- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2009

Howard rating slips

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded bonds issued by the District for Howard University from stable to negative. S&P cited Howard’s operating losses at the university and its hospital, and a declining university endowment. Howard has taken steps to cut costs and raise revenue, and 2009 losses are expected to be lower, S&P said.

Affirmative inaction

This is from Peter Kirsanow on nationalreviewonline: “A new Quinnipiac [University] poll on affirmative action indicates that most Americans are prepared to discontinue racial and ethnic preferences in employment, contracting and college admissions. … The poll shows that voters oppose giving preferences for private sector jobs to certain racial groups by a margin of 74 percent to 21 percent. Voters opposed racial preferences for government jobs by a margin of 70 percent to 25 percent.

“Perhaps the most intriguing question posed by the poll was whether the election of Barack Obama made the respondent more likely or less likely to support continuation of ‘affirmative action programs.’ For 80 percent of respondents, the election of Barack Obama didn’t change their views on affirmative action. Among those for whom the election did have an effect:”

• Blacks were six times more likely to support affirmative action than oppose it.

• Hispanics were slightly less than six times more likely to support affirmative action than oppose it.

• Whites were three times more likely to oppose affirmative action than support it.

• Women were near evenly split.

• Men were nearly two times more likely to oppose affirmative action than support it.

• Republicans were nearly six times more likely to oppose affirmative action than support it.

• Independents were two times more likely to oppose affirmative action than support it.

• Democrats were 2 1/2 times more likely to support affirmative action than oppose it.

“Note that the question used the term ‘affirmative action’ as opposed to ‘racial/ethnic preferences.’ Polling data over the years shows that the former term consistently produces more favorable responses than the latter. The latter term, however, more clearly defines the practice as it pertains to public contracting and college admissions. It would be interesting to see what results the question would yield if ‘racial preferences’ were substituted for ‘affirmative action.’ ”

Racing to the top

Story Continues →