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Affirmation of Success of Affirmative Action

March 09, 2003

Re "Affirmative Action Gets a Failing Grade," Jan. 12:

I found the letter of Lindsey Mazurek regarding affirmative action disturbing. She complains that she has worked so hard to get into one of the schools that "her dreams will be shredded" if she is not accepted. I'm sure there are many students who do not get into their first or even second or third choice of college yet go on to attend a good school and get a good education. It's tragic that getting into a certain school becomes so important that a young person feels her "dreams are shredded" if she doesn't get into one of the schools she mentioned and that her high school days have been only burdensome and not a chance to grow besides through academics. Something is askew in the college scene these days, and it isn't affirmative action.

Mary Nienow

Santa Ana

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Re "Bush Opposes Diversity Policy at University," Jan. 16:

Ask an L.A. Unified or Santa Ana Unified teacher if our most deserving students shouldn't get a break. Clawing their way through schools and districts awash in hopeless poverty and chronic indifference to reality, some of our kids are achieving remarkable goals. President Bush needs to look in the mirror and ask himself if he will see a minority or female candidate stand in his place in his lifetime or his children's.

We are not talking about trolling the ghetto or the barrio for gang-bangers for admission to the universities of Michigan or California. We are not asking academia to level the playing field for losers. For Cal or Michigan to remain great institutions of learning, they must affirm the fact that all men and women are not treated equally.

Our minority students who have qualified just to apply to Cal or Michigan might bump a white kid or two. They have worked harder and battled excruciating odds to do so. And while our president is studying this issue, he might wonder, as so many teachers do, why athletes are not held to the same standards he espouses for students.

Tom Sloss

Fountain Valley

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