Ed Trust—West’s Statement on the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action in college admissions

Today’s regressive Supreme Court ruling rolls back one of the greatest achievements of the Civil Rights Era and threatens decades of progress toward expanding opportunity.  

Here in California, where the use of affirmative action in public college admissions has been banned for almost 27 years, we know all too well that we cannot eradicate the racism baked into our educational systems without talking about race; there is no adequate proxy. The truth is race matters.  

But we also know that the fight doesn’t end here. We are free to use a myriad of other strategies that are still completely legal—and now’s the time to double down on every single one of them.  

For example, college admissions officers can still end preference for legacy applicants among other things.  

K-12 leaders can still make college-going coursework the default for every single student, recruit more teachers of color, and use instructional materials that affirm students’ lives and communities.  

Higher education leaders can still replace ineffective, detrimental remedial courses with research-based strategies and partner with school districts to offer community college courses to high schoolers.  

State leaders can still pass budgets that direct funding where it’s needed most and invest in financial aid programs that lessen the crushing burden of student debt. 

At Ed Trust—West, we remain steadfastly committed to doing what we’ve done for over two decades in California. We will continue to work to expand opportunity by seeking policy and practice changes and accountability that improve racial equity in our TK-12 schools and in our colleges and universities. Our work together with so many of you up and down our state is more important than ever. 

Today’s decision is devastating, but now is not the time to wring our hands. Let’s grab every other tool still left on the table. We have work to do.  


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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.