In considering Fisher v. University of Texas, let’s acknowledge a key factual point about affirmative action: We have good tools for predicting college success, and those tools work about equally well across all ethnic groups and even for rich legacy candidates.
Race-based preference produces a population of students whose intellectual strength varies strongly according to race.
In comprehensive statistics compiled as part of Duke University’s Campus Life and Learning project, Asian-American students averaged 1457 out of 1600 on the math and reading portion of the SAT, compared to 1416 for whites, 1347 for Hispanics and 1275 for blacks. There is every reason to believe that a similar pattern holds at almost every elite university in America, with some notable exceptions like Caltech. Is this pattern justifiable, or even beneficial to the students with the lowest scores?
The data show that SAT score and high school grade point average are good predictors of success at Duke for all ethnic groups, as well as for wealthy legacy students. Those students admitted with weaker SAT scores and high school grades are more likely to drop out of challenging majors like science and engineering, and less likely to earn good grades in any major.