UC Considers Toughening Admissions Criteria to Boost Minority Enrollment
The University of California is considering raising its "automatic enrollment" standards to include only the top 4% of graduates in an effort to increase minority enrollment.
Currently, any applicant who is ranked in the top 12.5 percent of her or his graduating class is automatically admitted to the school. Since affluent, largely white schools send a lot of students and schools with lower budgets send only a few, toughening the admissions standards to include only the top 4% of students would help to increase the number of minority students and eliminate positive biases for white and economically privileged students. Students who do not graduate in the top 4% of their classes would still be eligible for admission on the basis of other criteria.
UC psychology professor and faculty admissions committee Chair Keith Widaman said that the new proposal would constitute "the most radical redefinition of eligibility criteria at the University of California in the last 30 years." The UC Board of Regents will vote on the proposal in July.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .