Ending Preferences Helps Desegregation

by Roger Clegg

An interesting new study is discussed in Inside Higher Ed today.  It has to do with trends in the racial makeup of universities over time; intriguingly, the article says the study found that, in states that have banned racial preferences in university admissions, “the result of the bans was not to exclude black students from higher education but to redistribute their enrollment — and to do so in ways that more closely reflected enrollment patterns in those states.”

Yet another reason to get rid of such preferences, of course.  And I have appended this caveat as a comment to the article:

I will add, futilely I am sure, the point that “de facto segregation” is really an oxymoron: If racial imbalances are not the result of deliberate sorting by some higher authority of individuals by skin color — but are, instead, the result of individual choices, geography, etc. — then they really are not segregation. For example, labeling an Idaho community college (located in a part of the state where there are few racial minorites) as “segregated” is not illuminating. The fact of the matter is that, in 2013, the number of segregated universities in the United States, and the number of segregated public K-12 schools, is . . . zero.

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