Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Topics: Affirmative action, High school, Discrimination Pages: 9 (2858 words) Published: April 8, 2013
 Affirmative Action in Higher Education
 Affirmative action should not be aloud in public education. Admission into higher education facilities should be based upon an individuals academic performance, not on race or gender. At certain colleges, a high percentage of undergraduate admission decisions are based upon race. While some students who exceed admission requirements are rejected from these higher education facilities because they are not of ethnic decent. Colleges have also based admission decisions on gender. Although some would defend that basing admissions on race or gender encourages a diverse campus, which in turn makes for a better quality education, being fair to all students, no matter what they look like, should be the bottom line.

Many programs within colleges have been judged as unfair and unjust due to their affirmative action programs. “Professor Richard H. Sander from University of California, Los Angeles, conducted a study that tests a thesis: Affirmative action actually depresses the number of African American lawyers, because many African American students end up attending law schools that are too difficult for them, and perform badly” (Liptak). Attending law schools that are too difficult for an individual, as a result of affirmative action programs, is not limited to African Americans. If an individual is accepted to a prestigious college, one would assume that this individual would do their best to graduate.

Receiving the best education is understandably desirable, no matter what race an individual may be. “If African American law students were accepted to lesser law school under race-blind admissions, Professor Sander writes, they would receive better grades and pass the bar in greater numbers” (Liptak). Race does not determine intelligence or what college an individual should attend. Rather than color of skin, admittance into college should be based upon academic performance, which ultimately means the drive and desire of the individual.

If everyone was given the same opportunity to enter law school, without race or gender taken into consideration, individuals would be properly placed into schools, according to academic capability, as it should be. “Even accounting for the many African American students who could not attend any law school without affirmative action, the ultimate number of African American lawyers would still increase, he concludes” (Liptak). Being placed into a school with the help of an affirmative action program, that is academically too difficult, would only hurt the student in the end.

It makes more sense to match students with schools academically better fit, giving better opportunity to graduate. “Professor Sander concedes that fourteen percent fewer African American students would enter law school without preferences. But because more of those who do get in would get good grades at schools that are better suited to them, more would graduate, he said, yielding eight percent more African American lawyers” (Liptak).

Having a more diverse student population is a better learning experience to students, for reasons such as culture and various point of views, but is not essential for a quality education. “In the Supreme court in the case of Gutter v. Bollinger, the Court said it was constitutional to consider race in admissions decisions in order to achieve the educational benefits of a diverse student body. In stark contrast, the Court struck down in Gratz v. Bollinger the University of Michigan’s undergraduate admissions policy on the grounds that too much of the decision was based on race” (Deardoff). It is understandable that a diverse student body can be of benefit to every school, but the fact that it stops some students from attending a school they have academically worked hard to get into, does not seem constitutional.

To consider the idea that students of Caucasian decent could not get the same education because they simply did not have more of a diverse...

Bibliography: Allen, Brian. "Big man shortage on campus; Quiet affirmative action for the boys." Washington Times [Washington, DC] 16 June 2010: B01. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 30 June 2011. The issue of affirmative action programs used for gender is a lot less popular topic than that of race, but just as important. I used this article to show discriminant behavior also happens against gender.
Deardoff, Michelle D. "Implementing Affirmative Action in Higher Education: University Responses to Gratz and Grutter." Social Science Journal; 2007. 44.3. p525-34. Web. 22 June 2011. I used this article so the paper would show the opposing side of affirmative action.
Farron, David "Affirmative Action Is Legalized Discrimination." Race Relations. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 30 June 2011. I used this article to show my strong belief that affirmative action programs reverse discrimination.
Lihamba, Amandina. "The Challenges of Affirmative Action in Tanzanian Higher Education Institutions." Women 's Studies International Forum. Nov. 2006 29.6. Web. 22 June 2011. I used this article to show the problem of affirmative occurs around the world, not just in the United States
Liptak, Adam. "For Blacks in Law School, Can Less Be More?" New York Times. 13 Feb. 2005: WK3(L). New York Times. Web. 22 June 2011. I used this article to show a specific example of a program that implements affirmative action using race as a factor of admitting applicants.
Sengupta, Somini. "Quotas to Aid India 's Poor vs. Push for Meritocracy." New York Times 23 May 2006: A3(L). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 30 June 2011. I used this article to expand on the ideas of the issues affirmative action happening outside of the United States.
Thomas, Clarence. "Affirmative Action Hinders Minorities." Interracial America. Ed. Eleanor Stanford. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 30 June 2011. I used this article to show that in the end, affirmative action hurts everyone, including the minorities it is supposedly helping.
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