Essay on Diversity in Higher Education

2007 Words9 Pages
With the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868, prohibiting states from passing laws that deny U.S. citizens from equal protection under the law, the Supreme Court has been obliged to provide decisions that are color-blind (U.S. Const. Amend XIV, § 1). However, the Court often viewed education as a state issue and was reluctant to get involved. That all changed in the 1954 Supreme Court decision known as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In this ruling, it was decided that, “State-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment and was therefore constitutional” (National Archives, n.d.). It was at this time that the Supreme Court began to hear more cases regarding racial inequities in…show more content…
369). In preparation for the decision, the University of Colorado at Boulder began to look at other criterion, in addition to race, to promote diversity. They decided to focus on socioeconomic status since this was not protected under the Fourteenth Amendment and it promotes “authentic diversity and equal opportunity” (p. 371). They also wanted to be sure to maintain minority representation should race no longer be a consideration with the passage of Amendment 46. A study was conducted that evaluated two traits in determining socioeconomic status. The first was the Overachievement Indices. This evaluated how a student’s test scores (e.g. ACT, SAT) and GPA compared with other students from the same socioeconomic background. The second was the Disadvantage Index. This evaluated criteria such as native language, family income level, and school location. Two mathematical equations were developed, in order to create a standard, by which to measure a student’s socioeconomic status, and how this may affect their success at college. In 2009, the University at Colorado at Boulder conducted an experiment to see how its class-based acceptance policy compared with its race-based acceptance policy. They found that the class-based acceptance rate was nine percent higher than considering race alone. “Black, Latino, and Native American applicants were more likely to be admitted under the
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