Affirmative Action And Its Impact On Education

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Since its creation in 1965 affirmative action has been heralded by supporters as a landmark achievement and a means to erase the legacy of discrimination and raise the educational outcomes and benefits of America’s protected classes.1 Despite the support it has received, there are large numbers of people who have expressed their opposition to affirmative action in education, claiming that it is a form of discrimination, and questioning its effectiveness. As the debate rages, researchers have exhaustively studied affirmative action in an effort to understand its effect on higher education. Both camps are thoroughly entrenched in their beliefs and claim that research defends their positions defends their positions. However, as the facts…show more content…
Affirmative action is no exception; it stems from a history of racial discrimination culminating with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. During the 1960s blacks and many whites rallied to challenge the history of racism in America, and to grant civil rights to blacks who had been discriminated against since colonial times. This movement garnered great support from the Democratic administration of President Lyndon Johnson, and even though the American South was a solid Democrat voting bloc, they opposed reform and granting civil rights. Despite hostility within in the Democratic Party, civil rights were granted to blacks, and affirmative action was created by President Johnson in 1965 under Executive Order 11246. This order’s stated purpose was to, “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” In 1967 EO 11246 was expanded to protect women as well. While initially used to combat discrimination in employment, the philosophy and politics of affirmative action was eventually expanded to include education. Affirmative action’s goal was to create policies that increase the representation of women and minorities in the workplace. This new policy would be used by the employers and institutions of higher education through two means; equal opportunity and preferential treatment policies. Equal
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