The world of higher education continues to closely monitor the case in the U.S. Supreme Court, which may overturn college admission based on race.
Proponents of positive action remain concerned that the high court may ban the practice as the political judiciary turns right after three presidential appointments by former President Donald Trump. And in at least one past lawsuit, it was a surprise The Supreme Court has maintained positive action.
The current case calls into question the policy of admission to Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is represented by Students for Fair Admission, a well-known conservative legal group.
Recently, dozens of court records were filed in favor of abolishing racial admission practices. In particular, they support the reverse Gruter v. Bollinger, a landmark 2003 case that allowed the University of Michigan Law School to use race as a factor in the admissions process. Judicial precedents allow only race to be used as a narrowly tailored item of admission data, which is taken into account along with many other factors.
Briefs have been designed by such as conservative representatives of Congress, think tanks and state leaders. Institutions and higher education institutions that support positive action are expected to present similar reports in about a month.
Below we will discuss in detail the arguments in one of the results against confirmation of actionfiled by a coalition of 19 Republican Attorneys Generals led by Oklahoma.
Argument: Colleges in states that have blocked positive action have no problem creating different classes
Attorneys general cite data that they say show that colleges in states that have given up on positive action are easily developing different student classes.
Oklahoma in 2012 voted to abandon positive action in the field of employment and education. The states claim that this has had little effect on the proportion of students from racial minorities entering the University of Oklahoma.
In 2012, the proportion of first-year African-American students at the University of Oklahoma was more than 6% – seven years later that has changed very little. The share of Hispanic freshmen jumped from less than 9% in 2012 to almost 12% in 2019.
Attorneys general also say the percentage of Hispanic students attending state flagship institutions reflects the state’s total population, regardless of whether the states have banned positive action.
But it’s a superficial analysis, said Art Coleman, managing partner and co-founder of EducationCounsel LLC, a consulting firm on policy, strategy and legal consulting.
First, lawyers are considering only a small group of institutes, state flagships, which enroll many students and may not be representatives of other colleges, Coleman said.
Other institutions serve different areas of the states and naturally cannot attract students from racial minorities, he said.
He pointed to shortcomings in a plan developed in Texas in the late 1990s that guarantees admission to public colleges for 10% of the state’s top high school graduates.
Politicians speculated that this would serve as a method of reinforcing the enrollment of blacks and Latinos after a Texas court overturned positive action in the state in 1996. But decades later, it did little to improve access to college for these students at state public colleges.
Other states face similar difficulties with bans on positive action. California, for example, is struggling to attract racially diverse student groups into public higher education systems, said Julie J. Park, Professor of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.
California has a high Hispanic population, but only a portion of these adults end up earning a bachelor’s degree, according to one report. It says that about 43% of students enrolled in public colleges and other public colleges are Hispanic, but only 14% of adult Hispanics have a bachelor’s degree.
Argument: Prohibition of positive action puts Asian American students at a disadvantage
The main argument put forward by the Students for fair admission and repeated in the state report is that racial policy harms Asian American students.
Institutions like Harvard artificially limit the number of Asian American students they accept, the statement said. He argues that they, in turn, enroll large numbers of African Americans and Latinos in an attempt to support a variety of student classes.
Legal precedent prohibits colleges from imposing racial quotas. And Harvard and Chapel Hill took into account the race with other factors, such as extracurricular activities, according to the judges in both cases.
Studies have also shown that college tuition rates can vary widely among Asian ethnic groups. The admission landscape for these students is too subtle to say that Asian students would be better represented if it weren’t for racial politics, said Janelle Wong, a professor of Asian American studies in Maryland.
Opponents of positive action have argued that the practice is detrimental to Asian Americans because their previous legal strategies have been ineffective, Coleman said.
In one case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, The Supreme Court confirmed the use of an admission policy that takes race into account as one of several factors, but rejected the quota system. The plaintiff, a white man named Alan Bakke, pointed to “reverse discrimination” to explain why he was twice expelled from Davis University School of Medicine.
Courts did not buy this line of thought, Coleman said.
“And so now a new political logic has emerged,” he said.
Argument: Historically black institutions do not have diverse classes, but still benefit students
Most experts were baffled by the defense of prosecutors general that students attending historically black institutions do not attend racially balanced classes, but still succeed.
Historically, black institutions “do not quite meet the definition of” diversity “respondents, which, according to respondents, is necessary for the success of minority students,” – said in a nutshell.
It’s “wildly insincere,” Wong said, adding that it misrepresents HBCU’s goal.
These institutions were set up as a safe haven for black students who were expelled from colleges because of racial discrimination, Wong said.
HBCU also enrolls students of different races, and according to federal statistics, they are becoming more diverse. In 2020, non-black students accounted for 24% of HBCU entrants, compared to only 15% in 1976.
“They exist because lawmakers have allowed the opposite to thrive on positive action,” Wong said.