Under former President Obama, schools were encouraged to vet potential students based on “compelling interest” that considered their race as a determining factor in admission. Under the Trump administration, that policy is changing.
According to The New York Times, Trump is urging the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to conduct their admissions processes with a race-blind standard. This could essentially end the practice of affirmative action in the admissions process.
“The whole issue of using race in education is being looked at with a new eye in light of the fact that it’s not just white students being discriminated against, but Asians and others as well,” said Roger Clegg, president of the conservative Center for Equal Opportunity. “As the demographics of the country change, it becomes more and more problematic.”
In a case that appears to be heading for the Supreme Court, Asian-American students have filed a lawsuit against Harvard claiming that the university discriminated against them to make room for students from other races.
Obama’s policy was meant to bring students from diverse races together, believing that it would help spur growth on campus. However, when he inculcated the policy in 2011, the guidance was thought of as controversial for how it bent the law.
One of the procedures Obama urged colleges to observe was to use “compelling interests” to achieve diversity on campus. That practice stretched the bounds of the law.
Trump’s actions would carry the weight of the federal law behind it, meaning that colleges and universities who do not consider admissions with a blind eye to race could face an investigation by the Justice Department or a lawsuit, or possibly lose funding from the Department of Education.
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