The Sad Truth About DACA

The Sad Truth About DACA

Making America great again sure looks like quite the opposite...
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As people of the United States, most of us have steady jobs that can pay for our college tuition. Some of us have self-made businesses or are CEOs of different companies. If our jobs get taken away, would we be exiled and taken away from our families or kicked out of school?

People who are "protected" under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, will be affected in that way. People in the DACA program are immigrants who came to America as children. Maybe they came with their parents to start a new life in the States, but every situation is different.

I understand that they are "illegal" but so were the people of the States when they took this land and called it theirs. But they stayed without having to be in a DACA program or something like it.

These people grew up here, the United States is the only home they know. Many of them are my classmates, my friends and just people I know.

The whole, "they're stealing our jobs" thing is pretty played out. A lot of them are doing the jobs no one else would have the decency to do. When they leave, the jobs will go with them, the economy will plummet, then everybody will still blame Obama.

In all actuality, these individuals are rarely the ones wreaking havoc in this country. They pay their debt to society. They work, go to school, eat, breathe, and sleep just like the rest of us. And to say that they don't belong here is petty, selfish, and frankly, it's pretty un-American. Land of the free, home of the brave. They came here to be free; they're brave because they uprooted their lives to come to a new country, mostly knowing no one, to make a living for them and their families.

What will the country gain after this change has gone into effect? I don't see the pros but I see a whole bunch of cons.

Cover Image Credit: Espaillat House

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Dear Bill De Blasio, Stop Trying To Scrap The SHSAT, It's Never Going To Work

Affirmative Action may be going too far with this one.

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New York City is home to millions of students and over 1000 public high schools. Of those high schools, eight of them are the most coveted, which are known as the specialized high schools, each placing an emphasis on various modes of learning or a specific area of knowledge on which they wish to impart to their students. These schools basically provide the advantages of a private education for free and help get students into top-tier colleges due to their reputation.

Admission to these schools is typically based on the results of one test, called the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). While the format of the test has changed over the course of the years, it has always had a mathematics section with an English Language Arts section. Many students spend well over a few months studying to get into those schools, with each school having a certain cutoff score. The test is typically attempted by eighth graders, but ninth-graders may also take the test (the chances of admission are drastically lower due to the smaller number of seats).

Although the idea of having a single test determine the next four years of a student's education is sound, it led to a vast racial disparity, where Asian students occupy over 50% of the seats, despite being less than 20% of the entire city student population. Unfortunately, black and Hispanic students get the short end of the stick, where very few offers were made to them.

I am a strong proponent of diversity, and going from a school with so little to a college that prides itself on it has helped me realize that diversity in any form boosts the ability of everyone to collectively excel. In my case, I became more compassionate and understanding of the different cultures and circumstances of other students. Although I believe in diversity, I sharply criticize outright discrimination of any group.

Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, rekindled a fierce debate about affirmative action and diversity in specialized high schools by trying to outright get rid of the SHSAT. Affirmative action is a very sensitive topic for most people especially due to the inclusion of race, so I am going to put out there that any remarks I say have no intent on being racist and apologize in advance if they may be taken in such a context.

I understand de Blasio's premise and intent to diversify the specialized high schools, but I think de Blasio's execution of his plan to scrap the SHSAT is outright moronic. As of right now, the SHSAT is absolutely necessary for Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn Technical High School, and the Bronx High School of Science to admit students, as stipulated in the Hecht-Calendra Act, a New York State law.

However, an alternate admissions pathway known as the Discovery program exists where students who scored marginally below the cutoff score of each specialized high school would be permitted to enroll in one if they completed a summer program. I like the premise of this program, given its ability to get more disadvantaged students into more specialized high schools, and I'm fine with the idea of only allowing students from the city's poorest schools and neighborhoods to enroll in the Discovery program.

However, I disagree with de Blasio's wish to set aside 20% of seats in each specialized high school for students in the Discovery program. As Asians are not considered disadvantaged, I feel this move punishes them simply for being Asian.

Moreover, the SHSAT screens for students that can actually handle the work at these schools. After talking to several teachers in Stuyvesant, my alma mater, many of these students from Discovery are hardworking and have potential but just cannot handle the immense pressure of each of these specialized high schools as well as the fast pace of the classes.

I'm not saying one race, in particular, is smarter or superior to another, but I feel that the SHSAT gives a 100% unbiased measure of a student's academic ability, to begin with. Even if it didn't test the academic ability to the fullest extent, it would surely assess one's ability to take a test. This is useful, as Stuyvesant, which is known for being a pressure cooker, calculates the majority of its class grades simply from test scores.

That being said, a high school alone won't magically make a good student great; it is the students that give each school its reputation. And as a personal anecdote, I had to prepare for months in order to barely make the cutoff for Stuyvesant. It was weeks and a summer of sacrifice that I had to dedicate to this test. Therefore, removing the SHSAT invalidates all the effort that I put into getting into the high school of my dreams, which is a big slap in my face.

I believe that there are other ways that we can alleviate the extreme racial imbalance at specialized high schools. One way is to drastically increase the funding of middle schools in poorer districts, such that they may be able to produce students of higher quality. Another way is to set aside seats for students in top-tier middle schools, such as Mark Twain and Christa McAuliffe, rather than in the specialized high schools themselves.

I appreciate the move to prepare students in poorer districts for free, but I also believe that this needs to be further expanded for any meaningful effect to be noticed. Lastly, more specialized high schools could be created using the city's vast resources, such that more seats can be open to people of disadvantaged backgrounds.

I don't believe in a zero-sum system of admission; students who gain admission completely deserve to get into those schools, regardless of background. Removing the SHSAT will only reduce the quality of education in specialized high schools. There are other ways that may be implemented to increase the diversity of each school but haven't been explored. Bill, don't be shortsighted; please consider every option before you turn high school admissions into a game.

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