Next Stop for Anti-Affirmative Action Group, Massachusetts

BOSTON

The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Equal Opportunity
has asked Massachusetts’s public colleges and universities to supply
detailed information about their admission policies. The center was
instrumental in advancing Proposition 209 in California, and Initiative
200 in Washington. It also represented the plaintiffs in the Hopwood
case in Texas. Headed by Linda Chavez, the director of the U.S.
Commission on Civil Rights under President Reagan, the center is a
vocal affirmative-action critic. It has studied seven university
systems since 1996 — including state schools in California,
Washington, Colorado, North Carolina, and Michigan, as well as the U.S.
service academies at West Point and Annapolis. In virtually all of the
cases, the center claimed that the institutions — particularly the
flagship campuses — gave admissions preference to minority applicants.

Under the auspices of Massachusetts’s public records law, the
center wrote to each of the state’s thirteen four-year, public
undergraduate schools asking them to provide information about student
SAT scores, grade-point averages, and racial compositions.

None of the institutions has fully replied, center officials said.
A spokeswoman for the state’s board of higher education said the office
is working with the schools to answer the requests.

Although officials with the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
said the state’s public colleges do not use race as a preferential
factor in admissions, the board does encourage schools to recruit a
diverse population of students.

COPYRIGHT 1998 Cox, Matthews & Associates



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