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    High court backs affirmative action

    Jun 24th.Washington - In its most     significant and wide-ranging affirmative     action rulings in a generation, the Supreme     Court said Monday that colleges and     universities can consider an applicant's     race as a factor in attracting a diverse     student body, but it reiterated that strict     quotas violate the Constitution.See Link

Latino dropouts cripple our future

Jun 24th. Two new census reports on Latinos inadvertently reveal why we should care about another separate report on the Latino dropout rate, also out recently.See Link

Hispanic students: Growing numbers,growing expectations

May 26th. To make sense of a line graph, Gila Hernandez's third-graders must know more than how to connect the dots. They must know how to connect in English. "Make sure you remember that word we use. What is that really cool word?" Hernandez says. See Link

Some counties gain more foreigners than U.S.-born

May 26th. Two migration patterns, closely linked, are sweeping across population centers of U.S. states along the Mexican border.Many counties are absorbing more migrants from other nations than from within the United States.
See Link

HBLI seminar offers state school boards tools, encouragement

January 24th. ASU’s Hispanic Border Leadership Institute (HBLI) is engaging in creative endeavors designed to educate and encourage school boards to stimulate academic success by Latino students.
See Link

Fulfilling the Educational Needs of Hispanic Americans in the 21st Century

On October 12, 2001, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13230 charging a Presidential Advisory Commission with developing an action plan to close the educational achievement gap for Hispanic Americans.

The Commission's process was open and extensive. In 11 meetings and four unprecedented bilingual town hall forums, the Commission met with, talked to and listened to more than 1,600 experts, parents, teachers, students and business and community leaders.

On March 31, 2003, the Commission submitted to the President, From Risk to Opportunity, a plan to close the achievement gap for Hispanic American children.See Link

Beyond Islands of Excellence: What Districts Can Do to Improve Instruction and Achievement in All Schools

March 2003: Leading Education Organizations Call for Districtwide Strategies to Raise Student Achievement. Read the Press Release focusing on Beyond Islands of Excellence: What Districts Can Do to Improve Instruction and Achievement in All Schools.See Link

Education Week article on Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan Law School

A quarter-century after outlawing strict racial quotas in higher education, the U.S. Supreme Court heard powerful arguments last week on whether race can still be one factor among many that colleges use to achieve diversity in admissions. See Link

Race-Neutral Policies Planned at Va. Tech

The chairman of Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors vowed yesterday that the school will follow race-neutral admissions and scholarship policies despite Sunday's decision to abandon a controversial resolution ending affirmative action at the Virginia university. See Link

Challenging Times, Clear Choices: An Action Agenda for College Access and Success

      Summarizing the conclusions of the Blue Ribbon Panel of the College Board’s National Dialogue on Student Financial Aid (NDSFA), Challenging Times, Clear Choices recommends greater investment in student financial aid, including Pell Grants, used by low-income students and a great commitment to need-based financial aid. "If we do not turn the national conversation back to investment in education access and away from tax reduction, 'No Child Left Behind' will become just an empty phrase, representing broken promises, broken aspirations, and broken dreams," said College Board President and NDSFA Co-Chair Gaston Caperton. The report outlines ten recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Panel for actions to be taken by federal and state government, colleges and universities, and the private sector.

      The College Board and the Pathways to College network initiated NDSFA in 2001 to refocus a national discussion about financial aid. Shaped by a Blue Ribbon Panel on Student Financial Aid and supported by a team of top researchers, the NDSFA was created to inform policymakers and policy-shapers about the growing gap between student financial aid and student financial need and to offer possible solutions toward closing this gap.

      One of the researchers was Dr. Gary Orfield, Ph.D., Codirector of the Harvard Civil Rights Project and a member of the HBLI National Advisory Panel. According to Dr. Orfield, “We need to have a Pell Grant to combine with other need-based assistance to actually make it possible to go to four-year public institutions. And we don’t have that for many of our public institutions now. The Pell Grant has to be a priority. We need to cut back subsidies to students who would go to college anyway or subsidies for students after they’ve already been into college like the tax subsidies for repayment of student loans if we can’t provide adequate Pell Grant assistance.”

The report in its entirety can be found at Challenging Times, Clear Choices. The website of the National College Board is collegeboard.com.
See Link.

LSAC eNewsletter March 21, 2003 : Introduction of the upcoming LSAC "Prove IT!" Program

The LSAC "Prove It!" Program was designed in partnership with ABC7, La Agencia de Orci and others to encourage high school students (9th through 12th grade) throughout the Southern California area (Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego) to graduate from high school and to obtain a college education.See Link

Thousands urge court to uphold Mich. policy

WASHINGTON - A throng of thousands jammed the street between the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court on Tuesday as the court's nine justices listened to oral arguments in affirmative action cases that have intensified the debate on the use of race in hiring and college admissions. See Link

English-only classes are challenged by parents

WEST PHOENIX - A mother and father are suing a west Phoenix school district, claiming it broke the law by denying their two young sons the right to learn in both Spanish and English. See Link

'Percent Plans' Do Little To Promote Diversity

By Sean Cavanagh
Education Week

College-admissions plans in California, Florida, and Texas that rely on high school class rank-trumpeted by supporters as viable, race-neutral substitutes for affirmative action-have made little progress in improving diversity on college campuses, say two new Harvard University studies.

For More Information

"Appearance and Reality in the Sunshine State: The Talented 20 Program in Florida," and "Percent Plans in College Admissions: A Comparative Analysis of Three States' Experiences," are available from the Harvard Civil Rights Project. (Require Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

Those states, the reports conclude, have sustained diverse enrollments largely by aggressively, though not always explicitly, recruiting minority students, despite an appearance of race neutrality.

