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AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROVES TO BE A FLAWED THEORY

So Jerome Karabel and David Karen (Viewpoints, Dec. 11) are unhappy with the U.S. Education Department's ruling that absolves Harvard of discrimination against Asian Americans.

They say that based on SAT verbal scores, 80 percent of children of alumni and student athletes at Harvard would not have been admitted. What they fail to mention are the SAT verbal scores of Blacks, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans.

Quality student athletes (and legacies to a lesser degree) should be part of a policy that Karabel and Karen endorse that uses broad criteria to evaluate achievement and potential.

Better still, how about a policy where rigorous academic standards are first and foremost in admitting any student, be they athletes, legacies, Asians, Blacks, or Native Americans?

Affirmative action, as this case points out, is a flawed theory in that it cannot be applied universally. There are too many ifs, ands, and buts.

PAUL L. STEFFAN
Darien

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