From Inside Higher Ed
By James Murphy
March 1, 2023
Today marks the conclusion of Black History Month, which pays tribute to the contributions African Americans have made to the greatness of our nation, including but not limited to the struggles to realize that greatness. Access to higher education is an essential chapter of Black history, from the achingly slow opening of a handful of campuses to Black students in the 19th century and the creation of historically Black colleges and universities to the ongoing fight for desegregation and the rise of the Black Campus Movement and African American studies. The current political attacks on that field of study, declining percentages of Black students enrolled at flagship universities and highly selective public institutions, and the assault on race-conscious admission practices in the cases currently under consideration by the Supreme Court remind us that this history and the fight for fair access are far from over.
One of the most powerful weapons in that fight is the truth, which is why it is long past time for the U.S. Department of Education to create greater transparency around the college admissions process and institutional practices that harm diversity. To this end, a coalition of civil rights organizations, higher education advocacy groups and academic researchers sent a letter to Secretary of Education Miguel A. Cardona and Under Secretary James Kvaal earlier this month calling on the department to take three concrete steps to increase transparency around race and college admissions.
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