Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America

Overview

From a nationally recognized expert, a fresh and original argument for bettering affirmative action
 
Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since Ward Connerly kickstarted a state-by-state political mobilization against affirmative action in the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.27
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$25.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $12.95   
  • New (22) from $12.95   
  • Used (4) from $14.43   
Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$25.95 List Price

Overview

From a nationally recognized expert, a fresh and original argument for bettering affirmative action
 
Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since Ward Connerly kickstarted a state-by-state political mobilization against affirmative action in the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent. Only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race, with elite schools more likely to do so, although they too have retreated.

For law professor and civil rights activist Sheryll Cashin, this isn’t entirely bad news, because as she argues, affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. The truly disadvantaged—black and brown children trapped in high-poverty environs—are not getting the quality schooling they need in part because backlash and wedge politics undermine any possibility for common-sense public policies. Using place instead of race in diversity programming, she writes, will better amend the structural disadvantages endured by many children of color, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders.

In Place, Not Race, Cashin reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration. Those blessed to have come of age in poverty-free havens are not. Sixty years since the historic decision, we’re undoubtedly far from meeting the promise of Brown v. Board of Education, but Cashin offers a new framework for true inclusion for the millions of children who live separate and unequal lives. Her proposals include making standardized tests optional, replacing merit-based financial aid with need-based financial aid, and recruiting high-achieving students from overlooked places, among other steps that encourage cross-racial alliances and social mobility.
 
A call for action toward the long overdue promise of equality, Place, Not Race persuasively shows how the social costs of racial preferences actually outweigh any of the marginal benefits when effective race-neutral alternatives are available.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/24/2014
Georgetown University law professor and civil rights activist Cashin (The Agitator’s Daughter) makes the case for supplanting race-based affirmative action with “disadvantaged-based affirmative action.” The former, banned in eight states, is “increasingly untenable,” and has led to “optical blackness but little socioeconomic diversity.” “Place, although highly racialized,” Cashin posits, “now better captures who is disadvantaged than skin color.” Cashin sketches the legal and political history of affirmative action, and attends to both resentful whites (Obama’s “election seems to have exacerbated the perception gap about racial inequality”) and advantaged blacks (“Economic elites of all colors enjoy built-in advantages in the withering competition for spaces at choice schools).” Two alternatives receive extended attention: Amherst College, whose Dean of Admissions says “a poor white or poor Asian is every bit as attractive as a poor black or Latino kid,” and the University of Texas, which guarantees admission “to graduating seniors in the top 10 percent of every high school in the state.” Dense with statistics and peppered with autobiographical details, this long-winded, though slim volume makes a strong argument for “jettisoning race-based affirmative action” and an arguable case for attending instead to “those of any color relegated to low-opportunity environs geography is destiny.” (May)
From the Publisher
“Sheryll Cashin offers a thought-provoking look at affirmative action in America. Whether you agree or disagree with her ideas, it is an important debate for our country to have, and Place, Not Race is a critical contribution to that debate.” —Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-26
A noted legal scholar analyzes the problems with race-based affirmative action in college admissions and proposes a race-neutral plan as an alternative. After looking at how and why support for affirmative action policies has eroded in recent years, Cashin (Law/Georgetown Univ.; The Agitator's Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family, 2008, etc.) observes that the goal of diversity has become the mantra of many elite schools. However, to achieve it, they often select students of color who are immigrants or the children of immigrants; this practice creates an "optical" diversity but little socioeconomic diversity. To create real diversity and greater social cohesion, the author proposes that colleges give more weight to the structural disadvantages faced by applicants. By this, she means all forms of disadvantages but especially growing up in a neighborhood where poverty is prevalent, attending a poor school or living in a low-income household. Applicants would be invited to share the disadvantages they have had to overcome, and no special consideration would be given to race or ethnicity. Further, Cashin proposes that financial aid be based solely on need. Existing systems, the author writes, are simply replicating and reinforcing socioeconomic advantage, contrary to colleges' professed missions and the American ideals of fairness, opportunity and human dignity. In subsequent chapters, Cashin presents two case histories demonstrating how racial coalitions that included Republicans brought about legislative changes that affected higher education in Texas and immigrant rights in Mississippi. Her point is that multiracial alliances that create new collective identities are effective ways to bring about social change. An epilogue that could stand alone but seems appropriate here contains a moving letter from Cashin to her two young sons voicing the hopes and fears of a mother raising black sons in contemporary America. A sensible proposal backed by hard data.
From the Publisher
“A sensible proposal backed by hard data.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Cashin sketches the legal and political history of affirmative action, and attends to both resentful whites (Obama’s 'election seems to have exacerbated the perception gap about racial inequality') and advantaged blacks ('Economic elites of all colors enjoy built-in advantages in the withering competition for spaces at choice schools').” —Publishers Weekly

