8:01 AM, Apr 8, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A front-page story in Tuesday’s Washington Post examines former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s record on ending affirmative action for college admissions. Through a 2000 executive order, Bush banned racial preferences in Florida’s public universities and colleges. The move was controversial at the time and prompted massive protests in Tallahassee.
As Bush prepares to launch a presidential campaign, the Republican’s defense of the decision is that more black and Hispanic students are attending Florida public universities than ever before. A 2009 analysis from the Tampa Bay Times supports Bush’s claim.
The Post, however, has a different story to tell about the current state of minority enrollment at Florida’s two flagship schools:
But at Florida’s two premier universities, black enrollment is shrinking. At the University of Florida in Gainesville and at Florida State University in Tallahassee, administrators say they worry that the trend risks diminishing their standing as world-class universities and hurts the college experience.
The black share of the UF freshman class, for instance, plunged to 6 percent in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. That is down from 9 percent in 2011.
“If we don’t address this in the next two or three years, I think we’re going to have a problem,” said Brandon Bowden, assistant vice president for student affairs at Florida State, which had a 15 percent drop in the number of black freshmen enrolled between 2000 and 2009. “There will be so few black students on our campus that prospective students [who are black] will choose not to come here because they see no one who looks like them.”
Much of the “crowding out” taking place, the Bush camp insists, has to do with the explosion in Florida’s young Hispanic population, and the percentage of Hispanic enrollment is indeed up since 2000. Black enrollment is down throughout the university system, but just slightly, and that is at least partially due to problems surrounding Florida’s historically black colleges. The largest of them, Florida A&M University, has seen declining enrollment in recent years along with accreditation issues.
But the problem the Post cites at the state’s top tier universities is supposedly a one-two punch for black students. Not only has ending affirmative action meant fewer black students at UF and FSU, but their scarcity at those schools leads to all kinds of wrong assumptions about how those black students arrived on campus. Here’s more from the Post:
Most were not even in elementary school yet when Bush’s plan was enacted; “affirmative action” to them is little more than a glossary item in a textbook.
“It’s funny they say Jeb Bush ended affirmative action,” said Dashari Kearse, a 20-year-old linguistics major from Orlando who sports a small Afro and wire-rim glasses. “People still think I got in because I’m a minority.”
The Post uses Kearse to demonstrate how even those black students who have made it to Florida's top public schools have been negatively affected by the elimination of affirmative action. Thanks to Bush’s decision to end the policy, Kearse was accepted to the University of Florida on his own merits, even if his classmates incorrectly assume otherwise.
1:06 PM, Mar 16, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Scott Walker may not be a candidate for president yet, but the Wisconsin governor’s growing political action committee staff is already going after a potential rival in the Republican primary. GOP strategist Liz Mair, CNN reports, has just signed on to consult for Walker’s Our American Revival PAC, doing outreach to bloggers and other digital media outlets.
Is the end in sight for race-conscious college admissions? Dec 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 16 • By TERRY EASTLAND
In Grutter v. Bollinger, decided in 2003, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor upheld race preferences in higher education but also declared they must have “a termination point.” So when a lawsuit against preferences in admissions is brought, there is a presumption that they could be terminated, perhaps even in a ruling applicable to schools across the country.
How many minority students = a critical mass? Aug 11, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 45 • By TERRY EASTLAND
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is the affirmative action case that won’t go away. It’s been to the Supreme Court once and may return. It is a case that could well turn on a failure to define terms—“critical mass” being the critical term.
10:01 AM, Apr 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Juan Williams and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
Is Jeff Cogen Portland's Weiner or Portland's Ford?1:59 PM, Nov 11, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
It’s a pity that there’s no Portland, Oregon, edition of the New York Post. After all, one can only dream of the headlines the wags at the Post would come up with to describe the ongoing travails of (now former) Multnomah County (home of Portland) Commissioner Jeff Cogen.
Hosted by Michael Graham.6:00 AM, Jul 7, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
WEEKLY STANDARD executive editor Terry Eastland reviews the Supreme Court's decisions in Fisher v. University of Texas, United States v. Windsor, and Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Jul 8, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 41 • By TERRY EASTLAND
In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled against using race to determine public school assignments. Chief Justice Roberts concluded his plurality opinion with this eloquent statement: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
Jun 24, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 39 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Last week, the online publication Salon took a break from its usual sophisticated political analysis (“Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American,” the magazine brayed on April 16) to raise a pressing civil rights issue: “Are straight actors in gay roles the new blackface?”
Affirmative action and the betrayal of a colorblind society.Jan 21, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 18 • By GEORGE LEEF
Almost no one understood it at the time, but Lyndon Johnson’s speech at Howard University in June 1965 marked a disastrous change in civil rights policy. Previously, the civil rights movement had sought to overturn the entrenched, often legally mandated discrimination that was the legacy of Jim Crow, and bring about the colorblind society in which people would be judged (as Martin Luther King put it) by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
With Fisher v. University of Texas, the High Court can finally put an end to racial preferences in university admissionsOct 1, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 03 • By CARL COHEN
Abigail Fisher, a white applicant to the University of Texas, contends that the university, in giving preference to minority applicants while rejecting her, discriminated against her unlawfully because of her color. The Supreme Court will hear the case this fall; it is likely that Fisher will prevail. The Texas 10 percent law and the special circumstances of that university present complications, of course, but the makeup of the Supreme Court today differs importantly from that of the Court that decided Grutter v.
1:56 PM, Jul 9, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Arkansas Democratic party is denying presidential candidate John Wolfe the delegates he earned in the state's primary because Wolfe's selected delegates fail to meet the party's standards for diversity.