In a surprising move, four Asian-American groups have petitioned the Supreme Court to end race-based college admission decisions claiming they discriminate against Asian applicants.
This move is counter to the stance most Asian-American advocacy groups typically take and argues that using race as a factor in admission leaves Asians out in the cold.
Inside Higher Ed has more information on the brief:
“Admission to the nation’s top universities and colleges is a zero-sum proposition. As aspiring applicants capable of graduating from these institutions outnumber available seats, the utilization of race as a ‘plus factor’ for some inexorably applies race as a ‘minus factor’ against those on the other side of the equation. Particularly hard-hit are Asian-American students, who demonstrate academic excellence at disproportionately high rates but often find the value of their work discounted on account of either their race, or nebulous criteria alluding to it,” says the brief.
It was filed on behalf of the 80-20 National Asian-American Educational Foundation, the National Federation of Indian American Associations, the Indian American Forum for Political Education, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.
The brief focuses heavily on research studies such as the work that produced the 2009 book, No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life…
The book suggested that private institutions essentially admit black students with SAT scores 310 points below those of comparable white students. And the book argued that Asian-American applicants need SAT scores 140 points higher than those of white students to stand the same chances of admission.
Several Asian-American groups — the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Asian American Justice Center, Asian American Institute, and Asian Law Caucus — have filed briefs opposing getting rid of raced-based admission practices. These groups argue that Asian-Americans have benefited from such programs and that the problem with college admissions isn’t that black and Latino students take spots from Asians, but that the system has become hyper competitive.
The news of this brief comes on the heels of a new study by the Pew Center, which held Asian Americans up as a sort of model minority, with higher education rates and incomes than their peers. However the study was published, many Asian Americans have been very vocal about the fact that their community isn’t monolithic and still faces very real challenges such a poverty.
The brief filed by the Asian-American groups is just one of three challenges to race-based admission policies the Supreme Court is considering. It will interesting to see how the highly partisan court decides in the coming year.