Trump to revoke Obama policy using race in school admissions

President Donald Trump looks toward Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as he speaks during a workforce  apprenticeship discussion at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster N.J. Friday Aug. 11 2017. Trump received an update on the the president's wor

The new policy dramatically departs from the stance of the Obama administration, which on multiple occasions said schools could consider race in admissions decisions and should do so to foster diversity.

The New York Times, citing unidentified Trump administration officials, said the new plan would do away with the existing policies and encourage schools not to consider race.

Tuesday's action does not forbid using race as a plus factor in admissions, a practice the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld, most recently in a 2016 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Mr. Arcidiacono found that an otherwise identical applicant bearing an Asian-American male identity with a 25 percent chance of admission would have a 32 percent chance of admission if he were white, a 77 percent chance of admission if he were Hispanic, and a 95 percent chance of admission if he were black.

As news of the Trump administration's directive to rescind affirmative action policies made by President Barack Obama was announced on Tuesday, Black Twitter went online to share their frustrations with Trump-as well as their lack of surprise.

In November, Mr. Sessions issued a memo barring Justice Department components from using guidance documents to circumvent the rulemaking process.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration said that the Obama administration's advocacy for a particular policy position was "inconsistent" with the principles for agency guidance.

But civil rights advocates say the administration's move only furthers intolerance and discrimination by supporting systematic racial biases.

Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Council for Equal Opportunity, and other critics of the Obama-era guidelines claimed they actively went beyond Supreme Court precedent and encouraged racial bias.

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But a senior Justice Department official denied that these decisions were rolling back protections for minorities.

Eight states already prohibit the use of race in public college admissions: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.

That guidance has now been rescinded, as have more than a half-dozen other similar documents, including some that sought to explain Supreme Court rulings affirming the use of race as one of several factors in the admissions process.

Revoking the Obama-era guidance on affirmative action could affect elementary and secondary schools that have grappled with racial imbalances.

The Supreme Court set the precedent that allowed for affirmative action in college admission decisions in 1978 and reaffirmed that precedent in 2003, 2013 and 2016. In 2007, the high court sharply limited how school districts could use race in enrollment.The ruling struck down race-based policies in Seattle and Louisville.

Schools could also lose funding from the Education Department if they don't practice race-blind admission processes.

Kleinman said she feared the action "might chill school districts from doing anything at all".

Despite the administration's skepticism of race-based policies, Kleinman said she has seen no less cooperation from the Justice Department in active desegregation cases. These guidances were not talking about court-ordered desegregation or something like that.

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