Texas Education Still Needs to Be Desegregated

RECEIVED Wed., Jan. 14, 2004

Dear Editor,
   With all the helpful coverage and activism that has already emerged in response to the Texas A&M decision to rescind affirmative action in admissions, there is still one crucial fact which has not been reported: Texas higher education is still under federal supervision for desegregation.
   Perhaps everyone is a little embarrassed by this fact, so people are a little reluctant to mention it publicly, but Texas has agreed to four successive "Texas Plans" with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. The first Texas plan officially began in 1983. The fourth Texas plan was offered by Gov. George W. Bush in the summer of 2000, and it will continue for several more years.
   In fact, Texas A&M adopted affirmative action on Dec. 5, 1980, in order to show that the university could be counted on to act as a trustworthy partner in "good faith" during the upcoming years of desegregation. Affirmative action, therefore, is the university's way of saying, you can depend on us to take responsibility for our own desegregation.
   The crucial context of desegregation changes everything about the importance of the Texas A&M decision, so it should be reported and discussed, not evaded.
Greg Moses
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