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Should Higher Education Admissions Be Race 'Conscious' Or 'Blind'?

Pixabay/Public Domain http://bit.ly/2CFyRyR

In an attempt to rectify years of discrimination, "affirmative action" policies in the United States were implemented to aid women and people of color gain access to employment and educational opportunities.

Where is the line between promoting diversity and discrimination?

Affirmative action has been a long-standing debate for college admissions, especially in Texas. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of the University of Texas System in the case against Abigail Fisher, a rejected white applicant who argued that the school's "race-conscious" policies put her at a disadvantage for admission.  

Although this precedent is set, the potential confirmation of Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh could affect future decisions made by country's highest court.

This summer, the Department of Justice sided against Harvard University in an issue regarding admission for Asian Americans and the Trump administration has encouraged schools to develop a "race-blind" selection process

Does affirmative action work? What are the pros and cons of how the policy is applied in the United States? 

How much should race and gender factor into decisions related to higher education? Are "race-conscious" admissions a step in the right direction or holding students back? 


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.