The studies emerge as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider the legality of affirmative action policies used by the University of Michigan, in a case likely to shape the use of racial preferences in higher and precollegiate education for years to come. ("Admissions Case Could Have Impact on K-12 Education," Dec. 11, 2002.)

The review was undertaken by Harvard's Civil Rights Project, a research organization devoted to the study of racial and social inequity, particularly in education. The first study, "Percent Plans in College Admissions: A Comparative Analysis of Three States' Experiences," examines the value of all three states' programs.

The second report, "Appearance and Reality in the Sunshine State: The Talented 20 Program in Florida," dissects the 1999 plan that barred racial preferences in public university admissions.Created as part of Gov. Jeb Bush's sweeping "One Florida Initiative," the Talented 20 model guarantees entry to Florida public colleges for students ranked in the top 20 percent of their classes after seven semesters of high school, regardless of race. Other factors, such as standardized-test scores, determine which campuses they can attend.

The report on Florida argues that the policy has primarily guaranteed admission to students who would have been accepted anyway, aside from their class ranks-and thus does little to help minorities.

Gary Orfield

Only 150 of the students admitted to Florida public universities in 2000, and 177 students in 2001, owed their acceptance to the Talented 20 program, according to the Civil Rights Project's analysis. Those figures fall short of the 400 additional minority students that Gov. Bush, a Republican, had predicted would get accepted to Florida's public universities, the report says.

"There is simply no basis for the claim that Florida's Talented 20 percent plan solved the affirmative action issue," writes Gary Orfield, the co-director of the Civil Rights Project. "This report indicates that the percent plan was virtually irrelevant."

More Than Numbers

While they are forbidden to use race as a factor in admissions, Florida's public universities still rely on minority-recruitment and -retention efforts to maintain diversity, the report concludes. Those race-conscious policies, it says, are vital to the state's flagship schools, the University of Florida and Florida State University, in their efforts to maintain diversity.

But Gov. Bush rejected the report's findings. He said the authors had ignored the One Florida program's broad efforts to boost students' preparation and access to higher education. More minority students are taking college-entrance exams and Advanced Placement courses under the initiative, the governor said in a statement.

"Talented 20 is more than the numbers game to which the researchers attempt to reduce it," Mr. Bush said. "It is a program that benefits students at poorer schools who have striven to do their best but still needed assistance in admission to the university system."

Gov. Bush ventured more directly into the affirmative-action fray last month, when, like the administration of his brother, President Bush, he filed a legal brief with the Supreme Court opposing the University of Michigan's race-based admission policies. The president was the governor of Texas when it adopted its percentage plan; his brother touted Florida's approach in his legal filing.

At the University of Florida, the percentage of black applicants who were admitted increased from 10.8 percent in 1999 to 12.9 percent in 2000, the first year of Talented 20, but fell to 9.4 percent the next year, the "Sunshine State" report says. During those two years, according to the study, the Hispanic share of admissions was virtually unchanged, going from 12.2 percent to 12.3 percent, and the proportion of white students similarly rose only slightly, from 67.5 percent to 67.7 percent.

The three-state report says that the percentage plans have made only "modest" gains in boosting diversity, yielding minority admissions that still fail to match the states' college-age populations.

Texas guarantees admission at any public university to students in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes. California ensures a spot for students in the top 4 percent, though, like Florida, that does not guarantee applicants entry to all its system's campuses. Blacks and Hispanics have not gained admission as readily to the California system's most elite campuses, at Berkeley and Los Angeles, the study found.

Critics, as the study notes, call the slippage of those minority students into less selective campuses "cascading."

Public universities in Texas and California have used "race-conscious" efforts to recruit minorities, the report says, despite sticking to bans on race-preferences in admissions. Texas, for instance, offers scholarships and recruits at economically disadvantaged schools where historically it has drawn few students.

Bruce Walker, the director of admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, said his institution has tried to broaden the number of high schools it serves-some of which are heavily minority.

"If any university, anywhere, wants to make its future different than its past, they're going to have build relationships with high schools," Mr.Walker said.

College of Public Programs names Alumini Hall of fame inductees

The college of public programs at Arizona State University will honor Arizona Senator Peter D.Rios, who receieved a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in social services administration (which is now called Social work) from ASU and is currently Senate Whip.

Rios has worked in a variety of social settings with particular emphasis on services to children and families. He was Children's Adoption coordinator for the state and also served as Social Services Assistant Program Manager. He owned and operated Tia Maria;s Grocery and Grill for six years. In 1982 Rios was elected to the Arizona State Senateand has held positions as Democratic Whip and Democratic Assistant Leaders. Rios became Arizona's first Latino Senate President in 1991, a job he has referred to as the highlight of his career. Rios left the Senate in 1994 for an unsuccessful run for secretary of state,but returned to senate in 1996. Since 1993 he has also been working part-time as a family and youth counselor with the Maricopa Juvenile court.

Rios has been an advocate for Arizona's working families, and was the prime sponsor of a 1991 bill to outlaw deadly weapons in schools, which became law. In the 1980's he advocated for the kids voting program that has increased voter participation in Arizona and sponsored legislation to increase salaries for child protective workers. Rios is also well know for his advocacy for Native American issues and leading the charge to help Arizona tribes with Indian casino gaming.

Latino Leadership in Community Colleges: Issues and Challenges

Monday, Nov 11. This article argues that one exists. Evidence of the crisis is found in a review of the literature pertaining to Latino leadership in community colleges, results of a qualitative survey of Latino and Latina senior level administrators, and an examination of higher education enrollment patterns.See Link

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