AERA Comments on New Federal Guidance on Voluntary Use of Race in Higher Education
AERA Comments on New Federal Guidance on Voluntary Use of Race in Higher Education

For Immediate Release                                                                               
September 27, 2013    

Contact: Tony Pals                                             
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AERA Executive Director Comments on New Federal Guidance on
Voluntary Use of Race to Support Diversity in Higher Education

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 27 – Felice J. Levine, executive director of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), issued the following statement on the release of new guidance by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice to colleges and universities on the voluntary use of race to support diversity in postsecondary education. The guidance, released this morning, is the departments' first clarification on the issue since the Supreme Court’s Fisher decision in June.

“We are pleased the administration is strongly reaffirming its support of voluntary institutional efforts to boost diversity through the consideration of race, and advising colleges and universities to continue to use the standards set forth by Grutter 10 years ago.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling in June, by upholding Grutter and affirming the state’s compelling interest in fostering the benefits of diversity in higher education, aligns with the overwhelming body of scientific research.

“Empirical research strongly shows that student body diversity leads to important educational benefits, and that race-neutral policies are, by themselves, insufficient for advancing diversity. The science presented in AERA et al.’s research amicus brief in Fisher spoke to the limitations of race-neutral approaches alone. The administration offers wise guidance to the higher education community and the nation.”

Links to Resources on AERA’s Fisher Online Information Portal

About AERA

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education. 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.