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Thursday, January 29, 2009
As reported on The Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, Judge Karen Flowers of Lancaster County court ruled against Nebraskans United, a group that led opposition to the measure, in a lawsuit alleging improprieties in how signatures were gathered to get it on the ballot. She held that, contrary to Nebraskans United’s claims, “the facts do not support a finding that there was any pervasive pattern and practice of fraud, misinterpretation, or deception” in the petition-gathering process.
The Nebraska measure was approved by 58 percent of the state's voters in the November election.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The researchers behind the study--Caroline M. Hoxby, a professor of economics at Stanford University, and Christopher N. Avery, a professor of public policy at Harvard University--based their analysis on five years of data on SAT-takers, as well other information that enabled them to roughly ascertain students' incomes. In one typical year, they found, about 21,000 students from low-income families achieved at high enough levels to gain admission to a college classified as selective, but fewer than 40 percent applied to one.
The researchers are tentatively pointing a finger at geography as one of the major forces holding students back. They have found indications that the high-achieving, low-income students least likely to apply to selective colleges are those living in small towns and rural areas where their families, teachers, and counselors are less likely to have easy access to information about selective colleges.
Monday, January 5, 2009
As summarized in a posting on the Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, the article notes that the majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, involving the University of Michigan’s law school, held that colleges must first give “serious, good-faith consideration” to “workable, race-neutral” alternatives to achieving diversity if their race-conscious admissions policies are to be considered narrowly tailored to promoting a compelling government interest.
But colleges have received little or no guidance from the courts or federal government on how to meet such a requirement, and as a result they “appear to be floundering,” the article says.
The authors are George R. LaNoue, a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and Kenneth L. Marcus, a visiting professor at the City University of New York’s Baruch College who served as staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 2004 until this year and as a top lawyer in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights before that. —Peter Schmidt