New Studies Show Severe Racial Discrimination at University of Wisconsin

Center for Equal Opportunity:

Two studies released today by the Center for Equal Opportunity reveal severe discrimination based on race and ethnicity in undergraduate and law school admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with African Americans and Latinos given preference over whites and Asians.
The studies are based on data supplied by the schools themselves, some of which the university had refused to turn over until a lawsuit was filed by CEO and successfully taken all the way to the state supreme court. The studies were prepared by Dr. Althea Nagai, a research fellow at CEO, and can be viewed on the organization’s website,
CEO president Roger Clegg will answer questions about the studies when they are formally released at a press conference today at 11:00 a.m. at the DoubleTree hotel in Madison–525 W. Johnson St.
The odds ratio favoring African Americans and Hispanics over whites was 576-to-1 and 504-to-1, respectively, using the SAT and class rank while controlling for other factors. Thus, the median composite SAT score for black admittees was 150 points lower than for whites and Asians, and the Latino median SAT score was 100 points lower. Using the ACT, the odds ratios climbed to 1330-to-1 and 1494-to-1, respectively, for African Americans and Hispanics over whites.

Adelaide Blanchard:

Two reports released today allege the University of Wisconsin discriminates against whites and Asian applicants and have electrified both UW administration and some student leaders.
A crowd of more than 150 students filled the Multicultural Student Center in the Red Gym on Monday after an ominous message from UW Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate Damon Williams claimed a threat had been made against the diversity efforts in the campus community.
The reports were released at midnight on Tuesday from the Center for Equal Opportunity in conjunction with a press conference CEO President Roger Clegg will hold at the Double Tree Inn at 11 a.m. today. Clegg will also be at a debate on the future of Affirmative Action at the UW Law School at 7 p.m. this evening.
Williams said the timing of the events is no coincidence.
In an interview with The Badger Herald, Clegg said the reports show how a heavy preference is given to blacks and Latinos over whites and Asians in the admissions process for undergraduate programs and in the law school.

Todd Finkelmeyer:

Whites and Asians aren’t getting a fair crack at being admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
That’s what two studies released late Monday night by the Center for Equal Opportunity indicate. The organization states in a press release accompanying the studies that there is “severe discrimination based on race and ethnicity in undergraduate and law school admissions” at Wisconsin’s flagship institution of higher education.
The CEO — a conservative think tank based out of Sterling, Va., that pushes “colorblind public policies” and backs the elimination or curtailment of existing racial preference and affirmative action programs — reports that UW-Madison gives “African Americans and Latinos preference over whites and Asians” in admissions. The studies, which initially were embargoed until Tuesday morning, were released late Monday on the CEO website.
According to the executive summary of the report examining undergraduate admissions at UW-Madison: “In 2007 and 2008, UW admitted more than 7 out of every 10 black applicants, and more than 8 out of 10 Hispanics, versus roughly 6 in 10 Asians and whites.”

Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab:

The Center for Equal Opportunity and its president and general counsel, Roger Clegg, claim to advance educational opportunity by punishing colleges and universities for attempting to level a highly unequal playing field.
The CEO’s name is laughable. It is the exact opposite of what the organization does. The misnomer is a deliberate deception. It is a lie so blatant that it would be considered a joke in very poor taste were it not so outrageously fallacious.
The record of CEO’s lawsuits has never been in support of equality–it has always been to preserve and protect educational opportunity for those most fortunate social classes and racial/ethnic groups. There is no no record of this organization filing a lawsuit on behalf of newly emerging and underrepresented populations in higher education–it always and only files lawsuits on behalf of the already-advantaged.

9 thoughts on “New Studies Show Severe Racial Discrimination at University of Wisconsin”

  1. You all should know that this “research” group is wholly opposed to affirmative action in any of its manifestations. So one must assume that any position they take, and any stats they generate are biased toward their predetermined position.

  2. Any truth to the whispers about town today that the CEO is funded by the same conservative, anti-public education groups that have funded Kaleem Caire’s various ventures over the past decade? Allen Ruff has made a very persuasive argument that Caire is taking Koch Brothers monies designed to subvert public education.

  3. First that I’ve heard that Koch is involved with any of this, including Kaleem Caire’s projects.
    Where’s the substance to any of this? Not that this is impossible or unlikely, but I’ve also heard rumors that crop circles were created by aliens from outer space, that Area 51 was the military base from which all the fake US moon landings were shot, Obama was not born in the US, the 9/11 attack was orchestrated by Bush-Cheney, that FDR ordered the bombing of Pearl Harbor, that vaccines cause autism, the HPV vaccines cause mental retardation (from the enlightened Michelle Bachman), that Gov Walker was kicked out of college for cheating, that there are 7 Intelligences, etc.

