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Affirmative Action Ruling Brings Mixed Reaction

From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report. Reaction appears mixed to a recent US Supreme Court decision on affirmative action in university admissions. Affirmative action in admissions means that schools give special consideration to some racial or ethnic minorities. The goal is to create a more diverse campus and to give more opportunities to groups that are underrepresented in higher education.

The Supreme Court ruled that race can be one of many factors considered when a student applies to a college or university. the court said education benefits from having diverse student populations. Some legal experts thought the justices would strike down a 2003 Supreme Court ruling. That ruling let universities use race in admissions decisions, but as just one factor among others. In the new decision, the justices did not deal with the question of affirmative action itself. Instead, the justices sent the case back to a lower court for further consideration.

A white woman who had been denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin brought the case. Abigail Fisher argued that it was wrong to reject her when minority students with similar grades and test scores were accepted because of affirmative action. Wade Henderson is president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. He said the new decision confirms that race can be a factor in admissions. Ada Meloy is with the nonprofit American Council on Education. She says many schools do not generally give special consideration to race or ethnicity of applicants.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.