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Race, Class, and College Access: Achieving Diversity in a Shifting Legal Landscape

July 21, 2015

This is a groundbreaking report examining how legal challenges to race-conscious admissions are influencing contemporary admissions practices at selective colleges and universities around the country. The report is especially timely in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to take a second look at the constitutionality of the University of Texas' admissions policy by granting review in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.Study findings are based on responses to a first-of-its-kind national survey of undergraduate admissions and enrollment management leaders administered in 2014 -- 15. Data reflect responses from 338 nonprofit four-year institutions that collectively enrolled 2.7 million students and fielded over 3 million applications for admission in 2013 -- 14. Among other findings, the authors examine the most widely used and effective diversity strategies; changes in admissions factors after the 2013 Fisher ruling and statewide bans on race-conscious admissions; and the most sought after research and guidance given the current legal and policy landscape

Segregating California's Future: Inequality and Its Alternative, 60 Years after Brown v. Board of Education

May 13, 2014

California has had serious issues of separation and discrimination in its schools since it became a state. It was little affected by the Brown decision, which was directed primarily at the 17 states that had laws mandating the segregation of African Americans. Although the California Supreme Court recognized a broad desegregation right in the state constitution, and the legislature briefly mandated that school boards take action to enforce this right, both were reversed by voter-approved propositions. The 1979 Proposition One led to the termination of the city's desegregation plan -- the first major city in the U.S. to end its plan. U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the 1990s led eventually to the termination of the federal desegregation orders in San Francisco and San Jose. Major court decisions in California mandating desegregation that occurred in the 1970s were overturned by the 1990s, thus California presently has no school integration policy. Segregation has grown substantially in the past two decades, especially for Latinos. White students' contact with nonwhite and poor students has increased significantly because of the dramatic change in overall population. Black and Latino students are strongly concentrated in schools that have far lower quality, according to state Academic Performance Index (API) ratings. Conversely, a far larger share of whites and Asians attend the most highly related schools and thus are the most prepared for college. A half-century of desegregation research shows the major costs of segregation and the variety of benefits of schools that are attended by all races.