The U.S. Supreme Court to end racial preferences in college admissions, very soon, just about everyone predicts. So what happens next?
Give preferences to low-income and working-class students -- backed by generous financial aid -- rather than linking preferences to race, argues Richard D. Kahlenberg, who's writing a book, Class Matters: Imagining a Fairer and Less Divisive Future for Higher Education.
President Biden could appeal to minority voters and to working-class whites by "strongly endorsing class-based affirmative action," he writes.
"Class-conscious admission models could result in more racial diversity than the current system, but only if all selective colleges used them, and, at the same time, considered a much larger and more diverse pool of applicants for admissions and stopped admissions policies that now favor legacies, the children of big donors, and athletes," concludes a new Georgetown University report.
If that doesn't happen -- Georgetown isn't optimistic -- the fallback is to improve K-12 education so low-income and non-Asian minority students have a better shot at competing for limited seats at selective colleges.
The report calls this a "retreat."
It is much, much harder to improve K-12 education than to let the not-so-well-educated into selective colleges. Maybe it's impossible. But shouldn't we be trying?
Many selective colleges have gone SAT/ACT optional or stopped looking at test scores entirely. The shift to subjective criteria -- grades are so inflated they're virtually worthless -- makes it easier to hide bias against high-scoring Asian-American students.
"Privately, leaders of college associations say their members’ instinct is to try to 'get around' the expected anti-affirmative action decisions by considering applicant 'adversity' as a way to replicate the racial composition they now achieve on campus, writes Michael Dannenberg on Yahoo.
One of my daughter's college roommates came to the U.S. as a 12-year-old speaking no English. I think she got into UCLA by acing her math SATs. Her father was a cook at a diner. But she was Chinese.