AERA Statement and Resources in Response to the Justice Department’s Plans to Investigate Affirmative Action Admissions Policies in Higher Education
 
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AERA Statement and Resources in Response to the Justice Department’s Plans to Investigate Affirmative Action Admissions Policies in Higher Education

August 2, 2017

The following statement is from Felice J. Levine, executive director of the American Educational Research Association:

“In light of reports that the U.S. Justice Department plans to investigate the use of affirmative action admissions policies at colleges and universities, it is important to reaffirm what the overwhelming body of scientific evidence has found about the value of student diversity and race-conscious admissions policies in higher education. Empirical research strongly shows that student body diversity leads to important educational benefits, which also carry over to the workplace once students graduate, and that race-neutral policies are, by themselves, insufficient for advancing diversity. The Supreme Court’s decision last year in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin aligned with the body of scientific research on the use of race as a factor in university admissions and the educational benefits of diversity in higher education.”

Selected resources from AERA’s June 28, 2016, public briefing “After Fisher: What the Supreme Court's Ruling Means for Students, Colleges, and the Country”:

  • Fact Sheet: Reaffirming the Compelling Interest in Diversity and Scientific Research on the Benefits of Diversity (Angelo Ancheta, J.D., M.P.A., Santa Clara University School of Law)

  • Fact Sheet: The Evidence on Race-Neutral Alternatives to Race-Conscious Admissions (Liliana M. Garces, Ed.D., J.D., Pennsylvania State University)

  • Fact Sheet: Demography, Data, and Policies Beyond Admissions (Stella M. Flores, Ed.D., New York University)

  • AERA's 2015 amicus brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, summarizing the body of scientific research on affirmative action and diversity in higher education. Joining AERA on the amicus brief were the American Anthropological Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Political Science Association, American Sociological Association, American Statistical Association, Association for the Study of Higher Education, Law and Society Association, Linguistic Society of America, and National Academy of Engineering.

  • AERA’s 2012 amicus brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Joining AERA on the amicus brief were the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Sociological Association, American Statistical Association, Association for the Study of Higher Education, Law and Society Association, Linguistic Society of America, and National Academy of Engineering.

Full materials from the June 2016 briefing are available here. In addition, materials from AERA’s September 2012 briefing on Fisher are here. These and other resources related to research about affirmative action and diversity in higher education are available here.

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.

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