“More than 30 years later, a former Supreme Court clerk to Justice Marshall, Georgetown University Law Professor Sheryll Cashin, makes a powerful case that it’s time to rethink her former boss’s support for racial preferences. The place to begin, she argues in her brilliant new book, is an affirmative action that responds directly to the failure of the Brown decision to desegregate schools. . . . Skillfully blending her personal story as an upper-middle-class black professional with a wide range of research on what constitute the biggest barriers to success today, Cashin provides a compelling blueprint for a new, much stronger, form of affirmative action based on actual disadvantage. . . .But overall, Cashin’s agenda provides a huge step forward from those liberals who would hold on to Justice Marshall’s plan for a century of racial preferences. While seemingly progressive, such policies in practice are deeply conservative, she correctly contends.” —New Republic

“Place, Not Race is a courageous and deeply insightful contribution to our racial justice discourse, offering a perspective that is both desperately needed and long overdue.”
—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

“A thought-provoking look at affirmative action in America. Whether you agree or disagree with her ideas, it is an important debate for our country to have, and Place, Not Race is a critical contribution to that debate.”
—Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

“Professor Sheryl Cashin has written a bold, bracing book that will generate useful controversy over competing strategies for overcoming social inequalities in America. Deeply knowledgeable about her volatile subject, she illuminates it with keen insight and vivid writing that is attractively accessible. Even those who disagree with Cashin will likely derive much value from reading her.”
—Randall Kennedy, author of For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law and Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word
 
“As America becomes more diverse, it paradoxically finds itself increasingly stratified on the basis of place rather than race. Sheryll Cashin’s refreshing call for a new multiracial politics of inclusion is a timely and greatly needed addition to the civil rights debate, one that deserves strong support among Americans of all origins.”
—Douglas S. Massey, author of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass

“If you think everything possible about affirmative action has already been said, think again. Sheryll Cashin has given us a breakthrough book. America is segregated by a devastating mixture of economics and race. Why not build a policy that benefits children—of all races—who live on the wrong side of the tracks? Provocative and illuminating, Place, Not Race presents a brave new argument for bettering affirmative action in the 21st century.”
—Peter B. Edelman, author of So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America  

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807086148
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 173,418
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheryll Cashin, professor of law at Georgetown University, is the author of The Agitator’s Daughter and The Failures of Integration. Cashin has published widely in academic journals and print media and is a frequent commentator on law and race relations, having appeared on NPR, CNN, ABC News, and numerous other outlets. Born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, where her parents were political activists, Cashin was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and served in the Clinton White House as an advisor on urban and economic policy. She lives with her husband and two sons in Washington, DC.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America by Sheryll Cashin. Copyright 2014. Excerpted with permission by Beacon Press.
 
THE TEXAS TEN PERCENT PLAN
 
In 1997, Texas adopted a new law after the US Court of Appeals banned race-based affirmative action in Hopwood v. Texas, a case brought by four white applicants who were denied admission to the University of Texas School of Law. The law guarantees admission to the public colleges and universities of Texas to graduating seniors in the top 10 percent of every high school in the state. The program, which was developed by a group of Latino and black activists, legislators, and academics, passed in the Texas legislature by one vote, after a conservative Republican rural member whose constituents were not regularly being admitted to the University of Texas decided to support the legislation. As predicted, the plan increased minority enrollments and that of rural white students at the flagship public universities in the state. Those students who gain entrance under the plan do so by class rank, not standardized tests or extracurricular activities that they may not have time or money to afford. The program has repaired one shred in Texas’ social contract, forcing the same kind of trade-off s that robustly diverse private institutions like Rice University make in order to enrich their racial, geographic, and socioeconomic demographics.
 
