Divided US Appeals Court Upholds Texas "Top Ten Per Cent" Law

Glenn Ricketts

Our friend Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity notes at Phi Beta Cons that a full US Fifth Circuit Appeals court has upheld the ruling of a three-judge panel in favor of the "top ten per cent" admissions policies adopted for state institutions in Texas. You can also read about it here at Inside Higher Education.

Under the law's provisions, the "top ten per cent" of any graduating high school class would be eligible for admission to a top-tier school like U/Texas Austin, irrespective of the wide academic achievement gaps that may separate one high school from another. That means that by aiming to increase "diversity," participating schools will necessarily have to admit some significantly unprepared students. Ah, well.

The appeals court vote was closely divided however - 9-7 - and Roger thinks that the US Supreme court is likely to grant certiorari when the case is appealed. I hope so, because as he notes further, the Texas policy goes far beyond what the same Court permitted in its 2003 Grutter ruling.

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