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Affirmative Action

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2011 | Nicholas Riccardi and Larry Gordon
In the next 10 days, Gov. Jerry Brown must decide whether to sign a bill that could put race and gender back into the admissions process at California's public universities 15 years after the state's voters banned affirmative action. The proposed law would allow the University of California and California State University systems to "consider" applicants' race, gender and household income to diversify student bodies. The author says he crafted it to avoid conflict with Proposition 209, the ballot measure voters passed in 1996 that prohibited preferential treatment of minority groups by the state.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - When the state Senate took up the issue of affirmative action in late January, it was a relatively tepid affair. After 20 minutes of polite debate, senators passed a measure that, if approved by voters, would overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public higher education. But within weeks, the debate turned fractious. Backlash arose among some Asian Americans who feared their children could lose access to the state's universities if more places were granted to students from other minority groups.
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OPINION
March 7, 2014 | By Karthick Ramakrishnan
Is the debate on affirmative action versus race-blind policies mainly about principle, or mostly about preserving narrow group interests? We are beginning to find out in California. A bill passed by the state Senate and pending in the Assembly would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would overturn portions of Proposition 209 to exempt public college and university admissions from the ban on racial, ethnic and gender preferences. There are principled reasons to support as well as to oppose affirmative action in higher education.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
An effort to overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public universities stalled in the Legislature on Monday. The proposed constitutional amendment by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would have removed references to higher education from Proposition 209, an initiative passed by voters in 1996 that bans consideration by government institutions  of race, ethnicity and sex in hiring, school admissions and contracting. The amendment, SCA 5, passed the Senate in January on a party-line vote.
NEWS
June 13, 1995 | MELISSA HEALY and PAUL RICHTER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Republican critics of affirmative action hailed Monday's Supreme Court decision as a mandate for even more sweeping action by Congress and vowed to press home their attack on federal programs of racial preference.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - When the state Senate took up the issue of affirmative action in late January, it was a relatively tepid affair. After 20 minutes of polite debate, senators passed a measure that, if approved by voters, would overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public higher education. But within weeks, the debate turned fractious. Backlash arose among some Asian Americans who feared their children could lose access to the state's universities if more places were granted to students from other minority groups.
OPINION
October 13, 2012
Re "Race matters," Opinion, Oct. 9 Lee C. Bollinger and Claude M. Steele attempt to justify preference based on race and ethnic background. But there is no justification for giving preference to, or discriminating against, people based on race or ethnicity. To justify doing so, you have to take the position that the person's race or ethnicity makes him or her unable to compete on an equal basis. Not all people of the same race or ethnic group grow up in the same economic and social conditions.
OPINION
September 26, 2007 | By Vikram Amar and Richard H. Sander
IMAGINE, FOR A MOMENT, that a program designed to aid disadvantaged students might, instead, be seriously undermining their performance. Imagine that the schools administering the programs were told that the programs might be having this boomerang effect -- but that no one investigated further because the programs were so popular and the prospect of change was so politically controversial. Now imagine that an agency had collected enough information on student performance that it might, by carefully studying or releasing the data, illuminate both the problem and the possible solutions.
OPINION
December 4, 2012
Re "Affirmative action and the law," Editorial, Nov. 30 Your editorial fails to grasp the intent of affirmative action and equal protection in two respects. You comment favorably on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling 15 years ago that contrasted "equal protection rights against political obstruction to equal treatment" with "equal protection rights against obstructions to preferential treatment. " But you miss the obvious: Preferential treatment is warranted to achieve equal rights for those who otherwise would not have them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) portrayed Monday the shelving of his amendment to overturn the state's ban on affirmative action in higher education as an attempt to defuse the increasingly heated backlash the proposal has generated in recent weeks. "Given the scare tactics and misinformation used by certain groups opposed to SCA 5, we felt it was necessary to have a discussion based on facts and take the time to hear from experts on the challenges our public universities and colleges face with regards to diversity, as well as the implications for California's workforce and our overall competitiveness in a global economy," Hernandez told reporters at the Capitol.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - The Democrats' loss of a legislative supermajority stifled their push to change California's campaign finance and affirmative action laws Monday, potentially foreshadowing a return to partisan battles over their other priorities, such as property taxes, water policy and a rainy-day fund. Monday's losses come less than two years after Democrats won a historic two-thirds control over both the state Senate and Assembly, eliminating the need for a single Republican vote on any bill.
OPINION
March 7, 2014 | By Karthick Ramakrishnan
Is the debate on affirmative action versus race-blind policies mainly about principle, or mostly about preserving narrow group interests? We are beginning to find out in California. A bill passed by the state Senate and pending in the Assembly would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would overturn portions of Proposition 209 to exempt public college and university admissions from the ban on racial, ethnic and gender preferences. There are principled reasons to support as well as to oppose affirmative action in higher education.
OPINION
February 12, 2014
Re "Real diversity is colorblind," Opinion, Feb. 7 Jennifer Gratz presents the phony argument that not giving additional credit to African American students applying for college is race-neutral. The argument would be valid only if American society in general were race-neutral, which it is not. African Americans are much more likely than whites to live in districts with inferior K-12 schools; they are more likely to be at a disadvantage in being prepared to compete for a place in California's selective universities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2014 | By Mark Z. Barabak
SALINAS, Calif. - Tony Salameh and Danielle Clark weathered the Great Recession from two worlds just a few miles apart. Salameh, 62, owns several restaurants in Carmel, the wealthy hamlet perched like a small jewel overlooking the sea. After a significant falloff, business is about where it was five or six years ago. Salameh's bottom line, though, is a third what it used to be; tourists are back in force, but they order lamb sliders or spring rolls...
OPINION
December 27, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Whatever you think of affirmative action programs at universities and graduate schools, it's important to know whether they're working - that is, whether they are preparing their beneficiaries for professional success. But for several years now, the California bar has resisted attempts by a critic of racial preferences to obtain information about the test scores and grades of graduates who take the state bar examination. Last week, the California Supreme Court wisely rejected the state bar's argument and ruled it must turn over the information to Richard Sander, a law professor at UCLA, and other researchers - provided that a way is found to protect the identities of individual test-takers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
Researchers looking into the possible effects of affirmative action programs on law schools and the legal profession should have access to state bar exam scores and other records if individuals' privacy can be ensured, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The unanimous decision was a boost for UCLA law professor Richard Sander, who has been battling the state bar for five years to obtain the data. Sander wants the information to test his controversial theory that racial preferences in law school admissions might hurt minority students by putting them in overly competitive environments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
More black students in California are earning bachelor's degrees than they were a decade ago, but enrollment in the state's public universities is stagnant and many are turning to costly for-profit schools, according to a new report. The road to graduation for black students is still pitted with obstacles, despite efforts to close achievement gaps that have persisted over the years, according to the report released by the Campaign for College Opportunity, a California advocacy group.
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