Democrats For Education Reform Responds To Trump Attacks On Affirmative Action From K-12 To Higher Ed
July 3, 2018
DEMOCRATS FOR EDUCATION REFORM RESPONDS TO TRUMP ATTACKS ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FROM K-12 TO HIGHER ED
WASHINGTON, DC — Democrats for Education Reform today responded to news that the Trump administration is reversing affirmative action policies introduced under President Obama with the following statement from National President Shavar Jeffries:
“President Trump didn’t even wait a week after Justice Kennedy’s announced retirement to attack affirmative action and roll back guidance pursuant to one of the most important decisions on race and education on which he was the swing vote. Whether they are K-12 or institutions of higher education, schools have every right to implement student assignment plans in a way that is best for their students. This is yet another example of how the Trump administration is systematically undermining our country’s education system and turning its back on students of color and students from low-income families. We will remember this in November.”
MORE INFORMATION ON RECENT TRUMP ATTACKS ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GUIDANCE FOR K-12 SCHOOLS:
- In the case of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District (2007), Kennedy wrote, on behalf of the 5-4 majority, that “a compelling interest exists in avoiding racial isolation, an interest that a school district, in its discretion and expertise, may choose to pursue.”
- Research shows that, all things being equal, students can benefit from attending racially integrated schools. With superintendents trying to figure out an appropriate middle ground following the Parents Involved decision, the Obama Administration issued non-binding guidance on how school districts can promote racial integration without running afoul of the Constitution.
- The Obama administration’s guidance on race and K-12 education was sensible middle ground on what has always been an important issue when it comes to federal, state, and local roles. In repealing it, the Trump Administration marches further to the fringe when it comes to issues of race and fairness in American society.
MORE INFORMATION ON RECENT TRUMP ATTACKS ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GUIDANCE FOR HIGHER ED INSTITUTIONS:
- Most affirmative action at elite colleges give preference to minimally qualified white students who are legacies, early decision applicants or development-office picks for admission — those programs remain untouched by the Trump administration’s attacks today.
- Early decision and legacy preferences systematically and structurally benefit students that are overwhelmingly white and upper income. Some 50 percent of elite colleges and university-enrolled students benefit, and the value of the benefits are sizable. On elite college campuses, the real face of affirmative action is white.
- At highly selective schools, the early decision pool is more than three times as white as the regular decision applicant pool.
- Early decision students are less likely to be low-income, because early decision prohibits students from applying to other schools in search of the best financial aid package possible.
- Applying early is worth the equivalent of 100 added points on the SAT. Applying as a legacy student is the equivalent of a boost of 160 points on the SAT.
- At elite colleges, more than 40 percent – in some cases more than 50 percent – of incoming classes are admitted early decision.
- There are more white students admitted to top ten universities after having benefited from an “alumni preference” than Black or Latino students admitted after having benefited from affirmative action policies. In some cases, there are more white legacies than Black and Latino students combined. Virtually no elite college legacy student is low-income.
- Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen show that legacy students have SAT scores lower than the institutional mean and tend to earn lower grades once in college compared to their counterparts.
- Legacy admissions make up 10 to 25 percent of available slots in top universities, taking these spaces away at elite schools from talented students of all races and income levels.
- In a study of the 30 top colleges in the United States, legacy students had about 45 percent greater chance of being admitted. The odds of admission for legacy students are three times that of their counterparts.
- More information on these findings is available here.
About Democrats for Education Reform
Democrats for Education Reform is a national political organization that supports elected Democrats and candidates for office who seek to expand policies and practices that work well for America’s students, and to confront those that do not. We are education progressives who will always prioritize students and families, especially low-income students and students of color who should be better served by our country’s public education system.
Contact: Ashley Johnson, email@example.com
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