I realize the title of this blog entry seems trite but apparently it's required. A few decades ago MIT introduced summer classes in math and science to prepare freshman who were going to enter MIT but may not have a strong enough background in those subjects. Entry to the classes required the right racial characteristics – Black, Hispanic or Native-American. MIT was recently challenged on the legality of their behavior and as a consequence decided to open the programs to everyone. What makes this case interesting is the reason why MIT changed the rules, to understand that I provide this quote from Robert Redwine the dean of undergraduate studies at MIT:
"It really was important for us to come to the realization that they [Ed Note: the summer programs] almost certainly could not be defended legally in their form," Mr. Redwine said. "I wish that were not the case, but it is."
Does anyone think it bizarre that the dean of undergraduate studies at MIT would openly advocate racism and bemoan the fact that the laws of the United States of America prevent him from enforcing a blatantly racist policy?
Were the program to vet entry based on impartial data such as low test scores that indicate that the student is likely to have trouble upon entering MIT and were MIT to even charge money for the class but set the fee on a sliding scale that went to zero based on the student's ability to pay then then I would be all for the program. But last I checked, being Black, Hispanic or Native-American doesn't automatically mean you are unprepared for MIT level courses or poor.