The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, officials said.
The reversal would restore the policy set during President George W. Bush’s administration, when officials told schools that it “strongly encourages the use of race-neutral methods” for admitting students to college or assigning them to elementary and secondary schools.
Last November, Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked the Justice Department to re-evaluate past policies that he believed pushed the department to act beyond what the law, the Constitution and the Supreme Court had required, Devin M. O’Malley, a Justice Department spokesman, said. As part of that process, the Justice Department rescinded seven policy guidances from the Education Department’s civil rights division on Tuesday.
“The executive branch cannot circumvent Congress or the courts by creating guidance that goes beyond the law and — in some instances — stays on the books for decades,” Mr. O’Malley said.
The Supreme Court has steadily narrowed the ways that schools can consider race when trying to diversify their student bodies. But it has not banned the practice.
Now, affirmative action is at a crossroads. The Trump administration is moving against any use of race as a measurement of diversity in education. And the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy at the end of this month will leave the court without its swing vote on affirmative action and allow President Trump to nominate a justice opposed to a policy that for decades has tried to integrate elite educational institutions.
A highly anticipated case is pitting Harvard against Asian-American students who say one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions has systematically excluded some Asian-American applicants to maintain slots for students of other races. That case is clearly aimed at the Supreme Court.
“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 and general counsel of the conservative Center for Equal Opportunity. “As the demographics of the country change, it becomes more and more problematic.”
The Obama administration believed that students benefit from being surrounded by diverse classmates, so in 2011, the administration offered schools a potential road map to establishing affirmative action policies that could withstand legal scrutiny. The guidance was controversial at the time that it was issued, for its far-reaching interpretation of the law. Justice officials said that pages of hypothetical scenarios offered in the guidance were particularly problematic, as they clearly bent the law to specific policy preferences.
That policy is now dust, and by the time 2021 rolls around, affirmative action in college admissions will be gone as well, along with a number of other things. It's going to be a dark time in American history, a time where in the last throes of white dominance of American culture that everything can and will be done to delay, if not reverse the inevitable demographic shift ahead.
And I say inevitable but that's not actually true if Trump starts deporting millions of undocumented immigrants and even legal immigrants, and then robbing the political, social, economic, and voting power of those of us who remain. There's plenty that Trump can do to shift America back into white supremacy mode as the default.
The Harvard admissions case is particularly important, because "proving" that affirmative action "harms" one minority group (Asian-Americans) to help African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans has long been the holy grail of the "Let's not see race" brigade. If that gets to Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and a fifth Trump pick, the ballgame is done.
A lot of stuff is going to fall apart on those lines actually, and the goal is to make sure that the coming rightward shift is so vast and generational that it will never be undone in our lifetimes.
We'll see what happens, but it's just a reminder that given the choice, there were tens of millions who sides with giving Donald Trump Supreme Court picks...and tens of millions more who didn't think it was important enough to bother voting over.
By the way, destroying America's public education system and turning it into something only the 1% will be able to afford in the future is absolutely the goal of the GOP right now, and they're hard at work dismantling education as a right.
A Michigan judge ruled last week that children do not have a fundamental right to learn how to read and write.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Public Counsel, the nation’s largest public interest law firm, on behalf of Detroit students that sought to hold state authorities, including Gov. Rick Snyder (R), accountable for what plaintiffs alleged were systemic failures depriving children of their right to literacy, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"I'm shocked," said Ivy Bailey, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the newspaper reported. "The message that it sends is that education is not important. And it sends the message that we don't care if you're literate or not."
The suit also sought fixes to crumbling schools that, among other measures, Detroit Public Schools Community District officials reportedly said would amount to more than $500 million.
After all, the future is going to need a lot of prisoners for private lockups.