(WASHINGTON) - A Center for
Equal Opportunity (CEO) study of the 10 four-year public colleges and universities in
Maryland presents strong evidence that at least some of the schools are engaging in racial
and ethnic discrimination.
MD Schools Use Racial and Ethnic
"The evidence is very strong that several Maryland schools use racial and ethnic
admissions preferences," said CEO President Linda Chavez. There is a glaring
disparity among racial and ethnic groups in the SAT scores of the students who are
admitted and enrolled in Maryland schools. For instance, at the University of Maryland,
College Park, the median white enrollee has a composite SAT score of 1220, 170 points
higher than the black median composite score of 1050. At St. Mary's College, the white
median composite is 1280, 245 points higher than the black score of 1035.
The study is the latest in a series of reports by CEO on the use of preferences by public
institutions of higher education. Past studies have documented the use of preferences in
Virginia, California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, and the
service academies at West Point and Annapolis. In each instance, the studies found strong
evidence of a double standard favoring blacks and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics.
The Maryland study released today is based on 1997 data provided by the Maryland Higher
Education Commission, and was obtained through a freedom-of-information request by the
Maryland Association of Scholars.
To download the complete text of CEO's study of Maryland college racial
preferences, click this link: http://www.adversity.net/ceo_maryland.doc.
[This file is 890 KB and may take
several minutes to download.]
The Center for Equal Opportunity is a nonprofit, Washington, D.C-based research and
educational organization. Visit their web site at www.ceousa.org
|Related / Similar:
Racial Preferences in Maryland Colleges (09/27/00)
[This story by the liberal Washington Post portrays the CEO
study of racial preferences in Maryland as an assault on "Affirmative
Action". That is not true; the CEO study does not assault "Affirmative
Action" but it does reveal the discriminatory use of racial admissions criterion
in the Maryland University system which gives minorities with lower scores preference in
admission to the state's schools over non-minorities with higher scores. Editor.]
Original Washington Post Headline: "Group Assails Affirmative
Action at Md. Colleges"
"A study by the Center for Equal Opportunity found that average SAT scores for black
students are significantly lower than those of white students enrolled at most of the
state's [Maryland's] schools.
"White freshmen enrolled at University of Maryland in 1997 had median math scores of
620 and verbal scores of 600, compared to 510 and 540 for black freshmen, according to the
"The report's authors noted similar disparities at St. Mary's College, Salisbury
State University, Bowie State University and Frostburg State University.
"[College officials readily] acknowledged that they take an applicant's race, among
many other factors, into account; [And Maryland college officials erroneously allege that
the discriminatory use of racial admissions criteria is] a policy upheld by the Supreme
"The study was the latest volley from a group that has also tried to call attention
to [racially discriminatory] admissions standards at state universities in Virginia,
California, Colorado and Michigan, and at the federal military service
academies." (Washington Post, 09/27/00 by Amy Argetsinger)
alleges racial bias in Maryland college admissions
BALTIMORE (AP) -- "Maryland' s public
colleges and universities are disputing a conservative group' s claims that minority
students receive preferential treatment in admissions.
"The report from the Washington-based Center for Equal Opportunity says minority
students are being admitted to selective schools even though statistics show many won' t
perform as well in classes as whites or complete their degrees within four years.
"The study, called 'Preferences in Maryland Higher Education,' is the latest in a
series of reports that tries to poke holes in the claims of school administrators that
they use colorblind admissions criteria when reviewing student applications.
"Linda Chavez, the group' s president and former director of the Civil Rights
Commission in the Reagan Administration, said " the evidence is very strong"
that Maryland colleges engage in racial and ethnic discrimination that favors blacks,
Asians and Hispanics.
Chavez said "If you can show that there are different criteria used for admissions
based on someone' s skin color, then that' s a clear violation of the equal protection
clause" in the Constitution. "I don' t think schools can choose to have
different admissions standards for students based on their skin color."
"Chavez insisted that her group' s goal is not to keep minorities out of college, but
rather to 'force policy-makers to confront this skills gap and to do something about it.'
"Performance disparities between minority and white students were most pronounced at
smaller, predominantly white schools like St. Mary's College of Maryland and Frostburg
State University, but several large schools also showed gaps.
CEO's analysis of government records shows, for example, that black students with an SAT
score 60 points lower than comparable white college applicants were admitted to the
University of Maryland while white students with SAT scores 60 points higher than the
minority applicants were rejected by the University of Maryland. (Associated Press
via Star Tribune 09/27/00 by Daniel Cusick AP Writer)
MD Schools to Receive Bounty for
Increasing Minority Scores (07/29/99)
"Maryland's public schools from now on will have to ensure that minority groups of
students are progressing as well as the rest of the school to be eligible for cash awards
from the state.
"The Maryland State Department of Education each year rewards schools that show
significant improvement for two or more years on the state's school report card, which is
based primarily on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program tests all third,
fifth and eighth graders take each spring.
