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1 wrenchwench  Thu, Dec 27, 2012 3:04:49pm

I wasn't going to bother, but since it got an upding, I will.

Richard Sander's ideas that get rehashed in this book and this review were debunked almost eight years ago.

Sanding Down Sander
The debunker of affirmative action gets debunked.

Last winter, UCLA law professor Richard Sander was in demand as the debunker of affirmative action after publishing a Stanford Law Review article that said race-based preferences in law-school admissions reduce the number of black law students who pass the bar and become lawyers. Sander's more-harm-than-good claim landed him lots of press coverage and guest spots on NPR's Morning Edition and Fox's Hannity & Colmes. At that point, few statisticians had scrutinized Sander's results—like most law reviews, Stanford's isn't peer-reviewed—and his critics were pretty easy to stuff. "Several people have replicated my study," Sander said on Hannity & Colmes. "And I think it holds up very well."

Except that it doesn't. In May, the law reviews of Stanford and Yale will publish a batch of responses to Sander that destroy his key conclusion that pushing African-Americans into better and tougher schools causes them to fail the bar in droves.

[...]

Go read the whole thing if you still think Sander has any credibility. Oh, and he's a self-promoter, too. He filed an amicus brief in the Fisher v. University of Texas case that he's touting. Like most wingnuts, it seems, pushing bullshit is a money-making proposition.

2 lostlakehiker  Thu, Dec 27, 2012 4:06:14pm

Well, actually, the article by Ayres and Brooks, central to the "debunking" in question, is deeply flawed.

Read pages 78-83 of the book in question for details. In particular, on p 80, it is argued (correctly) from data that Ayres and Brooks grant to be correct, that black students who attended their first choice school did worse than students who were accepted to a more elite school but chose one from the next tier down.

Sander's credibility is unimpaired.

Any author with a point to make tries to win an audience for his point. That Sanders does this, as he should, proves nothing other than that he takes his duty as a scholar to disseminate his findings seriously.

3 Dark_Falcon  Thu, Dec 27, 2012 6:23:02pm

re: #2 lostlakehiker

Well, actually, the article by Ayres and Brooks, central to the "debunking" in question, is deeply flawed.

Read pages 78-83 of the book in question for details. In particular, on p 80, it is argued (correctly) from data that Ayres and Brooks grant to be correct, that black students who attended their first choice school did worse than students who were accepted to a more elite school but chose one from the next tier down.

Sander's credibility is unimpaired.

Any author with a point to make tries to win an audience for his point. That Sanders does this, as he should, proves nothing other than that he takes his duty as a scholar to disseminate his findings seriously.

Concur. You have the right of it, LLH.

4 Varek Raith  Fri, Dec 28, 2012 2:51:35am
5 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 28, 2012 9:32:55am

re: #2 lostlakehiker

Read pages 78-83 of the book in question for details. In particular, on p 80, it is argued (correctly) from data that Ayres and Brooks grant to be correct, that black students who attended their first choice school did worse than students who were accepted to a more elite school but chose one from the next tier down.

I went to Amazon.

Pages 74-79 are not included in this book preview

then there's an unnumbered page with 'Figure 5.1' on it. Nothing is 'argued', it's a chart. Then comes

Pages 81-206 are not included in this book preview.

but you probably knew that. But wait, there's a footnote for the source of the data in figure 5.1, it's Doug Williams. How credible is his work?

Sander and Taylor now claim that Sander’s earlier work is “confirmed” by economist Doug Williams, who has been a frequent co-author of Sander’s for decades. Williams’s works on law school mismatch are in unpublished working papers and have been critiqued as untethered to the real world and methodologically suspect (Camilli & Welner 2011). In the paper most prominently mentioned, half his sample’s black students are dropped from the analysis, and three-quarters of those he treats as presumably not “mismatched” attended historically black law schools, which in important ways are unlike the nearly two hundred other U.S. law schools. Relatedly, Professor Williams acknowledged at a recent conference that he cannot differentiate his findings from the positive effects that would result from being at a school with high numbers of minority students.

