|Texas (State): True or False: Does
testing unfairly discriminate against minorities? (11/01/99)
"U.S. District Judge Edward Prado has a fairly clear legal blueprint to follow in
deciding whether Texas high-school exit exam unfairly discriminates against
minorities. The case of GI Forum, et al. v. Texas is being closely watched by educators
nationwide. It has the potential of impacting Gov. George W. Bushs presidential
race, as he is proposing to tie federal education funding to student testing. The suit,
which was presented to Prado in five weeks of often-tedious, statistics-based testimony,
also holds implications for Bushs crackdown on social promotions.
Collection of Articles on the Hopwood Decision:
"Lawmakers earlier this year voted to base promotion in lower grades in large part on
a students performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills tests, which are
being revised. The significance was not lost on Prado, who said the case is "probably
the most challenging decision Ive had to make" in 15 years on the bench. Prado,
one of the first Hispanics to ally with the Republican Party in San Antonio, was appointed
by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
"While there have not been many cases involving standardized tests, the legal
principles at issue are fairly well established, having evolved from employment cases.
Plaintiffs in this case African-American and Mexican-American students who passed
all their classes but failed at least one part of the TAAS test first must show
there was a disproportionate impact because of the test requirement. The plaintiffs
presented evidence that 20 percent of minority students ultimately fail the TAAS test
compared to 10 percent of white students.
The testing case, however, divided the minority community. Jimmy Vasquez, the
former Edgewood district superintendent who joined Kauffman in the school funding fight,
testified for the state in the TAAS case. Vasquez also taught high-school math to Prado,
who attended schools in the Edgewood district. Vasquez, who now heads the states
Education Service Center in El Paso, testified that he thinks students are getting a much
more equal learning opportunity now. He expressed anger when asked by Amsel whether
standards should be lowered for minorities. Vasquez said, "I fear that that attitude
can be the worst form of patronizing a student." (Law News Network by Janet
Elliott, Texas Lawyer 11/01/99)
Texas (State): Minority Students Don't Need a Preference to
"Contrary to predictions that the sky was falling, new data shows the 1999 University
of Texas (UT) incoming freshman class will have the same percentage of blacks and
Hispanics as 1996, the last year that racial classifications and preferences were allowed.
This is welcome news, which apparently comes as a surprise to the traditional civil rights
advocacy groups who claimed the Hopwood lawsuit was going to 'permanently re-segregate our
institutions of higher education.'
"Based on students who have paid deposits for fall enrollment and those in summer
programs which qualify them to enroll this fall, 14 percent of the 1999-2000 UT
undergraduate class will be Hispanic and 4 percent African American, exactly the same as
the percentage in 1996-97, the last year of pre-Hopwood admissions. Since Asian
undergraduates grew by two percent, the post-Hopwood class will actually be more racially
"Clearly, those who equated Hopwood with Jim Crow were gravely wrong. Consider a few
of the headlines from some of the Chicken Little commentators who predicted dire
consequences if the Constitution were applied to the admission process at Texas colleges:
"Hopwood is a roundhouse blow to diversity at UT."
"Hopwood is a living nightmare in Texas."
"Hopwood's race-blind policies signal segregation shift."
"What caused the doom and gloom predictions? First, the defenders of racial quotas
patronizingly underestimated the abilities of minorities in order to bolster their
argument that equity requires the use of racial classifications and preferences.
"Secondly, since 1997, selective Texas universities have implemented what
'affirmative action' was originally meant to be: outreach and recruitment, not dual
admissions standards for whites and minorities." (Dallas Morning News 08/29/99
by Edward Blum and Marc Levin)
Texas (State): Legislator
Questions Hopwood Decision (03/23/99 - dead link)
The 1997 5th U.S. District Court Ruling in "Hopwood" was interpreted by former
Attorney General Dan Morales to effectively end the use of racial quotas and racial
preferences programs in both university admissions and financial aid.
But Texas Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) has asked the new attorney general, John
Cornyn, to reconsider that interpretation of "Hopwood". Ellis, and other
Democratic legislators, hungry for minority votes, are anxious to re-instate the use of
financial aid on a racial basis. These legislators are afraid that Texas colleges and
universities are losing minority students to other institutions who do offer race-based
Marc Levin, executive director of the Campaign for a Colorblind America, and an alumnus of
University of Texas, said in a statement that "Hopwood" clearly and
unambiguously prohibits public universities from using race as a factor in any of
their operations, including financial aid.
