Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Education Secretary Criticizes Affirmative Action. (Washington Update)

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Education Secretary Criticizes Affirmative Action. (Washington Update)

Article excerpt

Race-conscious college admissions hurt low-income minority students by pitting them against more affluent African American and Latino youth who could afford college anyway, U.S. Education Secretary Roderick Paige says.

In his latest effort to push race-neutral college admissions, Paige told an Education Department conference audience that race-conscious admissions promote "economic segregation" by pitting affluent minority students against their low-income peers. "And the major losers in the contest are, once again, the low-income minority kids," he said.

Paige opened a two-day conference on race-neutral college admissions by citing the issue of "economic segregation" of students, an issue touted recently by Business Week magazine and in a new study from The Century Foundation. The secretary also directly criticized the University of Michigan's controversial affirmative action policy, which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"If our goal is harmony and diversity, then why would we use methods that are divisive, unfair and impossible to square with our Constitution?" he said. "It is not fight to fight discrimination with discrimination. …

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