Texas' 10-percenters 

The lawsuit challenging affirmative action in higher education would not have been filed, at least not by Abigail Fisher, if she'd graduated in the top 10 percent of her high school class. She just missed.

Fisher sued the University of Texas at Austin after it denied her admission. UT used a formula that included race as one factor. Fisher, who is white and a graduate of a Texas high school, says that any consideration of race in a university admission policy is unconstitutionally discriminatory.

There's a way that a Texas high school graduate can be admitted to the highly selective University of Texas, or Texas A&M, or any other Texas public university, regardless of race. In 1997, the Texas legislature adopted a "10 percent rule," saying that anyone in the top 10 percent of his or her Texas high school graduating class must be admitted. The law was enacted as a way to achieve diversity in the universities without mentioning race, gender, ethnicity, or other controversial and contestable factors. Because high schools in Texas, as in Arkansas, tend to be racially homogeneous, the law assures that a substantial number of black and Latino students will be admitted to the universities. It also assures that some highly regarded students will be rejected in favor of the 10 percenters. (The University of Arkansas happily enrolls a large number of gifted students who were shut out in Texas because of the 10 percent rule.)

Some UT administrators don't like the 10 percent rule, saying that it accounts for too many — three-fourths or more — of their entering freshmen. Under the 10 percent rule, a student who met only the minimal academic requirements at a substandard high school, and who did not excel otherwise, must be admitted ahead of a student who took the hardest courses and was a leader in extracurricular activities, but who was in only the top 12 percent at a school with tougher requirements. Proposals that the 10 percenters be capped at half of a university's entering class, or that 10 percent be changed to 7 percent, have been made but not yet approved.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • The Quapaw return to Arkansas

    Casino try a good bet.
  • Jean Gordon to receive Truth Teller award

    Jean Gordon, who's worked a half-century in just about every social justice and peace movement you can name, will receive the Arkansas Community Institute's 2014 Community Truth Teller Award at a program at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the library's Darragh Center
  • The French Hill 'tis better to receive-than-give open line

    An open line that features new Congressman French HIll's antipathy in the Catholic newspaper to Obamacare as a "giveaway" to drug companies and hospitals. A Catholic nurse points out that children and other people in need are the real beneficiaries of this giveaway, along with Catholic hospitals.
  • Fan happiness over Hogs' win over LSU costs UA $25,000 UPDATED

    The University of Arkansas will be fined $25,000 by the SEC because Hog fans stormed the football field after Saturday's victory over LSU snapped a long SEC losing streak. It was a second offense by the UA of the conference's "access to competition area" policy.
  • GOP's new Obamacare attack

    It was inevitable. The long crusade against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has pivoted from a battle against socialism to a populist war against big business: The program known as Obamacare is now supposed to be merely a feed trough for the captains of industry, not a government program to force health care on the undeserving poor.

Latest in Cover Stories

Event Calendar

« »

November

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30  

Most Viewed

  • Homicide Diary: blood and asphalt

    More voices from the streets of Little Rock. The latest in our series.
  • The Quapaw return to Arkansas

    Casino try a good bet.
  • The future of Social Security

    I've heard many people lament that Social Security won't be around by the time they need it. Social Security is quite sound and is well run. It has to be tweaked from time to time to keep it that way, and that's where the voters come in.
  • Clinton's foreign policy legacy

    Left to right, moderator James Bennet of The Atlantic; Sandy Berger, the former national security advisor; retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander; Ambassador Nancy Soderberg; Mara Rudman, former chief of staff of the National Security Council, and Robert Strong, a professor at Washington and Lee University.
  • For the least of these

    French Hill and the pope, the killing of a mountain lion, the inequality of Arkansas, preschool v. prisons, senator fighting for inequality threatens University of Arkansas funding and the return of the Huck.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The Quapaw return to Arkansas

    • I'm the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest…

    • on November 20, 2014
  • Re: The Quapaw return to Arkansas

    • That's what we need...another casino. Look how Tunica is tanking. I hope this doesn't happen.

    • on November 19, 2014
 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation