Harvard Civil Rights Project Urges Rejection of the Department of Education’s New Proposed Racial Classifications for College Students

A new analysis from the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University finds that the proposed new Department of Education rules for the racial identification of students will result in confusion and make it extremely difficult to track the progress of blacks and other minorities in higher education.

The new proposed racial classifications for college application forms would include a “mixed race” category which would not distinguish the ethnic backgrounds of students who chose this option. The Civil Rights Project states that “the proposed changes would suddenly produce vast changes in the apparent racial composition of our educational system, create a new category that is a grab bag of many forms of multiracial backgrounds, and would very seriously undermine research and policy analysis.” The report continues by saying that the new classifications “would make it impossible to compare future patterns and trends with past ones or to know whether various institutions were making progress in educational outcomes by racial and ethnic group.”