The Ten Percent Plan ameliorates the effects of separate and unequal K-12 education by admitting high achievers from all places from which they apply. The law ended the dominance of a small number of wealthy high schools in UT admissions. And it changed the college-going behavior of high achievers in remote places that had never bothered to apply to UT Austin. Before the law was passed, 59 high schools accounted for half of UT’s freshman class, among the 1,500 high schools in the state. By 2006, that number had nearly doubled. The impact was pronounced at UT Austin. Between 1996 and 2007, the number of feeder high schools to the flagship campus rose from 674 to more than 900. Researchers found that these new high schools were more likely to have large concentrations of minority students and poor white students and to be in rural areas or small towns and cities. They also found that once a high school experienced success in sending a student to the flagship, they continued to do so. The researchers surmised that one reason for the success in increasing applications from new places was that the Ten Percent Plan made transparent a previously opaque and unknown UT admission policy of accepting most students in the top 10 percent of their class.
 
In other words, the Ten Percent Plan had the same effect as the tailored brochure that researchers Hoxby and Turner sent to high achievers in overlooked places. And the same effect QuestBridge has in eliminating confusion about the financial aid process by simply offering a full scholarship to low-income high achievers. All of these interventions helped high achievers from low-opportunity places understand that they could compete and access better opportunities.
 
The Ten Percent Plan has produced other important benefits. In addition to spawning similar laws in California and Florida, studies have shown that “Ten Percenters” outperform all other admitted students on all measures. Typically they have lower attrition rates, graduate in shorter time periods, and have better grades. The end result is that affluent people concentrated in resource-rich school districts can no longer hoard an important public resource—the University of Texas—that is subsidized by all Texas taxpayers. And the plan has improved the quality and breadth of the pipeline to higher education in the state. One researcher found that the plan stimulated college-going behavior at schools that had weak college traditions. Student enrollment in advanced courses and attendance rates surged at high schools across the state after the plan was enacted. A state-sponsored scholarship program that encouraged students at disadvantaged high schools to attend UT and Texas A&M deepened these trends. These interventions on behalf of students in disadvantaged districts likely would not have been created had the Hopwood ban not propelled the state to innovate.
 
Critics of the Ten Percent Plan point to the fact that it has caused some strategic behavior. One study found that as many as 25 percent of students intentionally choose a different high school in order to improve chances of being in the top 10 percent. Such strategic students tend to opt for a neighborhood high school instead of a more competitive magnet school. I view this as salutary. It means that neighborhood schools are becoming more viable to more children, that college knowledge is being spread around because the most motivated students are not isolated in enclaves of advantage.
 
Despite this public policy success, parents in wealthy school attendance zones have repeatedly attacked the plan as unfair to highly qualified children in challenging schools that fall into the 11 percent or lower rank. After all, their kids are in a pressure cooker. In many cases, they have higher standardized test scores and have taken more AP classes than Ten Percenters from less advantaged schools. Parents raised their voices, and their representatives in the state legislature tried repeatedly to amend or repeal the plan, but the coalition backing the law has succeeded in thwarting those attempts for a decade. In the Texas House of Representatives, white Republicans from rural districts, blacks, and Latinos strongly support the existing program. They agreed to one amendment in 2009 whereby only UT Austin received some flexibility. That flagship campus can now limit Ten Percenters to 75 percent of its entering class, although it had sought a cap of 50 percent.
 
Republican Dan Branch of Dallas and Democrat Mike Villarreal of San Antonio brokered this compromise. The end result of a temporary ban on affirmative action in the late 1990s is a successful public policy that enhances opportunity across the state and a more cohesive politics— at least on the issue of access to public higher education in Texas. Members of a state legislature that rivals Washington, DC, for political gridlock have forged an enduring coalition for access that upsets the usual disproportionate influence of affluent suburbs on the state legislature.
 
Excerpted from Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America by Sheryll Cashin. Copyright 2014. Excerpted with permission by Beacon Press.
 
 

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)