February 27th, 2012
01:04 PM ET

Affirmative action still needed?

As the Supreme Court reconsiders affirmative action, 3 parents tell Christine Romans whether or not race should be used in college admissions.

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Filed under: Policy • Practice • video
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. GrANT

    If we began teaching better learning and study habits in kindergarden and preschool, and implement safe after school activities in some of our poor districts then we would not even need affirmitive action. It is not a race issue, It is an educational and financial issue. We find that these ghettoes that are predomitantly black and latino ghettos with bad education system are formed not because they are, by race, less intelligent, but because cultural situations have put them there. and as we all know, it is easier to go down than up. Give me any child and i can make him into a thief, a scientist, a bum, or a president.

    March 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  2. Steve Lyons

    "Diversity" is nothing but a codeword for denying conservative whites admission to socialist biased schools.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  3. Steve Lyons

    Any better qualified student denied admission to a university in favor of an athlete or due to affirmative action should be granted an all expense paid education to the next better school paid for by the school that denied them entry. That's "FAIR" isn't it?

    February 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  4. Eileen Kugler

    This is about equity and much more. It will impact every student on campus. It’s hard to dispute the research that shows that a diverse campus is better both academically and socially for all the students. In classrooms, students learn to think deeper, question more, and move beyond simplistic assumptions when they are challenged by peers with different life experiences and different perspectives. Students of all backgrounds become better problem solvers. It only makes sense – if you are surrounded by people who aren’t limited by a common frame of reference, you see multiple ways to solve problems. There isn’t just one right answer to a complex problem.

    On a social level, students aren’t just learning how to “celebrate” diversity on a superficial level of clothes and food. They learn to dialogue about critical issues, seeing nuances, not just polarizing extremes. They know what it takes to collaborate with people who act different, who think different than they do. They learn to be comfortable not just with those who are like them; but they develop a comfort with difference because they recognize that is when they are most vibrant.

    Do colleges look beyond grades as they decide on who to admit? Of course they do. Does the band need some clarinets? Lucky Amelia for playing clarinet in the State Band. Are there lots of applicants from New Jersey, but few from South Dakota? For a college that touts having students from all over the country, the qualified applicant from SD looks real good. Of course there are the spots for the legacy students, even if their grades aren’t up to dad’s or mom’s. And let’s not even go into preferences shown for someone with a great free throw or a record-breaking catch on the football field.

    So where are the high-profile court cases about the student who didn’t get accepted because the spot was filled by an athlete? That’s just something we accept because there is a holistic view of what benefits the entire university. College athlete = winning teams = alumni donations and more applicants. Don’t whine if you don’t get in on grades alone because “everybody wins” when the team wins.

    So why should race and ethnicity be out of the picture for a college that understands the value of a diverse campus? Why should colleges have to defend themselves from creating a diverse environment that benefits every student every day?

    It is not in the interest of our nation to force colleges to take a step backward and deprive their students of the lessons that can only be learned in a diverse setting. Without the benefit of diversity in their educational environment, students will be ill-prepared for the diverse workplaces that await them, particularly as our economy increases in global interconnections. Most important, do we want to deprive them the lessons of appreciation, respecting, and learning from a broad spectrum of fellow students? Let’s hope the justices can see this is an issue impacting every student, and our nation as a whole.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm |