Equality is one of the primary values cherished by Americans, but it is difficult to achieve especially, in the sphere of education. One of the brightest examples of this challenge is the way students of different races could access public education in the twentieth century and can obtain it these days. The classification based on race (mainly skin color) can be regarded as the oldest method to classify different groups, which led to inequality (The Heritage Foundation, n.d.). First, white people tried to exploit Africans by excluding them from the legal landscape by establishing the inferior status of those people in the American Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment was aimed at establishing equality, which was still partial (United States Courts, n.d.). The U.S. Supreme Court, by the decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), set a desegregation trend that is still maintained (Macartney & Singleton, 2018). At the same time, some policies existing in the educational sphere are rather controversial in terms of this legal tradition. This paper deals with the affirmative action of educational facilities and associated legal peculiarities.
People residing in the United States note their race in various documents. The classification is based on their appearance and ancestry. This information has been provided in numerous applications, including educational papers. After the Supreme Court’s desegregation decisions and major shifts in American society, educational establishments started using affirmative action as their admission policy (Hockett, 2017). The guiding idea behind this policy is equal protection that is secured by the American Constitution. However, in many cases, affirmative action is associated with numerous legal challenges. The U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged these issues, which resulted in certain decisions. For example, in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), the Supreme Court decided that no affirmative action policies were possible, and educational facilities should abandon this practice (Cestau, Epple, & Sieg, 2017). In a later case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (2014), the Supreme Court’s decision remained unchanged, which prompted increased attention to various socioeconomic aspects rather than race during the admission process (Cestau et al., 2017). Clearly, race is becoming a less relevant factor although it is often used to attain equality objectives.
Several ways to ensure equality in the admission process are employed. Affirmative action is still utilized, but these measures are associated with certain issues as people of different races are still discriminated against. For instance, the establishment of quotas is rather discriminatory as the board sets the quotas based on their backgrounds, perspectives, and worldviews rather than particular features of the student (Macartney & Singleton, 2018). Race-blind policies are the tools that are encouraged by the Supreme Court’s decisions (Cestau et al., 2017). These decisions have been evidence-based as Justices concentrated on the outcomes of such quotas for the economy and the development of the community. It is suggested that quotas can be partially used, but the focus should be on the socioeconomic status of the student, not his race.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the Supreme Court makes decisions discouraging affirmative action based on race. The desegregation of schools was the first important step. The introduction of race-based quotas also affected the development of the U.S. economy, as well as the discourse regarding segregation, race, and equality. At present, race-blind practices are encouraged, and the creation of new strategies is on its way.
Cestau, D., Epple, D., & Sieg, H. (2017). Admitting students to selective education programs: Merit, profiling, and affirmative action. Journal of Political Economy, 125(3), 761-797. doi:10.1086/691702
Heritage Foundation. (n.d.). The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. Web.
Hockett, J. D. (2017). Brown v. Board of Education and the symbolic uses of Supreme Court Decisions in American politics. Revista Juris Poiesis, 20(23), 68-124. doi:10.5935/2448-0517.20170011
Macartney, H., & Singleton, J. D. (2018). School boards and student segregation. Journal of Public Economics, 164, 165-182. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.05.011
United States Courts. (n.d.). History – Brown v. Board of Education re-enactment. Web.