The Affirmative Action Debate Essay

The Affirmative Action Debate Essay

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For the sake of this essay, affirmative action in education is defined as: “policies and programs designed to advance equality of educationalopportunity for individuals from groups that have suffered systematic historical discrimination” (Mickelson 29). What is being referred to here is race-based affirmative action, or the act of taking into consideration an applicant’s race in the college admissions process. This is a hot topic all over the United States and has been for quite a while, the debate raging between two sides: those in support of affirmative action and those opposed. The ethics of affirmative action itself are difficult to determine, but here an attempt will be made to prove that affirmative action is indeed unfair. In addition, perhaps people are looking at the wrong issue. Maybe the real problem is the early education gap between the minority and majority students, something that, if fixed, could solve the issue of affirmative action once and for all.
Just to make things clear, because the topic of this is race-based affirmative action, “majority” will refer to the racial majorities in college admissions (mainly whites and to some extent Asians) and “minority” will refer to racial minorities (such as African Americans, Hispanics, etc.) Also, diversity, unless stated otherwise, means racially diverse.
Before any analysis can take place, it is beneficial to first know a little bit about the subject area. With that in mind, the history of affirmative action can be condensed into the basics: Supreme Court cases and major legislation. Civil Rights Act of 1964 got the ball rolling on affirmative action, both in education and in general. Title VI of this Act ordered desegregation of public educational institutions, from...


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.... 2008. Web. 01 Nov. 2011

Garrison-Wade, Dorothy F., and Chance W. Lewis. “Affirmative Action: History And Analysis.”Journal Of College Admission 184 (2004): 23-26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2011.

Mickelson, Roslyn A. “Affirmative Action in Education.” Education and Sociology: anEncyclopedia. By David L. Levinson, Peter W. Cookson, and Alan R. Sadovnik. New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2002. Print.

Moreno, Pamela Barta. “The History Of Affirmative Action Law And Its Relation To College Admission.” Journal Of College Admission 179 (2003): 14-21. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2011.

Ogletree, Jr., Charles J. “The Case For Affirmative Action.” Stanford Alumni Association. Stanford Magazine. Web. 01 Nov. 2011.

Sacks, David, and Peter Thiel. “The Case Against Affirmative Action.” Stanford Alumni Association. Stanford Magazine. Web. 01 Nov. 2011.

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