Essay PreviewMore ↓
Ten percent too much or too little?
Over two hundred years ago the country was founded by a group of white european christian men wanting to make a better home for themselves and their families. They wrote the Declaration of Independence to form the basis for their beliefs that all men are created equal. This was followed by another document, the Constitution. The Constitution set a foundation of expectations for the government and the people. The Constitution has been modified with amendments over the years. Some of these changes included basic rights for classes or groups of people that were not included in the original document. Today these changes have been incorporated into the life style of the American people and are considered as part of everyday life. One group of changes has been in the rights of different groups of people. This includes women’s rights, veteran’s rights, along with minority rights. The government also ensured the rights of people through civil rights acts and executive orders. These civil rights acts addressed discrimination in employment, government grants, loans or contracts and education.
The first executive order addressing equal opportunity in the work place was 10925 signed in March 1961. (1995) Another, Executive Order 11246 dated September 24, 1965 and amended by Executive Order 11375 dated October 13, 1967 put federal requirements in place that mandate employers to add affirmative action programs in business practices to aid hiring and advancement of minorities. This order was to support and help the recognition and treatment of the following categories; race, religion, color, national origin and sex. (Gutierrez) This was to help diversify the work place while assisting the incorporation of differences in society. The order would not allow quotes but directed the use of programs and goals to achieve the desired effects of incorporating more diversity in the work place.
There are other government methods to encourage the fair treatment of people, independent of the previously listed groups. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has many regulations and rules against discrimination in educational institutions. These rules apply to institutions as an employer, but also to student admissions. These rules state that the “…affirmative action programs must be “narrowly tailored” to remedy past discrimination…” (Gutierrez)
Diversity and discrimination has been an area of concern and focus for over 50 years, as can be seen by the dates in the previously stated government actions.
How to Cite this Page
"Affirmative Action." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Affirmative action caught in tale of the two cities of Boston, Massachusetts and Denver, Colorado. Since the late 1980s, race and sex-based contracting preference programs in the U.S. cities have faced significant challenges in the courts (Rubin). On February 7th, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced his plan to eliminate a 15 year old program that required bidders on city construction contracts to subcontract 15% of work to minority-owned business enterprises and 5% to women-owned firms (Rubin).... [tags: Affirmative Action]
870 words (2.5 pages)
- Affirmative action- a plan to offset past discrimination in employing or educating women, blacks etc. (Websters New World Dictionary.) The history of affirmative action has its roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and stems from the United States Supreme case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. In 1965, President Linden B. Johnson issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that required federal contractors to undertake affirmative action to increase the number of minorities that they employ.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
782 words (2.2 pages)
- Though Affirmative Action is a current controversial issue, it is far from new; its decree has been long in the making. Perhaps it originates from amendments 13-15, the series of amendments that outlawed slavery, guaranteed equal protection under the law, and forbid racial discrimination when voting, respectively (Sykes 1). The Supreme Court’s decision in 1896, in the case of Plessy V. Ferguson, mandated separate but equal treatment for African Americans (Sykes 1). However, in 1954, the Supreme Court’s decision from Brown v.... [tags: Government Affirmative Action Essays]
3550 words (10.1 pages)
- Affirmative action, is it still needed in this day and age. Has it accomplished what it was supposed to. Many people say that if America concentrated on programs that provided assistance to the most needy then they would have the opportunities that affirmative action is trying to provide. By going into the ghettos of our cities and stimulating business, thereby, promoting economic growth, the disenfranchised will reap the benefits. Have they been reaping the benefits of affirmation action. As a nation devoted to equality, the United States must do away with unproductive race-dividing policies.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
2649 words (7.6 pages)
- There are thousands of examples of situations where people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who were previously excluded from jobs or educational opportunities, or were denied opportunities once admitted, have gained access through affirmative action. When these policies received executive branch and judicial support, vast numbers of people of color, white women and men have gained access they would not otherwise have had. These gains have led to very real changes.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
1304 words (3.7 pages)
- In 1997, three students were denied admission into the University of Michigan. Each of them, in turn, sued the school, charging them with discrimination. In one of the cases, a student was denied admission into Michigan’s law school. Chicago Sun-Times writers Dave Newbart and Kate Grossman reported that last Monday, June 23, 2003, in a 5-4 majority ruling, swing vote Justice Sandra Day O’Connor judged for the school maintaining their right to consider the race of their applicants. In a second decision, the court ruled that they supported the University’s use of race in their admissions policy, but use of a point system was unconstitutional under the fourteenth amendment (Equal Protection Cl... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
1066 words (3 pages)
- After you graduate from college, you will be putting in your application for a job that you went to college for. Even though you might be the most qualified for the job you still might not obtain the position. Affirmative Action sometimes causes this because companies have to hire a certain number of minorities relative to the size of the company. This means that if there are no minority citizens available, immigrants who aren’t even US citizens can take the position. This is why Affirmative Action should be readjusted, because it is helping immigrants instead of the people it was meant for, American citizens.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
1086 words (3.1 pages)
- The affirmative action program is important because it gives job opportunities for many people regardless of their race, color, religion, gender, and national origin. The work force should be well represented by the different ethnic backgrounds of our society. Some people look at affirmative action as reverse discrimination, but this program doesn’t guarantee employment based on race, ethnicity, or gender. The affirmative action program gives equal consideration to individuals from a different race, ethnicity, or gender, but not one of these factors may be the only factor used to determine an individual’s qualifications for any job.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
2454 words (7 pages)
- Should a man be hired for his skills or for the color of his skin. Is racial diversity in the business world more important then the most qualified workers. Affirmative action has become an important topic in today’s society to better diversify the different races in America. Affirmative action is a set of public policies that were designed for the elimination of discrimination toward race, color, sex, etc. These policies are under attack today because of the unfairness toward the more qualified people.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
704 words (2 pages)
- What can be done about the majority of higher paying jobs going to the white males, and the issue of racial/sexual discrimination in both the workplace and in education. To this, the government already has its so-called solution… affirmative action. Affirmative action forces businesses and colleges to hire a certain number of minorities including women, so as to fill a government assessed quota. The solution is not to get even with the white males by disregarding either their hard work through high school to achieve the grade to get into their desired college or their superiority over a competitor for a job position just because the competitor happens to belong to a minority group.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
615 words (1.8 pages)
One problem is that when a person or group of people has the perceived notion that discrimination is being used to slow or extinguish their progress in the work place or as in the admission to a college; the judiciary system is used to correct the injustice. This leads to more issues or a conflicting determination in law for the institution to follow. An example of this is a ruling in 1996 by the United States Court of Appeals making use of race for admissions illegal (Axtman). This prompted Texas legislatures to pass the 10 percent rule for college admissions. This rule states a student attending a public school that graduates in the top 10 percent of their class will be admitted to any public university in the state. Then in 1978 the Supreme Court ruled in the reverse manner stating that universities are allowed to use race as one of the criteria for admission.
This battle in the judiciary system has opponents of affirmative action battling to change or remove the top ten rule. The statistics on student admissions and performance are staggering for keeping the rule in effect. 88 percent of top ten students who applied to Austin or Texas A&M were admitted, also 85 percent of those applying at other Texas state colleges were admitted. The complaint of some prospective college attendees is that this enormous enrollment of top ten students leaves only a fraction left for those who do not qualify under the top ten rule and rejections are common. This is unfounded; as over 75 percent of the students graduating in the 10 to 20 percentile of their class went on to enroll at their first choice college. The next statistic to address is the fall of minority enrollment under this plan. Comparing 2002 to the 1996 static’s for Texas’s top college, Texas A&M, the percentage of enrollment fell for blacks by 0.4 percent and Hispanic enrollment fell by 1.5 percent (Axtman). This fall of enrollment was also closely repeated at the University of Texas. This would lead you to believe that this program is a failure. The proponents insist that minority segregated schools guarantee the admittance of those students who qualify under the plan. This does not mean that the students at the schools with high minority populations will choose to go to these top ranked colleges but makes them available as never before. Another topic is the standardized testing scores requirement for college admittance. This enrollment criterion would make some of these students ineligible for the top schools and the top ten rule guarantees the opportunity of acceptance. Also some of the students have applied to other Texas universities and have been accepted under the ten percent rule. This has led to an increase in the total number of Hispanics being accepted at state universities and has shown an increase of over 15% between 1997 and 2001.
Other states as California and Florida also have similar opportunities for students graduating at the top of their high school class. California has a top four percent rule that guarantees acceptance to one of the University of California campuses. Florida applies its 20 percent rule similarly guaranteeing acceptance to one of the state’s institutions.
The success of these top ten students has been documented and finds that the students admitted under the top ten rule and scoring lower on standardized testing are doing as well if not better than those who scored higher on these tests.
This leads us to, why has the enrollment dropped for minorities even though the opportunity has been increased? The answer to this can be found in your pocket or pocket book. The cost of college seems to be the most contributing factor to the decrease in numbers of minorities in the top state schools. The answer to diversity in Texas schools will not be provided by the top ten rule only. The need for increased scholarships and financial aid programs to low income families is the next step. The top ten rule made attending the schools possible but the financial opportunity is missing. There are federal programs and state programs that are available but it would seem that it is well below the needed level.
There is another area that is being investigated to assist in increasing the number of minorities enrolling at the state universities is the early life development of attaining a college education. It has been found that when the younger mind is influenced by positive guidance including attending a college, that an increased number will attain the goal of college life. The development of a child’s mind can be seen as the tool to increase a diverse college enrollment and the cost to tax payer is minimal.
The top ten rule will not solve all of Texas’s diversity conflicts with the sweep of a broom. Some would like to take the broom and sweep it out of site and remove the notion that something has to be done to level the acceptance criteria for the state run schools. Texas and this nation have developed the most brilliant minds and problem solvers in the world. Solving this problem doesn’t seem to be beyond the capabilities of our people. It would take care, understanding, and a shift of attitude in developing the needed changes to making a possible solution. Census data and Texas school data can be used to understand the ratio of populations for economically challenged, race, sex and other categories. A plan to solve the current situation of diversity in these and other colleges should be developed using the data that is available along with the current studies and theories. Attending college should be imprinted on our youth from an early age, encouraged through the middle school years and made a priority to all high school students especially those in economically challenged areas. The top ten rule should not be abolished and replaced by another system that will need time to study and qualify its effectiveness. Use the current system and expand and make it better.
Axtman, K. (2003, February 12) Affirmative action, Texas style, stirs criticism. Http:www.csmonitor.com/2003/0212/p03so1-usgn.html
Cahn, S. (1995) Steven Cahn on the history of affirmative action. http: aad.English.uscb.edu/docs/Cahn.html
Gonzales, R. (2004, July 4). The idea that college must be cultivated. Fort Worth Star- Telegram.
Gutierrez-Jones, C. Laws applying to affirmative action in education institutions. http://aad.english.ucsb.edu/docs/Laws.html
Meritz, D. (2004, January 23). Top 10% plan has improved diversity at top Texas colleges. http: www.borderlandnews.com/stories/borderland/20040123-71954.shtml
Tienda, M. (2004, July 18). Focus on higher education upgrades in Texas; get past debate over top 10% law, make plan better. Houston Chronicle.
Tienda, M. & Niu, S. Texas’ 10-perecent plan: the truth behind the numbers. The chronicle review, 100 (20), B10.