ERIC Number: ED414780
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Sep-2
Affirmative Action in Higher Education: Three Approaches to the Issue.
Affirmative action remains one of the most controversial of social policies in complex democracies. Altman and Promise (1995), in their article entitled "Affirmative Action: The Law of Unintended Consequences," focuses on the phenomenon that almost every action of government, no matter how well intentioned, has unexpected results. They suggest that "institutional hypocrisy" and "intellectual mush" are the two unintended consequences of affirmative action. Spence (1993), in "Affirmative Action at Mid-Life," maintains that the most repeated and least substantiated criticism of affirmative action is that it undermines merit selection. He suggests that affirmative action merely adds race, ethnicity, and gender as additional criteria that may be used in choosing among the qualified. Cross (1994), in "What If There Was No Affirmative Action in College Admissions?," uses statistics to support his case for affirmative action. He concludes that under strict merit-based admissions, based solely on Scholastic Assessment Tests scores, blacks would obtain only about 1.5 percent of all admissions to the top U.S. colleges and universities, denying the majority of black students now enrolled at such schools the top-quality education they are receiving. (MDM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A