It’s all about merit . . . now with fresh data!

In Sunday’s post It’s all about merit … until it isn’t, I used a five-year-old quote from the commissioner of the LPGA — cited in that day’s New York Times — to make the point that majority peeps generally favor merit-based criteria until those criteria let non-majority peeps succeed.

As if on cue (we’re so dialed in here at CREEC!),  Inside Higher Ed today published a review of a study showing that white people tend to favor merit-based college admissions … until they learn that Asians tend to do better on college admissions tests.   Researcher Frank L. Samson found,

in a survey of white California adults, [that] they generally favor admissions policies that place a high priority on high school grade-point averages and standardized test scores. But when these white people are focused on the success of Asian-American students, their views change. . . .   When informed of that fact, the white adults favor a reduced role for grade and test scores in admission.

Suddenly it was all about “leadership.”   Good to have a nice objective criterion like “leadership” and not something fuzzy, like “diversity.”