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California medical schools under investigation by Department of Education for racial segregation

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The Department of Education is stepping in to investigate California university medical schools for racial discrimination surrounding their programming and scholarships. The investigation comes after “Mark Perry of Do No Harm, a nonprofit fighting against the progressive capture of medicine, filed a federal civil-rights complaint alleging that the schools violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race by academic programs that receive federal funding” reports National Review. 

What drew ire is the program at the U diversity of California-San Francisco School of Medicine’s Racial Affinity Caucusing Groups.” The program is racially segregating and was piloted by the Pediatrics and Internal Medicine departments over the past two years.

The program “recognizes that the work that Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) are doing to process, heal, and dismantle racism is different from the work that white people need to do,” according to the school’s website.

Behaving as the literal definition of segregation, separate sessions are held for students who identify as black or African American, as white, and as people of color.

“It’s like an apartheid sort of approach to medical education,” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of Do No Harm said of the San Francisco case. When he attended University of Pennsylvania Medical School many years ago, his colleagues fought against separating the black students, Goldfarb claimed. “Now they push for these spaces to fight racism when they’re the ones acting it out,” he said.

“These positions are being given to minority applicants over white applicants. There are people who will not be able to pursue careers as dermatologists because they won’t be able to get training in those fields,” Goldfarb added. “If you don’t get into a residency you won’t be a surgeon.”

National Review notes UCSF did not respond to a request for comment and similarly, the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine is under investigation for offering a $2,000 award that has race-based eligibility restrictions.

“The Keck school’s Diversity in Medicine Visiting Clerkship Award is only open to fourth-year applicants who are from racial/ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine. Students who identify as black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander are eligible, according to the school website.”

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education

Harvard Reinstates Standardized Testing Requirement for Admissions

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Harvard University announcement it will reverse its test-optional policy and reinstate standardized testing as a requirement for admission. The move has stirred a contentious debate within the academic community. Effective for applicants seeking entry in the fall of 2025, Harvard College will mandate the submission of either SAT or ACT scores, with limited exceptions for circumstances hindering access to these exams.

Hoekstra contends that standardized tests provide crucial predictive insights into a student’s potential for success in higher education and beyond. By reinstating the testing requirement, Harvard seeks to gather more comprehensive data, particularly beneficial for identifying talent across diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Proponents of the move, like Harvard Kennedy School’s political economy professor David J. Deming, emphasize the universality of standardized tests, arguing that they offer a level playing field for all applicants. Deming underscores the accessibility of these tests compared to other metrics like personal essays, which may favor privileged students with greater resources.

However, the decision has sparked criticism from those who argue that standardized tests perpetuate inequities in admissions. Critics point to studies, such as those conducted by Harvard economists Raj Chetty and others, which highlight disparities in access to advanced courses and extracurricular opportunities among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The controversy surrounding Harvard’s policy shift reflects broader concerns within higher education about equity, diversity, and inclusion. While standardized testing may offer a standardized measure of academic aptitude, it also raises questions about its ability to accurately assess a student’s potential in light of systemic educational disparities.

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