Tinned devotes much of her study to tearing down the stories of qualified students being rejected from the college of their choice because of the top 10 percent law, calling those stories “anecdotal evidence. ” However, when it comes time for her to defend her assertion that qualified students are not being replaced by less qualified students, her only evidence is the stories about how some of those less qualified students are offered admissions by prestigious out-of-state universities. Despite this shortcoming, media outlets have been touting Dentine’s conclusions as hard fact.
Interestingly, Tinned may have an agenda for raising support for the automatic admissions program. Her study ends with the conclusion that the “optimal solution for Texas” would be for universities to use race as an admissions factor. Considering that the original support for the top 10 percent law came from affirmative action proponents in the Texas Legislature, Dentine’s assertion that race should count in admissions reveals a potential bias for her support of the program. The solution to the problem of the top 10 percent law Is an overhaul or complete end to the program.
Following what California has done, Texas could guarantee automatic admissions to a Texas public university rather than to the school of an applicant’s choice. This would maintain the educational benefits of the program while reducing the number of spots at flagship public schools locked up by underspecified students. More importantly – and despite the wishes of those such as University of Texas President Larry Faulkner – the students of Texas deserve to be Judged based on merit. Set asides In the form of House Bill 588 don’t have a place In the real-world competitive environment of college. This Is one time when the numbers do lie.