By Jaime Melero
Hancock High School, Junior
In a recent Chicago Tribune article titled “US top court to hear university race admissions case,” Affirmative Action was back in the spotlight with Abigail Fisher alleging the policy discriminates against her. In her case, she applied to the University of Texas and was not accepted. According to Fisher, her credentials are better than minorities that got accepted instead of her.
Supporters of her case say that it is time for the Affirmative Action policy to retire. The opposition says that the policy still needs to balance out the percentage of minorities with the majority. I believe that the policy needs to be maintained, especially since the minority is growing and so is the percentage of those going to college. It is only fair for it to continue for some more time.
Back in 2003, there was a similar case inCaliforniawith another white student saying the policy was discriminatory and sued the school. Of course, this case went all the way to the Supreme Court, too. The result was the Supreme Court defended the policy and voted against the student’s claim. In the Chicago Tribune article it says,” In 2003, [the Supreme Court] reaffirmed that a diverse student population can justify use of race as one factor to help minorities gain admission to public universities and colleges.” This time can be different though since there are more conservative justices than there were last time. There is no certain expectation about who is to win this case but no matter what, it will still be hotly debated. I am sure to debate this in my sociology class.
What can be the solution to this problem? If we were to take away Affirmative Action, college attendance would be predominantly white. But by 2025, 50% of the population will be minorities. A commonly known statistic is that 11% of Latinos have college degrees.
Some may say there has to be a time limit for Affirmative Action or minorities will soon overtake white attendance at colleges. I don’t think so. This will not happen until the education system is fixed with all schools being equal. Although I consider myself to be an intelligent student, an equally intelligent student at a better school will score higher than me only because his school has better funding than mine. That leaves me with a single thought that the solution is to continue the policy until the education system can effectively make all schools equal. Only then will things really be equal and not discriminatory to anyone.
The question is "When will the education system ever be fixed?" In the Chicago Tribune article on the case, Brenda Shim, a senior counsel for the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law stated, "We remain confident that the court will reaffirm that colleges and universities may pursue the educational benefits of diversity."
Some people may say that the education system will never be fixed and that Affirmative Action will continue to be discriminatory towards white students. They can also say that the schools are equal already and that it is time for Affirmative Action to retire.
However, they must remember that there are many schools, especially in inner cities, that are having trouble with receiving funding. Also, the policy is not discriminatory considering that the majority of students in college is white and only small percentages of students are minorities.
I hope one day to go to college and with the level of competition from students at better funded schools, I am going to need an edge so I can go to a good college or university. That may sound like it’s unfair, but there is not much else I can do.
Do you believe that Affirmative Action should be retired or not? What are the reasons for your answer?
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