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3/7: California's SCA-5 Education Bill--A step forward or backward? (2)
Released 07 March 2014  By June Chang--China Daily USA

SCA-5: A step forward or backward?

2014-03-07 By June Chang (China Daily USA)

(Continue from Part One..)

'Preferential treatment'
"SCA-5 would give preferential treatment based on race, and instill into young minds that we are unequal. Our children would have to learn that people have unequal opportunities for no reason other than the color of their skin," said Chris Zhang, a local attorney and founder of United Asian Americans for Activism (UAAFA) at the meeting.

"Does SCA-5 imply that certain groups are inferior by nature that they require special treatment in order to succeed?" asked Sugar Wang, an activist with UAAFA, in an interview at the meeting.

"Does the Legislature really want to return to allocating admissions on the basis of race and ethnicity? Whose numbers would be reduced and whose increased, and why?" Lehrer asked.

"Yes, our students do not face a level playing field. Some need more assistance than others. However, judging them by their color is not the solution. It only creates more inequality than it attempts to address," said Zhang.

"For example, an Asian-American student has less than one-third of the chance of getting into the same college as a non-Asian student with the same qualifications, even if that Asian student came from an extremely difficult background. SCA-5 is intended to overlook such individual circumstances, and to exacerbate the racial inequality," he said.

Henry Der, former deputy superintendent of public instruction at the California department of education who also was on the panel, said the bill is good-intentioned and there is no mention of quota to be placed in the college-enrollment process.

"Regardless if they have put quotas there, let's go back to the simple fact that there are only a certain number of slots available at our universities," Huff said.

"As soon as Hernandez and his followers want to introduce race as the criteria they can make decisions by, the number of Asian students on UC and CSU campuses will drop tremendously given the relatively marginal Asian population in California," he said.

"This might not be the intent of SCA-5, but this will be the consequences," Huff added.

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