Law & Courts

Lawmakers Debate Wis. Admissions

By Alyson Klein — March 13, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A group of state lawmakers is seeking to overturn the University of Wisconsin system’s new admissions policy that requires campuses to review each applicant individually and consider factors such as race and past experiences along with academic record.

The legislators say the policy violates a 1973 state law prohibiting state universities from basing admissions decisions on race, gender, or religion.

Nineteen lawmakers, including 18 Republicans and one Democrat, sent a letter Feb. 20 to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, asking him to give an opinion on the matter. Mr. Van Hollen’s office is reviewing the letter, his spokesman said.

The new policy was approved unanimously last month by the board of regents that governs all 26 of Wisconsin’s public colleges. It would require admissions officers to provide a “holistic review” of each applicant, examining his or her socioeconomic status, membership in any historically underrepresented racial or ethnic group, and evidence of leadership and/or community service, as well as his or her academic record.

State Rep. Steve Nass, a Republican and one of the policy’s leading opponents, said that the new system doesn’t do enough to make sure that colleges are weighing academic achievement as the most important factor in admissions.

“Academics has to be number one. Period,” he said.

Mr. Nass said the changes could lead to a “brain-drain” if high-achieving students who do not get into their first-choice schools go to college outside the state.

But David F. Giroux, a spokesman for the board of regents, argued that not much will change under the new system, since it generally reflects what many of the state’s colleges—including the flagship University of Wisconsin campus in Madison—are doing anyway. He noted that UW-Madison and other campuses are already using a holistic review process in examining applications. He said the board was simply trying to update the system’s official policy, which was enacted in 1972 and is no longer used by some colleges.

See Also

For more stories on this topic see Colleges and Careers.

See other stories on education issues in Wisconsin. See data on Wisconsin’s public school system.

A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2007 edition of Education Week


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Federal Judge Denies Parents' Suit to Block Florida's Ban on School Mask Mandates
The parents argued that their children, due to health conditions, were at particular risk if any of their peers attend school without masks.
David Goodhue, Miami Herald
3 min read
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Aug. 18, 2021. The on-again, off-again ban imposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to prevent mandating masks for Florida school students is back in force. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Friday, Sept. 10, that a Tallahassee judge should not have lifted an automatic stay two days ago that halted enforcement of the mask mandate ban.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Aug. 18, 2021. The on-again, off-again ban imposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to prevent mandating masks for Florida school students is back in force. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Friday, Sept. 10, that a Tallahassee judge should not have lifted an automatic stay two days ago that halted enforcement of the mask mandate ban.
Marta Lavandier/AP
Law & Courts Texas Attorney General Sues More School Districts That Require Masks
The Texas attorney general's office anticipates filing more lawsuits against districts flouting the governor’s order. Will Dallas be next?
Talia Richman, The Dallas Morning News
4 min read
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the Austin Police Association in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 10, 2020.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the Austin Police Association in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 10, 2020.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP
Law & Courts Can They Do That? Questions Swirl Around COVID-19 School Vaccine Mandates
With at least one large school district adopting a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, here is a look at the legal landscape for such a requirement.
5 min read
Image of a band-aid being placed on the arm.
iStock/Getty
Law & Courts High Court Justice Rejects Student's Bid to Block Removal Over Sexual Harassment Claim
Justice Elena Kagan denied a California student's effort to return to school after his 'emergency' suspension under Title IX regulations.
3 min read
The Supreme Court in Washington as seen on Oct. 7, 2020. After more than a decade in which the Supreme Court moved gradually toward more leniency for minors convicted of murder, the justices have moved the other way. The high court ruled 6-3 Thursday along ideological lines against a Mississippi inmate sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally stabbing his grandfather when the defendant was 15 years old. The case is important because it marks a break with the court’s previous rulings and is evidence of the impact of a newly more conservative court.
The U.S. Supreme Court as seen on Oct. 7, 2020.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP