If Anyone Has Any Input on My Affirmative Action Assignment Can You Please Include It Below?

Question by KC: If anyone has any input on my Affirmative Action assignment can you please include it below?
I’ve never been good at written assignments. This is for a college sociology class. I don’t want you to write it for me or anything just give some ideas:

In A Hope in the Unseen (1998), Ron Suskind describes the life of Cedric Jennings, an African-American male who grew up in a segregated, impoverished neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Cedric’s father, never a member of Cedric’s household, moved in and out of prison on drug charges throughout Cedric’s childhood. Cedric lived with his mother, Barbara, who held a minimum wage job at a government agency. They lived pay check to pay check; in any given month, one or more bills went unpaid as Barbara juggled her limited resources. The threat of eviction was never far away; the experience of finding their phone or utilities cut off was not uncommon. Nevertheless, she always found something to contribute to her church, Scripture Cathedral. As Suskind explains, “For Barbara, who, like so many, came to fervent Pentecostalism from a life broken by poverty and neglect, the church provided both moral orderliness and an absolution for past failures” (p. 36). Cedric, too, accepted the church’s discipline and took guidance from its teachings. Those teachings helped Cedric steer clear of the pervasive violence, drug use, theft, and prostitution in his neighborhood.

The school Cedric attended was one of the worst in Washington. The facilities and level of instruction were far below the standards maintained at most suburban high schools. Few of the students graduated; a mere handful went on to any type of post-secondary education. The few students who succeeded academically were taunted and harassed by others who rejected their pretensions and accused them of “acting white.” Cedric, nevertheless, was a diligent student, determined to earn his way into an Ivy League college. He took advantage of every academic program that was offered, maintained straight-As in all his classes, and even attended a prestigious summer program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which was designed to instruct minority students in advanced mathematics and science. In that program, Cedric confronted black and Latino classmates from affluent suburban families who had verbal and analytical skill—as well as cultural knowledge—that he did not. From their perspective, he was not a nerd who was acting white, but a kid from the ghetto, fluent in the culture of the streets.

Despite his hard work, Cedric’s inferior education meant that he didn’t develop academic skills that were competitive with kids from wealthier, suburban schools–most of whom were white. When Cedric applied to Brown University, the Ivy-League school of his choice, he did so with SAT scores at least 250 below the typical applicant. Do you think he should have been admitted?

Write a 5 page essay in which you:

* consider the structure of opportunity in American society;
* identify the role of colleges and universities in that structure of opportunity;
* identify the factors that you think the University should use to evaluate candidates (for instance, should they consider what applicants have already achieved, whether they are likely to succeed at the school, how much they will benefit from admission, how much the school will benefit from their contributions to the class, and/or how much society will benefit from their education?);
* identify and discuss the aspects of Cedric’s background or potential that make him a good or bad candidate for admissions;
* evaluate how the conditions and culture that Cedric experienced in the inner city, as contrasted with the experiences of applicants from more affluent, suburban backgrounds, affected your assessment of his candidacy–including whether it would be fair to admit him ahead of a suburban student with higher test scores;
* discuss the implications of this case for affirmative action policies in our society.

I do not expect you to know more about Cedric Jenning’s case or Ron Suskind book than what I have described, here. Draw on course readings about stratification, mobility, race, and affirmative action to inform your discussion. Your grade will depend on how well you place Cedric’s case in its broader context, identify and discuss relevant issues, and support the position your take with reasoning and evidence.

Best answer:

Answer by — tambourine (Shinobi)
Too damn much to read.

What do you think? Answer below!


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