"Last year 83 public schools, including eight from Prince George's County, shared
$2.75 million. All of Prince George's prizes were more than $30,000 each.
"The problem that concerned educators is that minority students - primarily black and
Hispanic students - have not performed as well on the MSPAP tests as white students
have. 'We don't want schools to be rewarded only on the basis of white students'
performance,' said Mark Moody, assistant state schools superintendent. 'Everybody
has to improve.'
"So the Maryland State Board of Education yesterday changed the rules. Schools
receiving awards this fall must be helping their minority populations - defined as 10 or
more students in a particular ethnic, racial or other group - progress along with the
school's majority, the board voted unanimously." (The Journal Newspapers,
Montgomery County Edition, page A7 by Kristen Klick)
Maryland (Baltimore and College Park):
U Maryland Forced to Admit Whites to
"Minority" Scholarship (no
U of Maryland was forced by the courts three years ago to stop awarding scholarships on
the basis of race. Student Matt Hyman is one of the first non-black students to be
awarded a scholarship which was originally (and unconstitutionally) reserved only for
black applicants. Enrollment of unqualified minorites seems to be declining.
(The Sun (Maryland) posted 8/9/98 - link no longer available)
Montgomery County Schools Ordered to Stop Using Racial Criteria
Several Related Stories, Newest First:
Montgomery to Appeal School Diversity
Case (11/03/99 - dead link)
"Montgomery County Board of Education members unanimously decided to take a
reverse-discrimination decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, putting convictions about
racial diversity ahead of legal voices urging caution.
"At issue is whether Montgomery's policy of considering race and ethnicity in student
transfers is constitutional. A federal appeals court panel last month ruled that it was
"The Supreme Court could clarify whether and how school districts may use race to
keep neighborhood schools from naturally resegregating--an area of
law that is unclear. Or it could decide against the county or refuse to hear the case,
setting a chilling precedent. [Emphasis added.]
"If the Supreme Court upholds this case, the notion of diversity and integration in
the United States will be turned back 30 years," said Julie Underwood, legal counsel
for the National School Boards Association, who said officials in several districts across
the country are watching what happens in Montgomery County.
"Montgomery County's high-stakes case began last year when Jeffrey Eisenberg wanted
his son, Jacob, to attend first grade in the math and science magnet program at Rosemary
Hills, a school for kindergartners and first- and second-graders.
"County administrators and later the school board refused to let Jacob leave his
neighborhood school, Glen Haven, because he is white.
"Eisenberg sued and lost in U.S. District Court. But last month, the 4th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled that Jacob should be transferred to Rosemary Hills in Silver
Spring, and struck down the board's policy governing transfers, calling it an
[Montgomery County's race-based student assignment system is designed to maintain the
'correct' mix of the 'correct' races and genders in each school. This race-based
system] "... tracks demographic trends over three years and does not allow students
of a declining racial or ethnic population to transfer out of their schools. It also does
not allow students to transfer to schools where the racial or ethnic mix differs from
"For example, white students such as Jacob can't transfer out of Glen Haven, where
the white population has fallen from 39 percent to 20 percent since 1994."
(Washington Post 11/03/99 page B05 by Brigid Schulte)
Maryland (Montgomery County):
School Board May Appeal End of
Racial Quotas (10/15/99 - no link)
The Montgomery County school board this week began considering whether to appeal the 4th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against use of racial criteria in assigning students
to schools. They have until January 2000 to file such an appeal.
There have been rumors within the County that the NAACP and the U.S. Dept. of Education
have expressed a keen interest in preventing the school board from appealing the Court's
decision. They fear that such an appeal, if unsuccessful, would only further
validate the Court's ruling and add impetus to other legal efforts to end the use of
racial criteria, and proxies for racial criteria, in school admissions and
In February 1999, the NAACP and the U.S. Dept. of Education successfully prevailed upon
the Boston school board to drop a Supreme Court challenge on a similar issue. (See
link: Boston Latin Drops Appeal to High Court)
This week, Montgomery County school board member Stephen N. Abrams is reported to
have suggested that the board may begin using proxies for race, such as
socioeconomic status, to avoid having to comply with the Court's order. School
district attorneys are cautious about that tactic, fearful that the Court might find the
County in violation of the order, or would subsequently rule against using proxies for
The same 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year ordered nearby suburb
Arlington County Schools to drop racial criteria in student admissions. (See
link: Arlington Ordered to Drop Race)
[No link. Based on Washington Post, Associated
Press, and other sources 10/15/99]
Maryland (Mongomery County):
MD School Racial Quota Policy Is Found
Illegal! (10/07/99 - dead link)
Original Washington Post Headline: "School Diversity Policy Is
Overruled; Court Says Race Can't Bar Transfer In Montgomery"
STORY: "A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Montgomery County public
school officials wrongly relied solely on race to deny a white couple's request to
transfer their 7-year-old to another school, overturning a long-standing county policy to
prevent schools from becoming racially isolated.
