Affirmative action is not dead Supreme Court upholds University of Texas’ policy

If you read all the headlines, affirmative action as we knew it was dead. When a young lady named Abigail Fisher went full privileged and took the University of Texas to court because she thought she wasn’t admitted based on the school’s policies about race, many people thought it could have marked the end of a practice that began in the 1960s, designed to level the playing field.

Alas, nope! The Supreme Court actually voted 4-3 in favor of the institution, shocking not only every black person in America, but also most of the education world, too. Before we get to Fisher getting dragged on Twitter via the #BeckyWithTheBadGrades hashtag (a twist on the previous #StayMadAbby), let’s take a look back at how ominous the expectations were among experts.

“Supreme Court Justices’ Comments Don’t Bode Well for Affirmative Action,” the New York Times surmised. “End race-based affirmative action? Yes,” the NY Daily News offered. “This Move By The Supreme Court Probably Means The End Of Affirmative Action,” Think Progress asserted. “The End of Affirmative Action?” The Atlantic wondered.

The argument, as unfortunate as it seemed, made a fair amount of sense. Maybe we’ve come far enough that we don’t need such rules anymore. Most people know that the fundamental discrimination that exists in the academic world would never be unraveled by 50 years of affirmative action, but with the Supreme Court, there’s no way to predict what will be done.

So this, in many ways, was a victory for progressives.

To be clear, Fisher not getting into that college had a lot more to do with its stringent standards, not what anyone looked like. Earlier this year, ProPublica broke down exactly why that is.

“Race probably had nothing to do with the University of Texas’ decision to deny admission to Abigail Fisher,” Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote. “In 2008, the year Fisher sent in her application, competition to get into the crown jewel of the Texas university system was stiff. Students entering through the university’s top-10 program — a mechanism that granted automatic admission to any teen who graduated in the upper 10 percent of his or her high school class — claimed 92 percent of the in-state spots. … But Fisher failed to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class, meaning she had to compete for the limited number of spaces up for grabs.”

Score one for learning.

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