Testing Affirmative Action

Even though Harvard won the first round in its battle with Students for Fair Admissions, a case challenging the university’s affirmative action policy, the judge did not address the deep and difficult issues that racial preferences involve. For lawyers and judges who will grapple with this issue in the future, we would like to advance … Continue reading “Testing Affirmative Action”


College Officials, Take Note: We’re Watching You

The Gallup Organization and Inside Higher Ed co-hosted a conference in Washington on September 15. They called it “Not Out of the Woods: Colleges, Diversity and Affirmative Action after a Year of Protest and Court Battles.” Most of those in attendance were university officials of one kind or another. I was the sole participant who … Continue reading “College Officials, Take Note: We’re Watching You”


Fisher Decision a Disappointment, But Won’t Stop Campaign Against Racial Preferences

When the Supreme Court agreed to hear Abigail Fisher’s challenge to the University of Texas’s admissions program a second time, it seemed that the writing was on the wall. Why would the high court twice take up the Fifth Circuit’s rulings in favor of UT-Austin if not to slap down the school’s self-serving and disingenuous … Continue readingFisher Decision a Disappointment, But Won’t Stop Campaign Against Racial Preferences”


We can thank the Supreme Court for credential inflation

Perhaps you have noticed that many jobs requiring only basic skills and a cooperative attitude are now walled off to Americans who don’t possess a college degree.

The mania for college credentials hampers upward mobility for individuals without a college degree. They are confined to the shrinking and mostly low-pay segment of the labor market where educational credentials still don’t matter. (As I argued here, that explains much of the earnings gap between workers with and without college degrees.)




Griggs v. Duke Power

This paper by Bryan O’Keefe and Richard Vedder raises a provocative question. Does the increase in college enrollment over the past 30 years partly reflect the changing pressures on employers based on a 1971 Supreme Court decision? And if so, could these pressures also explain the much-touted increase in earnings that comes from a college education?

O’Keefe and Vedder explore the impact of the Griggs v. Duke Power decision on today’s college enrollment. In Griggs, the plaintiffs argued that Duke Power’s reliance on two aptitude tests discriminated against minority groups. Subsequent cases and statutory law have changed the environment for employer testing. This may have changed the pressure to attend college.

The paper is jointly published by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.



Supreme Court poised to offer long-overdue clarity on racial preferences

By next June the nation’s highest court could finally issue a much-needed clarification of the constitutionality of using racial considerations in college admissions decisions. The Supreme Court took up two cases in which white applicants argued that their applications to the University of Michigan and its law school were turned down because of their race.