Affirmative Action in Higher Education: How Do We Stand?

The SCOTUS is currently considering the merits of last fall’s arguments before the court in Fisher versus University of Texas, a new case centered on the reverse discrimination that results from collegiate affirmative action policies.  Journalist Gail Heriot has written an informative article on the case and on the nation’s experience with the long-term effects of such policies.  According to Heriot, there is:

… mounting empirical evidence that race preferences are doing more harm than good — even for their supposed beneficiaries.  If this evidence is correct, we now have fewer African-American physicians, scientists, and engineers than we would have had using race-neutral admissions policies.  We have fewer college professors and lawyers, too. Put more bluntly, affirmative action has backfired.

Her article goes on to explore the reasons behind the reality of affirmative action failure, including the problem of “mis-match”.  Her entire National Affairs article, HERE, is lengthy but well worth reading.  And for more, consider THIS article (in PDF format) that Thomas Sowell wrote thirty-eight years ago, in which he came to essentially the same conclusion about the merits of affirmative action.