Edward Blum, chairman of the Campaign for a Colorblind America, said "We understand
the concerns that some educators have about other states being able to attract minority
applicants with lucrative financial aid packages. However, the solution isn't for Texas to
break the law but for all other states to follow Texas' lead in moving towards a
colorblind 21st century." (Daily Texan, 03/23/99, by Danielle Cooper)
Texas (State): Texas
Struggles for "Diversity" in Colleges after Hopwood Ruling (03/21/99 -
"All the creative plans of Texas educators and legislators to enroll minority
students after [the Hopwood] court ruling spurred the downfall of [racial quotas in
education] will not bring [proportionate representation of minorities] in higher
education, college students and researchers say. [Proportional racial
representation, if it is to ever come to Texas schools] will occur only when all students
have access to the same education starting in kindergarten and when poor families can pay
for college as easily as wealthy families, educators and students say. 'No
resources, no knowledge. That's the bottom line,' said David Smith, a Northlake
"Lawmakers and educators have been seeking ways to boost minority enrollment [mostly
unconstitutional and illegal ways] since 1996, when the Hopwood ruling led to the
abandonment of [racial admissions quotas] and a decline in the number of minorities at
Texas colleges and universities. In 1992, Cheryl Hopwood and three other white students
[successfully] challenged the UT Law School's [illegal, race-based] admissions policy.
"A new law guaranteeing the top 10 percent of all high school graduates admission to
any state institution helped increase numbers last fall, although not to pre-Hopwood
levels." (Dallas Morning News, 03/21/99, by Jayne Noble Suhler)
Texas (State): Minorities
Fail at Higher Rate than Non-minorities (02/09/99) (dead link)
"About 1.2 million Texas public school students failed to graduate between the
1985-86 and 1997-98 school years, a lost generation that will cost Texas $319 billion,
according to a report by a San Antonio-based research group. A disproportionate number of
students who drop out are minorities, the result of a system that [allegedly] expects less
from African-Americans [i.e., blacks] and Hispanics, she said.
"One of every two Hispanic and African-American students from the 1994-1995
ninth-grade class never reached the 12th grade, compared to one of every three Anglo
students, the IDRA report said." (Express News, 02/09/99, by Lucy Hood)
Texas (Amarillo): Racially
Gerrymandered School Boards? (01/26/99)
Three minority plaintiffs and the League of United Latin American Citizens Council 4427
filed a federal lawsuit against the Amarillo Independent School District on May 29.
In the suit, the minorities demand the creation of seven single-member electoral districts
to maximize racial minorities' clout in school board elections. "The parties
should be ready for trial by March 29, court papers show. The case will be scheduled on
the trial docket at a later date." (Amarillo Globe, 1/26/99)
Texas (Austin): Bill
Passed to Overturn Hopwood; Allow Racial Admissions (05/07/99)
Austin-American Statesman Headline: "Bill passed to increase minority students"
-- "[Texas State Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin has introduced] Senate Bill 1356
[which] directs Texas graduate and professional schools to consider a variety of factors
in addition to test scores and grades. This includes considering a student's financial
need, whether the student is the first in the family to graduate from college, involvement
in community activities and whether the student is multilingual."
Sen. Barrientos' bill is designed to circumvent the Supreme Courts Hopwood decision
which prohibits the consideration of race in student admissions.
"The bill, passed 30-0, prohibits graduate and professional schools from relying
solely on standardized test scores such as the Law School Admission Test for admissions or
scholarships. 'Low minority enrollment in graduate and professional schools at our
state's top universities is a persistent problem,' Barrientos said before the vote.
'Members, I don't have to tell you the facts again . . . over 50 percent of public school
students are minorities, that the majority of Texans will be racial and ethnic minorities
within 10 years.' "
At no time in his speech did Tex. Sen. Barrientos mention the Supreme Court's Hopwood
decision which makes race-based admissions illegal, nor did Barrientos mention that the
U.S. Constitution allegedly protects citizens from such race-based decisions.
Barrientos also failed to offer any proof that academic ability reflected in standardized
tests is inherently racially discriminatory. (Based on the Austin-American Statesman
05/07/99 by A. Phillips Brooks)
Texas (Austin): Racial Quota
Bill Revived in Texas Legislature (03/31/99 - dead link)
"Rep. Irma Rangel, D-Kingsville, brought legislation before the House Higher
Education Committee Tuesday to allow the consideration of race, ethnicity and national
origin in college admissions.
"A similar bill failed to exit the committee last session, but Rangel has revived the
legislation again in an effort to reverse some of the effects of the Hopwood decision. The
1997 Hopwood ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court effectively ended affirmative action at
Texas colleges and universities that receive federal funding.
"Rangel said Morales's interpretation of the ruling established three requirements
for the consideration of race in admissions, scholarships or other programs: The
Legislature or a court would have to prove past discrimination, show existing effects of
that discrimination and create a narrowly-tailored program to remedy those effects.
"The proposed bill could meet these criteria if the Legislature declared that Texas
universities have discriminated against African Americans and Hispanics in the past and
that the effects of that discrimination continue into the present, Rangel said.
"But Marc Levin, executive director for the Campaign for a Colorblind America and a
UT alum, said the bill would not qualify under the Hopwood exemptions because it is not
narrowly-tailored and because it includes Hispanics, who were not subject to the same
legal segregation as African Americans." (The Daily Texan, 03/31/99, by
Texas (Austin): Panel
testimony cites Hopwood's effect on colleges (03/30/99)
"AUSTIN For Felicia Enuha, the Hopwood decision is a reality that greets her
every time she arrives for class at the University of Texas at Austin.
"By all accounts, she could be a poster child for the race-neutral admissions process
that all of the state's public colleges and universities adopted in the aftermath of the
1996 federal court ruling referred to as Hopwood. She's African-American. She's the
product of a modest upbringing in the South Texas town of Victoria. And she met all of the
university's basic requirements without anyone lowering the bar for her.
"But, in her eyes, there's one big problem: She has a hard time finding anyone else
like her on campus. 'Every time the subject of race comes up in a class, I'm looked at
like I'm supposed to speak for all African-Americans,' the junior biochemistry major
said. 'I can't do that. I'm just one black person from a small town.'
" (Express-News, 03/30/99, by Jaime Castillo)
Texas (Austin): Affirmative action
battle to heat up (01/24/99)
"The number of lawsuits challenging racial preferences in education will accelerate
in coming years, but the battlefield will shift from college admissions to K-12 issues and
scholarship opportunities. That was the prediction Friday of Michael Greve,
executive director of the Center for Individual Rights, which in 1997 filed two federal
suits against the University of Michigan challenging its use of race in undergraduate and
law school admissions.
"Greve, who took part in a panel discussion at a national conference here on
affirmative action issues, also said such cases will no longer be litigated primarily by
ideological organizations like his own - a conservative advocacy law firm based in
Washington, D.C. Instead, individual lawyers will be filing suits, such as a case
recently in Boston where a local attorney brought two suits against the prestigious Boston
Latin School, over its admissions requirements." (Michigan Live, 01/24/99, by
Texas (Austin): UT Stops Recruiting Minority
Professors (for paid subscribers only)
"The University of Texas at Austin has quietly terminated a $300,000-a-year program
aimed at recruiting minority professors, out of concern that the program could be barred
by a court ruling that led the state to stop using racial preferences in admissions. The
Target of Opportunity program, which was created in 1987, helped to increase the number of
black and Hispanic faculty members from 84 in 1987 to 187 today by supplementing salaries
and creating new positions. Officials dismantled the program last fall, after lawyers for
the University of Texas System advised campus presidents to 'avoid quotas and
set-asides.' The university is barred from using racial and ethnic preferences in
admissions under a 1996 federal-court decision known as Hopwood. Lawyers for the system
said the principles of Hopwood, as well as other federal-court rulings, could apply beyond
student programs." (Chronicle of Higher Education, 01-08-99 by Jeffrey Selingo,
subscribers only link at:
Texas (Austin): After
'Hopwood', Top 10% College Admission Law Yields Mixed Results (dead link)
"A Texas law touted as a colorblind way to lure more black and Hispanic students to
in-state colleges produced uneven results at the state's major universities and did not
pack the punch some lawmakers had expected." This article presents an analysis
of where the minority students are going in Texas, which schools have more Hispanic
minorities, which have more black minorities, etc. On balance, admitting the top 10%
of high school grads has, to date, produced no discernible increase or decrease in
minority enrollments. (Austin American-Statesman 12/28/98, by Mary Ann Roser)
Texas (Austin): University
of Texas Students Protest End of Racial Quotas (dead link)
A few dozen students (40 students) who want to re-instate racial quotas staged an
old-fashioned "sit in" at UT's main building today. The 40, mostly white,
student protesters seem to think that the Hopwood decision ending race-based admissions is
somehow wrong. UT administrators are between a rock and a hard place: the
Courts say "end race-based admissions". The student protesters say
"use racial quotas to increase minority enrollment regardless of academic
qualifications". (Star-Telegram & Associated Press, 10/23/98)
Texas (Austin): Texas
Diversity Policy Overturned (03/20/96 - dead link)
"In a decision that reverberated through higher education nationwide yesterday, a
federal appeals court ruled that public universities may not justify affirmative action
programs based on the benefits of racial diversity.
