Affirmative Action: The Facts

admin September 14, 2006 Affirmative Action Comments Off on Affirmative Action: The Facts

The elimination of affirmative action leads to resegregation.

  1. After the Hopwood decision overturned affirmative action at the University of Texas (UT), the number of black students at the UT Law School dropped from 65 in 1996 to 11 in 1997. Only 4 black students enrolled—in a first-year class of more than 400.
  2. At the University of Texas Law School, Latino/a student enrollment has been cut in half since affirmative action programs were outlawed in 1995.
  3. When the ban on affirmative action was implemented at the University of California (UC)-Berkeley law school, the number of black students admitted dropped from 75 in 1996 to 14 (out of 792 applicants) in 1997; none enrolled.
  4. In its first year without affirmative action, the UC-San Diego School of Medicine did not admit a single black applicant, of the 196 who applied.
  5. UC-Berkeley admitted 61% fewer minorities in 1998—the year the state first implemented its ban on affirmative action at the undergraduate level. 800 black and other minority students with grade point averages of 4.0 and SAT scores of at least 1200 were denied admission to the 1998 freshman class.

Standardized Tests do not a measure “Merit”

  1. A study of the period 1968-1987 conducted by UC-San Diego School of Medicine professors shows that initial gaps in performance between students admitted under the regular and affirmative action admission standards narrowed and then disappeared over the course of medical education.
  2. Until the early 1970s, female students outscored male students on the verbal section of the SAT; the verbal section was “balanced” to produce minimally lower scores by women than men. The math section, which has consistently reflected a significant gap in favor of men, has never been “balanced.”
  3. SAT-takers score on average 30 test points higher for every $10,000 in parental annual income.

Fact: Affirmative action programs opened up educational opportunities for all minorities and for women of all races.

Between 1890 and 1970, the percentage of lawyers who were black increased less than one percentage point: from 0.48% to 1.29%. Fifteen years later, 5.1% of law students were black. In 1995, the last year affirmative action programs existed at every law school, black students compris?ed 7.5% of all law students.

In 1960, a tiny number of all law students were women; today, just over 50% of law students are women. In 1971, women received 6.3% of all professional degrees. Ten years later, the figure had more than quadrupled to 27.5%

Fact: The elimination of affirmative action programs leads to the resegregation of higher education.In California and Texas, the elimination of affirmative action programs has had a devastating impact on the number of black, Latina/o, and Native American students.

In 1996, prior to the recently reversed ban on affirmative action in the University of California (UC) system, the entering class of the UCLA Law School included 10.3% black students. In 1999, the UCLA Law School used extensive minority outreach programs, “socioeconomic affirmative action”, and a holistic admission review system to try to restore the proportion of underrepresented minority students at the law school.

Despite these efforts, the 2000 entering class at the UCLA Law School consisted of only 1.4% black students; the class that graduated in the Spring of 2002 had only two black students.In 1994-1996, 13 Filipino students were enrolled in UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall Law School.

In 1996-2000, after the elimination of the law school’s affirmative action program, only 3 Filipinos were enrolled at Boalt Hall. At the University of Texas Law School, Latino/a student enrollment has been cut in half since affirmative action programs were outlawed in 1995.

The number of women faculty has decreased by 22% throughout the UC system since the take-away of affirmative action.

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