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Why We Still Need Affirmative Action Policies In College Admissions

The ongoing case of Fisher v. University of Texas will be reheard by the Supreme Court to determine if higher education institutions will be able to consider race as a factor in admissions decisions. TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg argues that class is a viable alternative that can be used to produce a diversified student body that will be free of racial or socioeconomic discrimination.

"...schools have moved toward class-based models in order in anticipation of attacks on affirmative action and argues that if affirmative action remains, colleges will simply favor privileged students of color instead of low-income students across the board."

Read the full article from ThinkProgress.

Tags: race-based affirmative action, higher education, college admissions, class-based affirmative action

SCOTUS to Review Fisher Case on Affirmative Action at University of Texas

This morning, the Supreme Court announced that they would rehear the Fisher v. University of Texas case on affirmative action. TCF fellow Richard Kahlenberg provides his thoughts on the decision.

Tags: supreme court, higher education, college admissions, affirmative action

Our Universities: The Outrageous Reality

June 22, 2015 BY: Suzanne Mettler TOPICS: Education

In the New York Review of Books, Andrew Delbanco discusses the spiraling costs and educational inequality in American universities, drawing heavily on TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler's Degrees of Inequality:

Mettler points out that between 1980 and 2010, average spending on higher education slipped from 8 percent to 4 percent of state budgets. Some states have seen a modest recovery since the Great Recession, but recently the governors of Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Illinois have proposed new cuts.

The full article is available here.

Tags: higher ed, educational inequality, education

Does Harvard Discriminate Against Asian Applicants?

A court case is arguing that Harvard's admissions policies effectively discriminate against Asian applicants, and the decision could have wide-reaching effects on the use of race in admissions policies. TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg joined WBUR to discuss the case.

Is Harvard University discriminating against Asian-American applicants? A case currently pending in Boston Federal court alleges that yes, the nation’s oldest and most famous university has admissions policies that disadvantage highly qualified Asian-American students…and extend preferential treatment to other minorities. But are the plaintiffs calling for slight modifications to Harvard’s admissions process? No, there’s a broader goal — ending race-based affirmative action overall.  

Listen to the complete conversation feauturing Kahlenberg here.

Tags: race-based affirmative action, higher ed, education, affirmative action

When Charters Go Union

An article in the American Prospect by Rachel Cohen discusses unionization efforts in charter schools. She cites evidence from TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg and TCF fellow Halley Potter's A Smarter Charter that the links between unions and charter schools are older than many realize: 

In Shanker’s original vision, as Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter trace in their book A Smarter Charter, not only were charter teachers to be unionized, but union representatives were to sit on charter authorizing boards—the entities tasked with overseeing charter accountability—and all charter school proposals were to include “a plan for faculty decision-making.” In return, certain union regulations would be relaxed in order to facilitate greater experimentation.

Read the full article here.

Tags: teachers unions, labor unions, education, charter schools, a smarter charter

The Sesame Street Effect

In The Atlantic, Alia Wong discusses the role that shows like Sesame Street may play in fighting educational inequality. The article cites TCF's recent report on segregation in pre-K classrooms:

Preschoolers in state-run programs—the majority of whom are racial minorities—tend to be clustered in pre-k classrooms serving high concentrations of impoverished children of color, according to the TCF report, which was published in partnership with the Poverty & Race Research Action Council. Only a sliver of the children sampled in the TCF report were enrolled in classrooms that were both racially diverse and medium- to high-income.

The full article is available here.

Tags: universal pre-k, socioeconomic integration, educational inequality, education




Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.

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