"The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision issued late Monday struck down an
admissions policy at the University of Texas law school giving preference to blacks and
Hispanics as a violation of the Constitution's equal protection guarantee."
This landmark case became known as "Hopwood v. Texas" after Cheryl Hopwood, one
of the plaintiffs in the suit.
"The 5th Circuit's case began in 1992 when Cheryl Hopwood, Douglas Carvell, Kenneth
Elliott and David Rogers were denied admission to the (University of Texas) law school
when their undergraduate grades and test scores narrowly missed a category that guaranteed
admission. (However,) the school allowed lower grade points and admissions test scores
from blacks and Hispanics.
"The three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit acknowledged that the Supreme Court in the
1978 case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke said universities have a
compelling interest in educational diversity that would justify race preferences in
admissions. But the appeals court noted that in recent affirmative action rulings,
the Supreme Court has suggested that the only compelling state interest for affirmative
action is remedying past wrongs." (Washington Post Wed., 03-20-96, by Joan
Biskupic, page A01)
Texas (Austin): Affirmative action ruling halts
admissions at U. of Texas
(Mar. 20, 1996) -- "The University of Texas suspended admissions at all 15 of its
campuses Tuesday while it analyzed the impact of a broad federal court ruling that could
affect affirmative action programs nationwide. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
decision issued late Monday struck down an admissions policy at the university's law
school giving preference to African-Americans and Hispanics.
" 'This could affect literally every public institution in America because all of
them take racial diversity into account in admissions,' University of Virginia Law
Professor John Jeffries Jr. said Tuesday. 'This is incredibly big.' "
"Four white students had sued the school in 1994 claiming they were denied admission
by an unlawful policy based solely on race.
"Writing in the 2-1 decision that specifically applies only to Texas, Louisiana and
Mississippi for now, Judge Jerry Smith said the school can't discriminate against one
group while trying to repair the past exclusion of another, "even for the wholesome
purpose of correcting perceived racial imbalance in the student body." (Detroit
[ link http://detnews.com/menu/stories/40675.htm
Affirmative Action and the Hopwood Decision (Univ. of
A collection of articles and analyses by UT author Jim Dedman. Mr. Dedman's
commentary originally appeared in The Daily Texan, the student newspaper of the University
of Texas at Austin.
[Last Known Link as of 4-30-02:
Texas (Dallas): State
Seeks Ways to Attract Minority Students (01/11/99 - dead link)
"A statewide scholarship program, though open to all, will help attract minority
students to Texas colleges, lawmakers say. Many minorities left for out-of-state schools
after a 1996 court ruling eliminated affirmative action in higher education.
"Since the Hopwood ruling, law-makers and educators have been searching for ways to
attract more minority students. A law requiring institutions to automatically admit
the top 10 percent of Texas high school graduates helped increase the number of minorities
at some schools, but more needs to be done, said Sen. Teel Bivins, R-Amarillo, chair of
the Senate Higher Education Committee.
" 'Scholarship legislation will be another race-neutral way that we'll be able to
help minority kids,' said Mr. Bivins, who called scholarships 'the number one' issue
facing higher education." (Dallas Morning News, 01-11-99, by Jayne Noble
Texas (Houston and Fort Worth): Houston, Fort Worth Cited for Gains in Minority
Education (10/14/99 - dead
"Schools in Houston and Fort Worth have made significant progress in closing the gap
in achievement between white and minority students, according to a survey of big-city
school districts released yesterday. The preliminary report by the Council of Great
City Schools showed the two Texas cities were the most successful of 11 school districts
cited for their progress in closing achievement gaps, a persistent problem that is
receiving greater attention nationwide as state after state has imposed stricter academic
standards in the 1990s.
"Motivated in part by Texas's system of grading schools on how well students from
different racial and ethnic groups perform on standardized tests, Houston and Fort Worth
since 1994 have realized gains in minority student achievement with a concerted focus on
improving instruction in reading and mathematics. Based on results on state tests
given in the elementary, middle and high school grades, Houston has closed the gap between
whites and minorities by 40 percent in reading and math, while Fort Worth has reduced its
gap in those two subjects as well as in writing by about 35 percent.
"Texas Gov. George W. Bush, front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has
advocated an emphasis on reading and touted the state's school grading system, which is
being used as a model for draft House legislation to renew the federal Title 1 remedial
program for disadvantaged students. 'Even though the [school] accountability system
was in place before the governor came into office, he has worked to strengthen and expand
it,' said Linda Edwards, Bush's press secretary." (Washington Post 10/14/99
page A02 by Kenneth J. Cooper)
Texas (Houston): Schools
Discriminate in the Name of Diversity (dead
"Districts like Charlotte-Mecklenburg use a warm and fuzzy concept to mask a rigid
racial set-aside regime." Is this another Boston Latin case in the making?
"Windsor Village Elementary School is in a middle-class suburb of my hometown,
Houston, Texas. Unlike most public elementary schools here, Windsor Village has been rated
``exemplary'' by a state educational rating agency. Admission to its Vanguard program is
highly prized by parents who want the very best education for their children.
"Last year, a 7-year-old girl applied for admission to Windsor Village and was denied
entrance, even though her test scores and grades were higher than many other children who
were admitted. What rationale was given by administrators of the Houston Independent
School District for denying her admission? She was the wrong color. In the quest to
maintain racial ``diversity,'' a child was denied an exceptional educational experience.
Although it does not matter to which race she belongs, in fact she was black, and a
lesser-qualified child who was admitted was white." But according to their
rigid racial quotas, in the name of 'diversity', the school already had too many black
children, according to their formula. Where will it end?
(The Charlotte Observer, 01/20/99, by Edward
Texas (San Antonio): Foundation Pledges $5 million for Minority Scholarships (01/21/99) (dead link)
"The San Antonio-based SBC Foundation gave Texas Tech University a $10 million
donation Thursday, half of it pegged for scholarships to economically disadvantaged
students. The SBC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Southwestern Bell's parent
company, SBC Communications.
"The corporation was very clever in structuring the donation. Students can get a nice
scholarship award that carries over four years if they are economically
disadvantaged," Chancellor John T. Montford said. Half of the SBC donation will
be used to fund 200 permanent scholarships of $25,000 ... to be awarded ... to
economically disadvantaged youth", according to the story. (San Antonio Express
News, 01/21/99, by Gloria Padilla)
Texas (San Antonio): Lower
the Scores to Admit More Minorities to San Antonio Schools (no link)
Texas State Senator Frank Madla wants Texas community college students with a 3.0 grade
point average to be automatically admitted to Texas' top universities. Madla thinks
this will correct "prior discrimination against minorities".
(ExpressNews.Com posted 8/20/98 -- link no longer available)
Texas (San Antonio): Race-Based
(Minority) Scholarships are Unconstitutional (no link)
Hispanic Faculty Association lowers itself to calling the School Board "racists"
just because the Board wants to ensure that all students, regardless of race, are provided
an equal shot at community college scholarships. It seems the racist political
correctness police have been working overtime in San Antonio. The controversy
erupted because Trustee James Rindfuss had the nerve to question whether $60,000 in
scholarships reserved for certain (non-white) races violates the ban on racial quotas in
education in Texas colleges and universities. Shame, shame Mr. Rindfuss for thinking
that Constitutional guarantees against such racial discrimination would actually be
honored! (San Antonio Express-News posted 8/20/98 -- link no longer available)
END of Texas - Racial Quotas in Education