Don’t Rip Away Diversity in the Classroom

Target: Miguel Cardona, Secretary for U.S. Department of Education

Goal: Support policies that keep education open for students of color and other historically oppressed populations.

The Supreme Court upended another longstanding precedent and, in the process, helped along the nationwide attack on diversity in the classroom. In a ruling driven by the court’s conservative majority, affirmative action in college admissions was essentially struck down. As a result, schools by federal dictate can no longer ensure an inclusive and diverse student representation within their populations.

Make no mistake that fair and equitable admissions will suffer. When just one state ended its own affirmative action policies in education, acceptance of minority students in college dropped by over half. Meanwhile, legacy admissions—in which prospective students whose parents were alumni of a college or university are given an outsized advantage in acceptance—remain untouched. The majority justices claim that their ruling was about preserving fairness and equity for all. How does keeping an antiquated process (accounting for as much as one-third of admissions at some institutions) that overwhelmingly favors rich, privileged white students while throwing away a process meant to right the wrongs of centuries of discrimination achieve this goal?

Sign the petition below to urge the nation’s top education agency to take the lead in rebalancing the scales of equal educational opportunities.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Cardona,

Dissenting justices characterized the majority Supreme Court’s justifications for essentially ending affirmative action in the education realm as “putting lipstick on a pig.” They also warned of the loss of diversity not only in racial representation, but in differing life experiences and perspectives that will be shared in the classroom. Since American education is supposed to thrive on free and open discourse and critical thinking that welcomes a broad range of insights, this hallmark of learning and development will suffer.

Perhaps it might be different if we could trust that decades of progress—with schools many times leading the way—will not be rolled back. But prolonged and unrelenting assaults on what students learn and how they learn it does not give much hope. Neither does the plummeting of minority enrollment following the scaling down of affirmative action at the state level. Instead, we will be left with a tilted higher education hierarchy where wealth and privilege earn students top billing at the nation’s most elite universities and colleges with no merit (save for a well-known last name) to back those students’ standing.

Many institutions have vowed, despite this ruling, to continue their efforts at inclusion and diversity. Please make the same commitment for the countless students around the country who want a path to a better future. Do everything in your power to support and implement plans for fair and equal education for all.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hazelwood Schools 


One Comment

  1. Affirmative Action is dead in the water. Our Diversity is gone completely.
    The Supreme Court should be tried and sentenced for treson. The court is corrupt, influenced but the extreme right and paid by outside sources. This court needs an education. They took away abortion but abortion is not birth control. Now women are dying from problems in pregnancy with out any way the medical field can help without breaking the law. It’s the justices, not the people, who need to be tried by a court of their piers, found guilty, and rot out their lives in prison. The court needs to be abolished without tern limits and an ethical rule to adhere to. They can not over see themselves, they are no capable to do so.

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