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Dean's letter on the U.S. Supreme Court affirmative action decision

Dean's letter on the U.S. Supreme Court affirmative action decision

A letter from Stanford GSE dean Dan Schwartz to the GSE community

Dear GSE Community,

The Supreme Court has upended the long-established practice of race-conscious admissions as a means of obtaining the educational benefits of a diverse student body.  Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne earlier this afternoon sent out a university statement you can read here.

I disagree with the Court’s decision. I want to point out, however, that universities have more methods than their own admissions policies to raise educational opportunity and the prospects of children across the nation. Structural racism and prejudice create disadvantages that begin in early childhood and continue through the years of formal schooling. Universities invest in rigorous research that produces innovative solutions to these problems and evidence of their successes. Universities can also train the next generation of educational leaders to ensure a more just and equitable society. 

At Stanford Graduate School of Education, we embrace these two mechanisms for making progress.  We will continue to accelerate state of the art research on race and education, and we will continue to prepare future teachers and educational leaders to help realize a great education for those most in need but least likely to receive it.  We can and must continue to make progress on one of the most vexing flaws in the American educational system – uneven educational opportunity drawn upon the deep historical grooves of race.

Returning to the issue of admissions, we admit the finest people from all walks of life to help advance our mission to produce groundbreaking research, model programs and exceptional leaders in education to achieve equitable, accessible and effective learning for all. I am deeply inspired by the dedication our community shows toward this effort. 


Dean Dan Schwartz

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