  4. dadanonymous, please say more. (Larry Winkler, please be nice or please be quiet.) If you have evidence, please share it.
    Having been an initial strong and enthusiastic supporter of Madison Prep, I have become increasingly disturbed by the manipulation, politics and ego I have seen more recently. I do not trust what may be going on behind the scenes. Playing on the liberal white guilt that is so abundant in our city — by saying that anyone who does not support Madison Prep is racist — is extremist bullying and does nothing either to improve race relations in our community or advance the cause of supporting/improving minority achievement. $27 million is a huge amount of money! Why can’t we work together to find less expensive ways to address the problems of low expectations (of students, of teachers, of parents, of families) and consequent low performance and achievement. This has become a political battle between hyper-inflated adult egos. Let’s please refocus our attention and energy on our kids and their needs.

  5. Can anyone tell us anything substantive about the Next Generation Education Foundation that Mr. Caire and his wife founded in 2006 and ran for three or four years before they moved here? What did it actually do? Where did its money come from? Does it still exist (and if not, why not and what happened?). It is very difficult to find information online. And the many articles that appeared when Mr. Caire arrived in Madison are surprisingly silent on exactly what he was doing right before he took over at the Urban League. Thanks.

  6. The genesis of my question was the information shared by Allen Ruff at the recent school board meeting detailing how Mr. Caire’s various projects in education were financially supported by right wing, anti-public education groups. Subsequent to that statement by Mr. Ruff, who is a bright man and certainly not prone to falsehoods, I’ve heard that these right wing anti-public education groups are Koch funded. However, I have yet to see any definitive connection, although by nature, such connections are rarely definitive. It has been mentioned that the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) that just raised a ruckus over UW admissions policies also has financial ties to Mr. Caire’s prior endeavors in education.

  7. I guess I fail to see how my comments were not nice or otherwise.
    Nonetheless, if I feel like it, I will be neither nice nor quiet. Nor anonymous; at least I use my name in my posts and don’t hide behind pseudonyms.
    In any case, for many decades now, promises have been made to better education, and I don’t see any evidence of improvement. Caire probably sees the progress the same as I, but specifically with regards to African-American kids. Seems to me, if promises are to be made, then promises are to be kept, and that hasn’t happened.
    I do, however, suspect that schools could do better, but neither they nor the teachers are the major cause of the problem, nor are they the sole solution. Seems as a society, we decided long ago that all social ills which we passively if not actively foster should be solved by the schools. That is asking too much.

  8. Thank you, dadanonymous.
    I am sure we would all appreciate the efforts of anyone willing to look into this. We need to know more, don’t you think?
    Can anyone get Allen Ruff to post?

  9. Why does it matter who is funding CEO or Caire? Both may be funded by Koch or different folks. None of that matters to the substance of the issue raised by the Clegg.
    I have seen many studies involving conservative economists and those considered liberal, several of which have been linked to from this site. Think of studies involving charter vs public schools, for example.
    There is no question many of the conservative groups have cooked the numbers to support their political agenda, and disappointingly, the liberal groups seem incapable of raising cogent arguments and showing what the cooked numbers are, instead relying on very soft arguments. I very much miss the late Gerald Bracey who was alway cogent and made solid and thorough statistical arguments. I haven’t seen any replacement for him.
    I did scan the CEO paper, did not study it, but found it all conclusory. It certainly is easy to hide number cooking when the data used is not available, which their report does.
    The UW did report summary data from their data warehouse (called INFOACCESS) of which I’m somewhat familiar having accessed a small portion of that information for certain data other analyses UW uses. See
    What I find distressing about UW Madison in this case is that they had the temerity to require a court decision that they had to give up the numbers to CEO so CEO could evaluate it. From what I can tell, UW was going to lose the lawsuit so why fight it? It’s not that they haven’t tried this tactic before and lost, too.
    I don’t know if UW has made the data UW supplied to CEO available for the rest of us to review, but that would give those outside of UW or CEO who have good data analysis skills the ability to perform their own analysis. Makes sense to me.
    However, I’m very embarrassed by the behavior of the protesting, yelling and chanting of UW students at the Clegg presentation. Obviously, these 850 students have not taken the goal of a university education to heart. If CEO and Clegg cooked the numbers (and I would be surprised if they didn’t), the proper approach would have been to show how the numbers were cooked and present an accurate picture of the diversity efforts and supply solid policy arguments in favor of UW’s efforts, or even argue that UW does not go far enough.
    Acting like uneducated hysterics does not serve a useful purpose to those supporting affirmative action. It does the opposite.

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