The National Review editorial posted

The National Review editorial posted below has this to say about the Texas ten-percent solution to promoting racial diversity (offering admission to anyone who finishes in the top ten percent of his or her high school class):
“As a policy matter, the Texas solution is no solution at all. It undermines merit more than preferences do. At least a preferential policy allowed colleges to apply meritocratic standards within each race. Under the Texas solution one Hispanic student loses out to another merely because the rejected student went to a more challenging high school. Besides, once the administration has accepted that the goal of the Texas solution is to engineer a ‘diverse student body,’ liberal critics will notice that it does not do the job as well as preferences do. If it is okay to count by race at the end of the process, why not at the beginning?”
The NR editors may be right that the Texas solution undermines merit more than the Michigan approach. On the other hand, the Texas solution not only gives minorities less of an advantage than the Michigan approach, it also does a better job of providing the advantage to those African Americans and Hispanics (as well as some whites) who are most likely to have been at a disadvantage that was no fault of their own. But the debate over the comparative merit of the Texas and Michigan approaches is (or should be) academic. Unless the Texas admissions standards can be validated as predicting academic performance at least as well as traditional meritocratic standards do (a very unlikely outcome), I regard the Texas solution as no more or less constitutionally infirm than the Michigan approach.


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