍然保持在16%至19%,尽管亚裔美国人在总人口中的百分比已经增加了一倍还多。2016年,亚裔美国教育联盟(Asian American Coalition for Education)向教育部提出了一项针对耶鲁大学的投诉,20年来,该校亚裔学生的百分比一直保持在13%至16%之间,布朗大学和达特茅斯学院也是如此,基于类似的理由,该投诉敦促对它们的录取工作进行调查。

There’s ample evidence that Asian-Americans are at a disadvantage in college admissions. This issue has divided Asians and others who debate the relative benefits of diversity versus meritocracy in our society.

有充分的证据表明,亚裔美国人在大学入学方面处于不利地位。在讨论社会中多样性与唯才任用的相对优劣时,这个问题令亚裔与其他人之间产生了分裂。

I’ve often heard Asian-Americans express resentment toward blacks and Latinos for benefiting from affirmative action. As a Yale senior, I remember feeling disillusioned myself when an upper-middle-class black classmate with significantly less academic achievement than I was admitted to a top medical school that had rejected me.

我经常听到亚裔美国人对黑人和拉美裔表示不满,因为黑人和拉美裔从优惠性差别待遇中受益。作为耶鲁大学的大四学生,我记得当一个中上层阶级的黑人同学,在学业成绩明显低于我,但被录取到拒绝了我的顶尖医学院校时,我感到非常失望。

But if Asians are being held back, it’s not so much because of affirmative action but because of preference for whites. The 450-point advantage that the Princeton study demonstrated blacks have over Asians draws the most attention. But the number that is most revealing is the 140-point advantage for whites over Asians.

但是,如果亚裔受到了阻碍,更多不是因为优惠性差别待遇,而是因为对白人的偏爱。普林斯顿的那项研究中,黑人相对于亚裔的450点优势吸引了最多的关注。但是最说明问题的数字是白人对亚裔的140点优势。

To explain that disparity some might cite the myth that while Asian students have high test scores, they lack the well-rounded extracurricular interests and activities that colleges prize. But the study isolated race as a factor by controlling for variables like academic performance, legacy status, social class, type of high school (public or private) and participation in athletics. So that 140-point gap is between a white student and an Asian student who differ by little more than race.

为了解释这种差异,有些人可能会引用一个长期以来的错误观念,即亚洲学生的考试成绩很高,但他们缺乏全面的课外兴趣与受大学重视的活动。但那项研究通过控制学业成绩、遗产地位、社会阶层、高中类型(公立或私立)、参与体育运动等变量,将种族作为一个孤立的因素。所以140分的差距反映了条件类似的一个白人学生和一个亚裔学生之间的差异,他们之间几乎只有种族的区别。

Still, I’ve always supported affirmative action, though I’d much prefer that it was based on socio-economic disadvantage rather than race alone. All students benefit from having a racially diverse class. I would not have preferred to go to a Yale that was predominantly Asian. Colleges should grant an advantage to blacks and Hispanics because they continue to face barriers to equal access and opportunity.

然而,我一直支持优惠性差别待遇,虽然我更希望它是基于社会经济条件,而不只是种族原因。所有学生都可以从种族多样化的课堂中受益。我不喜欢去一个主要是由亚洲人构成的耶鲁。大学应该对黑人和西语裔给予优待,因为他们在平等入学和和获得机会方面仍然持续面对障碍。

The same is not true for whites, so there is no reason they should have preference over Asians in college admissions. It would be ludicrous to state that whites have been disadvantaged in comparison to Asian-Americans. The opposite could be argued, with xenophobic persecution during “yellow peril” scares, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as prime examples.

白人的情况却并非如此,所以他们没有理由应该在亚裔之前被大学优先考虑。与亚裔美国人相比,说白人处于不利地位是非常荒谬的。反方可以拿出“黄祸”恐惧中的仇外迫害、1882年的《排华法案》,以及二战期间日裔美国人的遭受拘留作为主要例证。

Often-cited examples of race-blind meritocracy are New York City’s elite public schools, such as Stuyvesant High School, for which admission is based solely on a standardized test. Stuyvesant is about 74 percent Asian, 18 percent white, 3 percent Hispanic, 1 percent black, with 4 percent multiracial or other. In California, where race-based affirmative action was eliminated in 1996, admission at the University of California at Berkeley is 42 percent Asian.

纽约市的精英公立学校因不考虑种族优待,实行唯才录取,成为经常被援引的例子,如斯泰弗森特(Stuyvesant)高中,入学只基于标准化考试。斯泰弗森特中学大约有74%的亚裔,18%的白人,3%的西语裔,1%的黑人,4%的多种族人群或其他族裔。在加利福尼亚州,1996年取消了基于种族的优惠性差别待遇之后,加州大学伯克利分校的亚裔新生为42%。

I do not like this degree of racial imbalance. But for too long, many elite colleges have done too much to orchestrate the racial composition of their classes. It seems obvious that continuing to hold Asian percentages at near-constant levels required excessive tipping of the scales to the detriment of Asians — and America’s long-cherished traditions of fairness and equal opportunity.

我不喜欢这种程度的种族不平衡。但是,很长时间以来,许多精英大学做了太多的事来编排班级中的种族构成。显然,继续保持亚裔人数百分比接近恒定水平,需要过度倾斜的尺度,对亚裔造成了损害——也损害了美国长期珍惜的公平和平等机会的传统。

These colleges’ intentions may be good. Preserving a white majority is unlikely to be an overt goal. But whatever the reason for this frozen racial composition, it should be questioned.

这些学院的意图可能是好的。保持白人占据多数不大可能成为公开的目标。但无论这种冻结种族比例的原因是什么,都应该受到质疑。

A school like Harvard can ensure racial diversity by employing affirmative action to increase black and Hispanic enrollment, or at least keep them stable, but should maintain a level playing field for ethnicities that are not underrepresented — whites and Asians. (And I must acknowledge that there may be signs that this is beginning to happen: the recently admitted Harvard class of 2020 is 22 percent Asian, a slight increase.)

像哈佛这样的学校可以通过采取优惠性差别待遇来增加黑人和西语裔的入学率,或至少保持他们的稳定,但应该为那些并非没有被充分代表的人群——白人和亚裔——保持一定的公平竞争领域。(我必须承认,可能有迹象表明这种情况开始发生:最近被哈佛录取的2020届学生中,亚裔人数占22%,略有增长。)

This is not an exact science, and I am not advocating drastic change. I think increasing the Asian percentage of enrollment by more than 10 percentage points from current levels could begin to upset the racial balance in a detrimental way.

这不是一种精确的科学,我也不是在提倡剧烈的变化。我认为将亚裔学生入学率在现有水平基础上提高10个百分点以上,可能会以一种有害的方式破坏种族平衡。

But allowing Asian enrollment to increase would serve to acknowledge that meritocracy, like racial diversity, is a goal worth striving for even if we know it will not be fully attained.

但是,允许亚裔入学人数增加将有助于承认,唯才录取和种族多样性一样,是一个值得努力的目标,即使我们知道它不会完全实现。

To actively prevent this from happening isn’t discrimination for the greater good, as affirmative action was originally intended to be. It’s just discrimination.

努力防止亚裔入学人数的增加并不是优惠性差别待遇的初衷,即基于更广大利益基础上的区别对待。这只是歧视而已。

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