CATEGORY: Advocacy, News, Students

Melissa Jun 30, 2023

Joint Statement on Affirmative Action Ruling by the Supreme Court

Our schools exist because inequality exists in our public education system. And our schools exist to make real the promise of not just equal education, but equal opportunity. While inequity and disparate outcomes often disproportionately impact students of color or students from low-income backgrounds, all of us in our country suffer the consequences. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action policies that consider race and racial diversity in college admissions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This devastating decision ends more than 50 years of affirmative action in the United States of America, but we refuse to allow our children to suffer the consequences. Affirmative action in college admissions has played a crucial role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in educational institutions, opening doors of opportunity for historically marginalized groups. Its measures have been an attempt to acknowledge and dismantle the decades-old systemic barriers that have hindered access to higher education and economic opportunity for communities of color for generations. Extensive evidence consistently demonstrates that diverse racial and socioeconomic environments actively cultivate superior ideas, enhance critical thinking, and nurture empathy. We are concerned that this decision will inadvertently lead to homogeneity in our nation’s top colleges and universities, consequently stifling vibrant discourse, the exchange of perspectives, and the cultivation of innovative ideas that flourish within diverse communities. Yesterday’s ruling galvanizes all of us who believe in equal opportunity and access to education in this country. As educators dedicated to equity, we know that ALL students benefit from being members of a diverse school community that welcomes and cultivates a variety of perspectives, knowledge, and interests. We now must cherish, foster, and advocate for these values more than ever before. Together, we are recommitting to answer the call and challenge that Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson shared in her dissent. She charged “all of us to stare at racial disparity unblinkingly, and then do what evidence and experts tell us is required to level the playing field and march forward together, collectively striving to achieve true equality for all Americans. Over the next few months, we will work together in partnership with colleges to do more than adapt to the new legal context; we will co-develop strategies to maximize access and diversity in admissions and to level the playing field. The power of our voice comes from our collective strength, and from the voices of the communities and children we educate. We hope you raise your voices with us in this critically important work and advocacy. We will certainly be teaching our children to do the same.   In Partnership,    Natasha Trivers, CEO  Democracy Prep Public Schools    Recy B. Dunn, CEO  Ascend Public Charter Schools    Leslie- Bernard Joseph, CEO  Coney Island Preparatory Public Charter Schools    Lisa Margosian, Interim CEO Achievement First Public Charter Schools   Richard Berlin and Eve Colavito, Co-CEOs DREAM Charter Schools   Marsha Gadsden, Executive Director PAVE Academy Charter School    Janelle Bradshaw, CEO  Public Prep Network    Tresha Ward, CEO Prospect Schools   Sonia C. Park, Executive Director Diverse Charter Schools Coalition    Jacquelyn Martell, Executive Director Education Reform Now NY   Alicia Johnson, CEO KIPP NYC Public Charter Schools  

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