News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Fla. Ready To Eject Affirmative Action
Florida's board of regents has tentatively approved a plan to end
affirmative action in the college-admissions process and replace it
with a new system deemed to be fairer to all racial and ethnic
Florida's board of regents has tentatively approved a plan to end affirmative action in the college-admissions process and replace it with a new system deemed to be fairer to all racial and ethnic groups.
The board plans to refine the wording of the measure in a meeting scheduled for Dec. 10, and then hold public hearings Jan. 21, according to Keith Goldschmidt, a spokesman for the regents. The policy is expected to take effect soon after.
Proposed by Gov. Jeb Bush, the initiative calls for replacing widely used race-based admissions criteria with the so-called "Talented 20" program. It guarantees Florida seniors in the top 20 percent of their high school classes a slot in one of the state's 10 public universities provided that they meet the institutions' full criteria. California and Texas have implemented similar programs. ("Jeb Bush Seeks Race-Based-Admissions Ban," Nov. 24, 1999.)
Diploma Goal Eludes South
Most Southern states will not achieve a goal set 11 years ago of having 90 percent of their adult populations earn a high school diploma or its equivalent, according to a Southern Regional Education Board report.
All 16 states affiliated with the SREB have a higher percentage of adults acquiring high school diplomas today than 10 years ago, but a lack of basic-literacy skills remains a significant barrier to increasing those numbers, the report released last month says.
As a group, the member states had an 84 percent diploma rate among adults 18 to 24. The rate dropped to 78 percent for those 25 and older. West Virginia had 90 percent of its 18- to 24-year-olds earning a high school diploma or the equivalent, the highest percentage of the participating states. Louisiana's youths scored the lowest with 80 percent. Among older adults, Kentucky's rate was the lowest of all—at 75 percent.
Vol. 19, Issue 15, Page 16