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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

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

Addressing New York City’s Excellence Gap in Elite Public High Schools

The lack of racial diversity in New York City's nine elite specialized high schools is deepening the achievement gap and contributing to income inequality.

Tags: stuyvesant high school, standardized testing, racial diversity, income inequality, achievement gap

Combating Income Inequality through College Diversity

June 4, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: The Century Foundation TOPICS: Education, Ensuring Fairness in College Admissions

TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg recently wrote an article for The Atlantic promoting the adoption of class-based affirmative action as a means to reduce income inequality in America.


Race-Based Admissions: The Right Goal, but the Wrong Policy

After a half-century of race-based affirmative action, racial inequality in higher education admissions remains an important issue in higher education policy. However, TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg argues in an article for The Atlantic that in a context of growing economic segregation, class-based affirmative action policies are a more effective tool for fighting inequality.

As Johnson, King, and Moynihan recognized, class-based alternatives to these programs don’t ignore the continuing role of race; they leverage the reality of discrimination to promote the kind of racial and ethnic diversity that America’s colleges need. Take the “Texas Top 10 percent” plan, under which the graduates of every high school with the highest grades are automatically eligible for admissions to UT Austin. In 2004, that plan produced as much African American and Latino representation as the use of racial preferences previously had, precisely because racial segregation among Texas high schools remains a pervasive problem.

Kahlenberg's full article is available here.

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




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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