The fight for fair and just opportunity continues
Leading Educators reacts to Supreme Court Overturning Affirmative Action
Every young person deserves a fair chance to build the life they want. No matter who they are, where they come from, or how much money their family has, their education should prepare them for their next step and beyond. The Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 and 6-2 rulings on Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College threaten this core purpose of education.
In striking down affirmative action in higher education, the Court’s majority perpetuates the myth of “color-blindness” and ignores the real and consequential role of race in American life. This move to overturn more than 40 years of legal precedent is wrong.
Laws, policies, and everyday practices entrenched in racism have constrained the lives and potential of too many people for too long. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away. This decision will make it more difficult to address the real barriers young people of color face on the path to college and beyond.
But the fight for fair and just opportunity in education is not over. We know what our young people deserve. Rather, this must spur a new wave of coordinated, collective action to eradicate systemic inequities at the root so all young people have the opportunities that America promises.
Our world is changing rapidly, and today’s students will face new possibilities not seen by past generations. If their educators, families, and communities can help them develop the knowledge, sense of self, care for others, and confidence to solve complex challenges, they can create a better world. That will take work from all of us. We’ll be there every step of the way.
Furthermore, we cannot prepare our Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous students to succeed in K-12 only to be met by the closed door of legacy preference and biased admission practices that favor those who already have access. We must continue to challenge higher education institutions and state university systems to expand pathways to lifelong learning. Likewise, we must continue to affirm all students’ strengths and right to confront systems that hold them back.
As a diverse community of career educators, coaches, designers, and advocates who have had to make our own paths, we at Leading Educators take this personally.
Students, know this: you still matter, and we will keep showing up for you. The world needs your gifts, experiences, and talents. We need your leadership.”
America is at our best when we bring down barriers to ensure all of us — no matter what we look like or where we come from — can get ahead. We will not let the Supreme Court’s decisions curtail our freedom to reach our highest potential.
Learn more about what this decision means for students: