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More on exams.

The News owes no apology to anyone for having published my July 15 letter in applauding Gov. Crist's veto of the improvident $300,000 that had been targeted for the ill-begotten and disingenuously named "Florida Bar Preparation Project."

A letter in the August 15 News challenged my assertion that well documented that those who achieve lower standardized test scores and who have lower figures of merit such as grade point averages, those who are the traditional beneficiaries of race-based programs correspondingly and consistently score poorly on bar admission examinations, both in Florida and elsewhere.

In particular, I refer to the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Report dated July 9, 2007, prepared for the New York Board of Law Examiners as representative of the material on which I relied. The entire report is instructive and amply provides the analytical and factual foundation for my letter which appeared in the July 15 News. This report is dispassionate and incisive and worth examining in its entirety. I direct your attention to the section "Relationship Between Cumulative Pass Rates and Prior Achievement" found at page 8 et seq.

In addition, virtually every bar examination committee, along with the National Conference of Bar Examiners, as above, and the American Bar Association, and you can be certain, the National Bar Association, tracks "minority" bar examination experience, whether the results of these studies and statistical compilations are made public, as above, or not. As one example, The State Bar of Texas' Texas Board of Bar Examiners released its "Analysis of July 2004 Texas Bar Exam Results By Gender And Racial/Ethnic Group" at www.ble.state.

This analysis was commissioned to determine if there was any statistically significant reason "to make any changes in the nature of the exam itself" and, while somewhat reserved in the analysis of its conclusions, it nevertheless concluded that there were none. Its analysis directly addressed racial and ethnic group performance on the Texas bar exam.

The News properly decided to publish my letter, one which was long overdue.

Melvyn L. Bernstein

Bedford, Texas
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Bernstein, Melvyn L.
Publication:Florida Bar News
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Sep 15, 2007
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