Report Favors Race-Conscious Policies

January 16, 2020

Race-conscious policies are the best answer for addressing equity issues in higher education, according to a report from the Education Trust.

The report examined history, current inequalities and the effect of using "proxies" for race on outcomes to make its case.

Historically, higher education policies have been racist and exclusive, the report states. Race-conscious policies like affirmative action can fix this issue. Ed Trust found that, in the short period of time when affirmative action was put into place and not challenged, the focus on race worked and lifted up that generation of black students.

However, since there have been legal battles that put affirmative action into question and bans on the policy in certain states, more recent generations of black students have fallen behind, according to the report.

Ed Trust also found that using proxies for race, such as income, don't work. While a black family may have the same income as a white family, that doesn't mean they have the same level of wealth that comes with things like inheritances and property ownership.

The organization proposed several strategies to implement race-conscious policies, including using data that is disaggregated by race and ethnicity, creating race-conscious attainment goals, and requiring accreditors to examine colleges' racial climate.

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