Affirmative Action - The Battles Against Race-based Educational Plans

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Affirmative Action - The Battles Against Race-Based Educational Plans California's decision in 1996 to outlaw the use of race in public college admissions was widely viewed as the beginning of the end for affirmative action at public universities all over the United States. But in the four years since Californians passed Proposition 209, most states have agreed that killing affirmative action outright would deepen social inequality by denying minority citizens access to higher education. The half-dozen states that are actually thinking about abandoning race-sensitive admissions policies are themselves finding that the only way to enlarge the minority presence in college without such policies is to improve dramatically the…show more content…
But the overwhelming lesson in Texas is that the public schools from which minority students come must be improved if these students are to perform at the top levels at the University of Texas. Texas now forces public schools to keep academic achievement records by race, and penalizes schools that allow black and Latino children to fall behind. Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida is currently embroiled in a fight over an executive order that outlaws race-based admissions at the state universities -- while guaranteeing admissions to the top 20 percent of high school classes. Mr. Bush's order was meant to render moot a ballot initiative on affirmative action that Republicans feared would heighten black turnout in this year's presidential election. The 20 percent rule seemed non-controversial and even generous -- until Governor Bush found that roughly two-thirds of additional black students who might benefit from the rule had been so neglected in high school that they had failed to graduate with the necessary credits for admission to the state university system. The state is now pushing public schools that serve black students to provide better course offerings. What all these states have learned is that the only real way to make race-sensitive policies unnecessary is to guarantee black and Latino children from poor communities a realistic chance at a decent

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