I don't always agree with Laura D'Andrea Tyson's columns, but this is the type of affirmative action I can definitely support.
Doesn't an SAT total score of 1200 combined with an A average mean something different for an applicant raised in a low-income household and educated in a run-down public school than for an applicant from a high-income home and educated in an outstanding private school?
Yes, and here's why – because the poor student who does well in spite of hardships shows that he/she wants to do better, to get out of the current situation, and to make a future much better than the past. As Walter pointed out last week, talking about affirmative action can get confusing because the situation of a poor vs. a middle class or rich minority student is very different. I don't support affirmative action for people who don't appear to be trying to better themselves in life. But for those who do reasonably well in spite of growing up in a bad neighborhood with plenty of distractions, yes they deserve to be rewarded for their perserverance.