Fisher v. UT Won’t Address Achievement Gap
Wednesday, Oct. 10, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Fisher v. The University of Texas. The case asks whether including race as a factor for admission is constitutional, and debate around the issue has been heated.
Minority groups held a conference at the Texas Capitol Tuesday and said affirmative action is necessary to right historical wrongs. They argued that underprivileged minorities remain underprivileged if they can’t attend flagship universities. And that diversity in the classroom will help students deal with diversity in the real world.
But Lino Graglia, a constitutional law professor at UT who specializes in race and education, says affirmative action won’t fix this. He says the real problem is that many minority students aren’t ready for college when they graduate high school.
“Except for this performance gap, I think we wouldn’t have race problems,” Graglia said. “We certainly wouldn’t have race preferences, which unfortunately doesn’t address it in any way, but attempt to hid it, to pretend as if the gap’s not there.”
State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, leads the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. “The true challenge for Texas higher education isn’t race, it’s access, and we know that when you look at the growing population of our state, our college campus classrooms do not reflect the population of our state,” Fischer said.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s mission is not to close the achievement gap in high schools but only to determine whether it is constitutional to consider race in state college admissions.