AFT's Weingarten: "The policy of allowing, but not requiring, admissions decisions to include race helps us keep America's greatest promise—equal access to opportunity and the benefits our democracy enables, including higher education."
WASHINGTON—Statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on the U.S. Supreme Court's consideration today of the affirmative action policy at the University of Texas at Austin that allows race and ethnic status to be one of many factors considered in admissions decisions.
"The University of Texas affirmative action policy represents the core American values of equal opportunity and fairness. In Texas and many other places across the country, such policies have helped strengthen our nation's commitment to making a quality public higher education system accessible to all students regardless of racial or ethnic background. We are proud to have joined with others committed to civil rights in filing a brief supporting University of Texas policies.
"The policy of allowing, but not requiring, admissions decisions to include race helps us keep America's greatest promise—equal access to opportunity and the benefits our democracy enables, including higher education.
"In a 2003 case, the Supreme Court ruled that the University of Michigan could take race into account in admissions decisions. If the court casts aside that precedent, permanent damage would be done to the ideal of a diverse student body, which research and experience have shown enhances learning and better prepares students for leadership roles after graduation.
"The AFT's commitment to equal opportunity remains as strong today as it was nearly 60 years ago, when we were the only education organization to file a brief in the Supreme Court supporting the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education."