"The ruling comes after the same 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a
similar race-based school admissions policy in Arlington County last month and is one of a
number of closely watched and politically loaded cases across the country. At issue is
whether school districts can allow or deny students admission into schools, classes or
special programs because of their race or ethnicity.
"Jeffrey Eisenberg, father of 7-year-old Jacob and a lawyer who handled his own
appeal, said he was vindicated, relieved and yet troubled by the ruling. "Race
is a difficult and unsettled issue in this country. I regret being on the opposite side of
the dispute of those who are trying to solve the problem," he said. "But
Montgomery County's case had no merit. It's clear they now have to try to promote
diversity in a race-neutral fashion."
"Last year, when Jacob was about to enter first grade, his parents sought to enroll
him in Rosemary Hills Elementary School's math and science magnet program because he was
showing a special interest in the subjects. The request was denied because of its
"impact on diversity," according to a letter the Eisenbergs
received." (Washington Post 10/07/99, Page A01, by Brigid Schulte)
|Related / Similar:
Appeals Court strikes down race-based policy
in Montgomery schools
(10/07/99 - dead link)
"Montgomery County public school officials should not have relied solely on race to
deny a white couple's request to transfer their 7-year-old to another school, according to
an appeals court ruling.
"The ruling was handed down Wednesday by the same Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals that struck down a similar race-based school admissions policy in Arlington, Va.,
last month. At issue in those and similar cases around the country is whether school
districts can allow or deny students admission into schools, classes or special programs
because of their race or ethnicity. "As I read it, it sounds like they have
invalidated the policy, said Patricia Brannan, the school district's attorney who argued
before the appeals court in June. "I don't know what this means in terms of impact on
other students,'' she said. "We're just going to have to figure that out.''
"Jeffrey Eisenberg, father of 7-year-old Jacob and a lawyer who handled his own
appeal, says he feels vindicated by the ruling. When Jacob was about to enter first grade
last year, his parents sought to enroll him in Rosemary Hills Elementary School's math and
science magnet program. The request was denied because of its so-called "impact on
diversity'', according to a letter the Eisenbergs received." (Associated Press,
via FoxNews, 10/07/99)
Maryland (Montgomery County):
Lawsuits Test Race's Role in School
Admissions (01/25/99 - dead link)
"Two Washington area court cases have drawn the attention of educators and legal
experts nationwide as a key test of whether public elementary and secondary schools have
the right to admit and reject students based on their race. On Wednesday, attorneys
for the Arlington School Board will argue before a federal appeals court in Richmond that
it should overturn a judge's order barring an alternative school in the county from using
an admissions system that favors black and Hispanic children.
"Later this year, the same court will hear an appeal from the parents of a white
Montgomery County first-grader who was told that he could not transfer to a math and
science magnet program because it would leave his neighborhood school with too few white
students. The cases are being watched closely, because the U.S. Supreme Court has
never ruled on whether elementary and secondary schools can impose admissions restrictions
in order to achieve racial balance, and there have been few other court rulings on the
"In November, a federal appeals court ruled against an effort to limit the number of
white students at a public magnet school in Boston [See also: Boston
Latin School]. Many educators and legal observers think the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in Richmond will take the same position." (Washington Post, 01/25/99,
Page B01, by Jay Mathews and Ellen Nakashima)
Maryland (Montgomery County):
As Population Blends, Schools Ease
Rigid Race Labeling (dead link)
"At some point -- Suzanne Rolis de Barr doesn't know exactly when -- a Montgomery
County (Maryland) school official decided her daughter Isabel was white." Ms.
Barr was furious when 8 yr. old Isabel was arbitrarily assigned to a school outside her
neighborhood because she was presumed to be 'white'. (Washington Post 11/28/98)
Geographic School Names Aren't Diverse
Enough? (10/25/99 - dead link)
Tonight, the Board of Education plans to strike a blow for diversity. No longer will it
trust communities to name a new school. Instead, the board will give the community four
possibilities and say, "Pick one."
The reason for the policy change?
"Too many dead white men. Too many nice, neutral geographic names. Too few women and
minorities. And no schools named for Asian Americans.
"Schools can no longer identify with a single racial or ethnic or geographic
community because they're bigger and broader," said board President Reginald M.
Felton (Northeastern County), a prime mover behind the name policy change. "We're not
opposed to the idea of geographic names. We just think our communities can be a little
"Once before, the school board tried to broaden the horizon, mandating in the early
1990s that communities consider women and minority choices.
"But when the policy expired two years ago, so did the rainbow. The next round of
schools got leafy names like Silver Spring International and Shady Grove, or the
uninspiring but geographically correct North Bethesda and Northwest High School.
"Indeed [neighboring] Fairfax County has had a no-people naming policy, preferring
school appellations to reflect a sense of place." (Washington Post 10/25/99
page B01 by Brigid Schulte)
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END of Maryland - Racial Quotas in Education