Today, we are profoundly disheartened by the decision the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made against affirmative action.
At Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, we work closely with high-need elementary, middle, and high schools to advocate for and strengthen systems that prepare students for college and beyond. Given this decision, our work is now more important than ever.
One of our goals by 2039 is to more than double the college completion rate–from 19% to 40%–for students who graduated from a high-need school in LA Unified. While SCOTUS’s ruling striking down selective colleges and universities ability to use race as a factor in admission may make it more difficult for us to reach our goal, we are committed to doubling down our efforts to ensure all young people, particularly Black and Brown students, have the opportunity to pursue higher education.
Affirmative action programs have been instrumental in helping address the historical and systemic inequities that persist in our society. This decision “cements a superficial rule of colorblindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor in her dissent. It reverses decades of precedent and disregards the disparities in education faced by students and families of color. Based on these factors to obstruct diversity and inclusion, there will be implications for our scholars.
In 1996, when Proposition 209 passed in California banning race and ethnicity as a factor in public education, we saw a drastic decrease in the number of Black and Latinx students who applied and were admitted to the most selective schools within the University of California (UC) system, and we saw many students that opted out from enrolling at the UC altogether even after being admitted.
We will continue to advocate for our students and work hard to dispel misconceptions. There are many false narratives about how race is used in admissions, and we need to work more collectively and closely with counselors and teachers to bring high-quality content and information that support students and families.
Please read this article that shares more information about the impact of this ruling.