That source is something you both should read, lostlakehiker and Dark_Falcon, before you continue to promulgate this bullshit. It won't necessarily stop you from promulgating it, but it least it will be clear, if I know you've read that article, that you do so not because it is correct, but because it fits your agenda. If you like, (and maybe even if you don't) I can explain why that agenda is racist even if you don't think it's racist. Here's another bit from it:

Because Sander and Taylor write so confidently, many readers will be unaware that the key studies on which their claims are based have never passed the test of peer review, and several remain unpublished. Take, for example, their claims about mismatch and African-American law students. Numerous attempts to replicate Sander’s (and Taylor’s) claimed results have been unsuccessful. The research consensus that emerges – not just from what two of us have written, but also from independent analyses and reviews by Ayres & Brooks; Dauber; Wilkins; Rothstein & Yoon; Ho; Holzer & Neumark; Barnes; Camilli & Jackson and Camilli & Welner – is that Sander has never provided reliable evidence of systemic mismatch effects in U.S. legal education, particularly at the most selective schools.

6 Jimmah  Fri, Dec 28, 2012 9:49:29am

Right wing white boys applauding a book by other right wing white boys about alleged faults with affirmative action - really not a good look.

7 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 28, 2012 10:35:52am

re: #6 Jimmah

Right wing white boys applauding a book by other right wing white boys about alleged faults with affirmative action - really not a good look.

It's part of the latest strategy. Tell minorities that the racist Republican agenda is not racist after all.

Let's not change our racist agenda. Let's convince them that our racist strategy is actually for their own benefit!

As seen here, demonstrated by Jonah Goldberg.

8 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 28, 2012 4:46:16pm
Plus: 4
Bob Dillon (Bobibutu), Dark_Falcon, kmg, sattv4u2

Did you guys read any of this?

Or are you just agreeing because it sounds good to you? You'll oppose affirmative action for any reason, even if it's just plain incorrect and untrue?

I don't know whether you are racists, but you're sure giving me a reason to suspect so.

9 lostlakehiker  Fri, Dec 28, 2012 5:19:45pm

This "debunking" relies on arguments such as this: "One way to increase the number of black lawyers might be to write a test that relies less on trick multiple-choice questions"...etc.

That's the sort of thing that if a right-wing person said it, it would instantly be recognized for what it is: demeaning and patronizing. Trick questions are part of questioning witnesses and part of the practice of law. A good lawyer can riddle them out.

Sander and Taylor are neither right wing, nor racist. Nor am I. (Take global warming, for instance.) But I know from direct personal experience that mismatching students to class pace and content causes avoidable failure. It doesn't matter the race of the mismatch victim, or the reason for the mismatch.

The author of the "debunking" even granted that it made sense that this should be so. Her argument was to pick nits: Sander, according to her, claimed that this effect was stronger than she thinks is warranted. Not that she did her own statistical analysis or anything.

The "debunking" never addressed the key facts. It relied on the "Gish Gallop" approach. Spread the argument, bring up side issues, and lay down a barrage.

The other "debunking" page states that "Any racially neutral measure of merit, apart from the test scores themselves, will reproduce these population differences."

The very meaning of "racially neutral measure of merit" is whatever correlates best with chances of graduating on time and with good grades. The best known such measure is some version of the academic index that Sander and Taylor use: part SAT or ACT score, part high-school grades. (Or college grades, if it's law school admissions that are at issue.) Implicitly, Lempert, Kidder, and Levine, to have a point, need it to be the case that this academic index is a poor predictor of success down the line. But that is simply not the case. Mismatch as measured by grades and SAT scores IS mismatch.

Finally, if Sander were the clown you say he is, he'd not be a law professor at UCLA. Nor would Taylor be a fellow at the Brookings Institute, which is no RW think tank. In fact, according to Wikipedia, it is liberal. Given how controversial the analysis they offered is, the only way they could still be standing is that their facts and logic are pretty sound.

I'll oppose hurting people in the name of helping them. If that's racist in your mind, believe as you like.

10 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 28, 2012 5:34:38pm

re: #9 lostlakehiker

Are you addressing me? Some of what you say should be addressed to someone else. Much of what I linked to you don't address.

You are joining with Sander in opposing 'hurting people in the name of helping them', but neither of you has shown that affirmative action does this. So there must be some other reason you oppose affirmative action, or you are deluding yourself for some other reason.

'But that is simply not the case.' does not prove anything.

I didn't say Sander is a clown. Being part of any faculty is not proof of correct positions on anything.

This is why I said at the top that I wasn't going to bother. I'm done bothering now.

11 lostlakehiker  Sat, Dec 29, 2012 4:50:21pm

Well, here we are. I'm done too, with this.

You take it as given that your position is correct, and that I know full well that it's correct. From this, you conclude that I'm ebil.

I'm pretty sure that it's the other way around. But from this, I don't conclude that you really truly want the people concerned hurt. I think you're mistaken but you mean well.


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