Admissions policies that take class into account, rather than race, are getting a renewed push as a win-win solution. The contention is that they more fully serve the goal of diversity in higher education and provide a progressive way to resolve an enduring conflict that has now returned to the Supreme Court in a case about race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin.
But a crucial premise of the class-over-race argument is wrong. It is not possible to maintain the same level of racial diversity in higher education while applying a race-blind admissions policy. Class-based admissions generally reduce the number of black and Hispanic students. To maintain or build the levels of racial diversity on selective campuses, it is necessary to maintain race-conscious admissions.
While there are higher shares of blacks and Hispanics among low-income Americans, their smaller shares of the whole population mean that whites make up by far the largest portion of low-income families. As Alan Krueger, now head of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and his co-authors wrote in 2006, “The correlation between race and family income, while strong, is not strong enough to permit the latter to function as a useful proxy for race in the pursuit of diversity.” (New York Times)
Easy Related Posts
Unmet Need for Afterschool Programs in African American Community Grows
While 24 percent of African American students – some 2.4 million children and youth in ...read more
Effects of State Higher Education Cuts on Communities of Color
The economic downturn and financial crisis that occurred from December 2007 to June 2009, known ...read more
For Black Students the School to Prison Pipeline Is in Higher Gear Than Ever
The focus has been intense on the wildly disproportionate number of black students who are ...read more
Racial Disparities in Early Childhood Ed Hurts U.S.
Though the nation increasingly recognizes the importance of early childhood education, young African Americans and ...read more