WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court handed down decisions in two cases today, Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina. The court overruled decades of precedent allowing public and private universities to consider race as one small factor among many in making student admissions decisions. The National Education Association filed an amicus brief in the cases, arguing that the court should continue to permit such equitable and inclusive admissions policies. For more than four decades, colleges and universities seeking to achieve the educational benefits of diversity in their student body have been able to consider an applicant’s race, as one of many factors, in the context of a holistic admissions process.
“Most of us want a country, schools and a future that includes all of us and where we all belong. But for too long, color-coded barriers have been used to prevent Black, brown, and Indigenous people from accessing the opportunities we all deserve and seek to achieve our dreams. With this decision, the Supreme Court has reinforced those barriers.
“Racism and discrimination are not just artifacts of American history but continue to persist in our society, including our schools, colleges, and universities. Affirmative action and programs like it expand higher education opportunities to those who have been historically denied a fair shot. When we ensure the many talents and experiences of students of color aren’t overlooked in admissions processes that tend to be biased against them, we create schools, a country and a future that includes us all. NEA remains committed to that work and calls on institutions of higher education and K-12 schools to redouble their efforts to ensure that our educational institutions support all students equally and equitably.
“We are stronger when our country, communities, schools, and future includes and reflects all of us. Today’s decisions by an out-of-touch and hyper-conservative Supreme Court are yet more evidence that the court is not working for all of us. The White House and Senate must hold the Supreme Court to the same laws and standards as the rest of us. And the White House and the Senate must continue to fill all judicial vacancies with qualified, fair-minded individuals who are committed to civil and human rights and social and economic justice so that our legal system can serve us all.”
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at .