by Dan Rosner
The Highline School Distict's Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwilla, a national leader in STEM-based education, recently admitted 105 students to their class of 2018 from a pool of 325 applicants. Statistical analysis of their admissions data show that students who self-identified as caucasian on the school's application form were significantly more likely to be selected for admission. Moreover, the youngest children applying were least likely to be chosen while 10% of those admitted were old enough to sit in the next higher grade.
Taken together, these data demonstrate that relatively older, white children have a huge advantage with regard to gaining access to the school. Overall, 39% of white children applying were admitted compared to a 25% acceptance rate for students of color. Only 3 of the 29 nonwhite boys in the youngest age quartile were admitted. I would not advocate affirmative action but these outcomes seem hard to justify when 15 of the 26 oldest white girls applying to the school were chosen. Publicly funded STEM programs should be more inclusive.