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In Texas, acceptance to public universities for high school students is now based on academic achievement - if a student is at the top ten percent of his or her class, he or she will be automatically accepted. This is a way to counter the unfairness of affirmative action causes because the admission has nothing to do with race or sex. Arguably, this policy is reasonable because students studying at the same high school receive equal opportunity to learn and educate themselves. This may seem fair, but the same problem still exists. If a student has to work part-time just to make a living because his or her family is unable to sustain financially, how is this student going to find time to study and be successful in school, and therefore, be in the top ten percent?
In recent supreme court ruling, the point system that were using in admitting law students at the University of Michigan was ruled unconstitutional and therefore taken out. The university used a point system that quantified the qualification of the applicant's status. If a student's points exceed a certain number, he or she is admitted to the school. The university gives an extra twenty points to the minorities in terms of enforcing affirmative action and helping the disadvantaged. The six of the judges believe that the defined number system is in many ways similar as having a set quota in admitting minority students, which was banned in the case of University of California v. Bakke of 1978. The judges believe that having a rule in admitting students strictly by race is impersonal. In Bakke's case, the University defends itself for having such quota with the fact that admitting minority students into medical school can help improve social discrimination because the minority are less likely to have the education or the financial status to go to a medical school. As a result, being a doctor becomes majority profession. The judges at the time countered the university's statements by stating that the school is being unfair to the non-minority applicants, who are not directly responsible of the social discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled the University of Michigan's point system unconstitutional in the undergraduate level, but kept the same system for the Law school. They believe race should be taken into consideration, but should not quantify qualification. Although the judges opposing this ruling stated that "A fixed numerical score for racial minority status has the virtue of honesty.
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Washingtonpost.com Staff. Jun. 29, 2003
(2) Li, Shawn. Affirmativeaction.Aug. 1 2001. Livejournal.com. Jun. 29, 2003
(3)Affirmative Action Los Angeles Counter Office of Affirmative Action Compliance.
Jun. 29, 2003.
(4) Seguine, Joel. Meritocracy, affirmative action headed for The Late Debate,
Lemann says Apr. 8, 1998. The University Record. Jun. 29, 2003.
(5) Hopwood Ends Affirmative Action in 5th Circuit Jul. 29, 2002. The Center for
Individual Rights. Jun. 29, 2003
(6)Sowell, Thomas. American History vs. Affirmative Action Hogwash Jul. 10, 2002.
Capitalism Magazine. Jun. 29, 2003
(7) Dorf, Michael C. Making Sense of the Supreme Courts College Admissions
Ruling. Jun. 25, 2003 CNN.com. Jun. 29, 2003