An historic ballot proposition passed by California voters in 1996 to end race-based admissions to the University of California may have led to more blacks being admitted to UC. “At present, by a wide range of metrics—including relative to state population share and changes in toal UC enrollment—black and Hispanic enrollments are higher than before Proposition 209,” Stuart Taylor, Jr. and Richard Sander write in an amicus brief they filed in a U. S. Supreme Court case. “UC black enrollment had returned to pre-209 levels by 2002 and averaged some 40% above pre-209 levels by 2007.”
They filed a brief “in support of neither party” in the case of Abigail Noel Fisher v. the University of Texas that the U. S. Supreme Court will examine in October. Fisher alleges that she was squeezed out of a slot at UT Austin to make way for candidates admitted under race-based preferences.
Taylor, a lawyer and journalist, was the author, with Brooklyn College history professor K. C. Johnson, ofUntil Proven Innocent  , an account of the rape charges brought by a stripper against the Duke lacrosse team that were found to be false. Sanders, a UCLA law professor, has researched the unintended consequences of race-based college admissions.
“The ironic truth is that blacks were significantly more integrated across UC campuses after 209 than before,” Taylor and Sanders claim. “Pre-209, Berkeley and UC>A had used very large racial preferences to compete aggressively with the less elite campuses for black freshmen; as a result, about half of all blacks enrolling at UC in the early 90s went to the two elite campuses.”
“After Proposition 209, blacks became more evenly distributed across all eight campuses.” And they were more likely to graduate too.
“From 1992-4 to 1998-2005, black four-year graduation rates, UC-wide, improved by more than half and black six-year graduation rates improved by a fifth.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia .
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