Sonoma County Office of Education

Dr. Amie Carter Addresses Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action

07/10/2023 -

Sonoma County Office of EducationSonoma County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Amie R. Carter responded to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling prohibiting the use of race in college admissions.

On June 29, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed five decades of well-established precedent recognizing universities’ right to intentionally expand access for students from diverse cultural, ethnic, and racial communities. While unsurprising, this decision is disheartening. The court’s decision ignores the history of our country and the ongoing realities of racism in our country. This decision is likely to cause ripples throughout the country, and not just in education; effects will be felt in every aspect of the nation's economic, educational, and social life.

Affirmative action in college and university admissions has been criticized as giving unqualified students access to higher education over qualified students. This is untrue. Affirmative action has allowed colleges and universities to identify students meeting the academic requirements for admission and then consider race and ethnicity, among many other criteria, to expand access for communities which have been historically intentionally excluded from our higher education systems.

Schools are uniquely positioned to help students from diverse communities break through barriers to their educational advancement. We embrace this opportunity as our responsibility. Diverse schools are an essential component of the fabric of our democratic society, and research has shown that diverse school communities benefit all students. Studies have shown that integrated, diverse schools create positive learning outcomes for all students, including higher academic achievement but also more vigorous classroom discussions that can foster critical thinking and problem solving. Students from diverse schools are better prepared to enter a workforce that is increasingly multiracial and multicultural.

The Sonoma County Office of Education's commitment to diversity, equity, and equal opportunity has never been stronger. We reject the notion that a person's background, race, or socioeconomic status should determine their ability to succeed in life or in education. And we continue to be committed to ensuring that our percentage of students who attain higher education opportunities is reflective of our community.