Dark musings on aging and atrophy.
RIP, People’s Poet.
" The second category doesn’t seem to have things I can put a price tag on economically,"
That doesn't mean they don't have an economic impact.
And honestly if you're using imgur gifs to illustrate that 20 pts / 150 is "the same as a C to an A" without discussing the other criteria and how likely they are to be race-inflected (eg they've proved over and over that SAT scores are race-inflected because of the *assumptions they make* not because non-white kids aren't as bright/educated)? Without considering how malleably colleges treat ALL GPAs regardless of skin color (like, really, they mess with them all the time)? Or without discussing how colleges weasel out of how non-black they are by pointing to "total students of color" as a marker for blackness, rather than breaking it down by race or whether those students are international or domestic? I'm not going to trust your economic assessments anyway.
Which I think means we're at an impasse for now.
I'm glad you're not worried about your kid, by the way. I didn't mean to get overly personal, it's just that your tone seemed to reflect that you were upset about her reduced chances as much as anything else. FWIW, as far as the issues you address go, people don't generally get into HLS or other incredibly competitive graduate programs based on anything to do with high school GPA. Generally it's a combination of college GPA (#3), writing skills (#2), and (most importantly by a huge amount) LSAT score. College of origin matters a bit, but not nearly as much as any of those other things. Other grad schools care more about GPA and undergrad institution reputation, law schools not so much.
My sister found this out when she somehow managed to completely ace the LSAT ("somehow" - she's brilliantly logical) and get recruited heavily from all the top law schools in the US and Canada (and even a couple in Britain). She ended up going to a Canadian LS because she wanted to stay in Canada, but her acceptable but not impressive GPA and her attendance at one of the more podunk Canadian universities (one that other universities tended to scoff at across the board back then) mattered not a whit to Harvard or several other places. They all had deep pockets and were waving money at her.
I also got a full-ride merit scholarship to a top-ranked grad school based on acing a single GRE score (not even all 3 of them!) as much as on anything else... I didn't even write the additional essay you were supposed to write to be considered for merit scholarships. And while I did go to a fancy undergrad, my GPA there was a measly-for-college 3.06 - way less than what my profs at that school told me would be necessary for graduate school. I think I deserved to be at the grad school I went to, but I also can think of at least 2 students in my cohort of 38 who deserved the scholarship more than I did, without even trying hard.
Point being, if I was setting up the system to be "fair" with the least amount of work possible, I'd work on loosening the grip that standardized testing has on college admissions, tutoring low-SES kids on said testing *for free* and intensely, and poking at said standardized testers to make their tests *better* - as it stands now they have an awful lot of weight for something that still isn't notably predictive.
I believe those efforts would be a lot more effective and a lot less conflict-generating than the wacky things that some extremely white schools do to admit more students of color (that they then don't support in making social adjustments or dealing with stuff like stereotype threat, which ends up leading to high rates of struggle and dropout) in order to make themselves look more appealing to rich liberal applicants' parents. Meanwhile other PWIs are bending themselves into knots to not admit qualified students of color that don't fit the right financial "profile," leading to very small numbers of students of color overall ... and then they conceal that in their brochures, etc (I have a friend who says he was in every dang brochure for everything his college ever published, and he's being accurate rather than hyperbolic.) .... It's a huge disservice to the students of color, as much as anyone else. (I don't feel this currently applies to my employer, but a look at the financials and the admit rates and the policies suggests they've been in both positions at one time or another.)
I suspect we agree on that, that there are better and fairer ways to fix the serious failures in admissions wrt socioeconomic status (which primarily but not exclusively affect black people and other people of color), that colleges would rather patch over by fighting over the relatively few rich students of color ... even if we strongly disagree about how much of an advantage being black is at getting into college in the first place. I kinda wish people would run with need blind admissions more, and give kids more points for complex life experiences, high ACE scores, etc., than they do for impressive sounding volunteer jobs and team captaincies..., and all kinds of other things that would benefit students of color differentially, even though they aren't literally based on skin color - but I think the economics of the situation are against it. Colleges want rich students because rich students have rich parents, and become rich alumni. The best you can realistically hope for is to shame them or woo them into setting up some simple policies that end up letting in more poor and middle-class kids along with everyone else, and that push against rich white folks' assumptions about what someone can be - what their potential is - based on the color of their skin.
Have you read Richard Rodriguez's The Hunger of Memory ? I think he makes a better case against color-based affirmative action than anyone else I've ever come across. I still don't find it entirely convincing (obviously), but it's well worth the read.