23 June 2003
Come on, let's Michigan
My first reaction was "Well, we're not going to get a color-blind society this year."
And while Dr Coleman in Ann Arbor is apparently satisfied with the Supreme Court's rulings today, and poor John Rosenberg, house-sitting in Baghdad by the Bay, is probably fuming, I'm going to try to find something positive in all this.
There is still going to be the occasional student who is turned away despite having higher test scores. But this is inevitable unless test scores are the only criterion used for selection, and I know of no university that follows this practice. Should a school want a student body that, as the cliché goes, "looks like America," they ought to be able to tailor their admissions policies accordingly. On the other hand, the ethnicity-equals-so-many-points formula used at Michigan was clearly arbitrary, and its banning is long overdue; as the Court pointed out, the point schedule, so heavily weighted by race, was the decisive factor for many otherwise minimally-qualified candidates.
No, we're not substantially nearer the color-blind society I think of as ideal. But at least we're taking a baby step away from race as a basis for entitlements maybe. It's a start.