The Trump administration is rescinding guidance to colleges and universities on how they can use race in admissions decisions to promote diversity, according to news media reports. For years, research has shown that integration helps all students succeed. Classroom integration decreases achievement and wage gaps, reduces dropout rates, and increases the likelihood that young people of all races and backgrounds can live in the same communities and work in the same industries.
In response, this statement was released by NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:
“Our schools are more diverse than ever, yet the Department of Education, time and again, has turned its back on our most vulnerable and at-risk students — particularly English language learners, students with disabilities, and students of color.
“Educators know that all students, and not just our students of color, benefit from diverse and inclusive classrooms. Classroom experiences are livelier, more enlightening, engaging and interesting when students come from the greatest possible variety of backgrounds. Students in diverse learning environments have higher academic achievement leading to better outcomes for all students. Inclusive classrooms reduce prejudice and promote diverse relationships, addresses implicit biases, later benefiting students in their communities and future workplaces.
“Affirmative action has proven to be one of the most effective ways to create diverse and inclusive classrooms. But by telling schools and universities that they should not use affirmative action to achieve inclusive classrooms, the Education Department has again failed our students.
“President Trump has indicated he intends to appoint a nominee to the Supreme Court who will declare that affirmative action is unconstitutional in our schools. The Education Department’s action forecasts how much is at stake in the upcoming Supreme Court nomination process. Our nation must join together and fight to ensure all our students have what they need to succeed.”