Tutors try to fill affirmative action holes


With its minority enrollments at record lows, the University of Washington is spearheading a massive tutoring program for sixth- through 10th-graders at public schools in Yakima Valley, reports the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. Funded by a $9.7 million federal grant, the program called GEAR-UP aims to improve the education of kids in the lowest-performing school districts in the region — and eventually boost UW’s minority admissions, too.

Two years after Initiative 200 ended affirmative action in college admissions, UW’s Hispanic, African American and Native American enrollments are at rock bottom. Meanwhile, most of the students at the targeted schools in Yakima Valley are poor; most are failing state reading and math tests; and, most are Hispanic — the most underrepresented group at UW. With GEAR-UP, the university hopes to groom a pool of qualified minority applicants for the future. Many teachers and parents, however, call the approach patronizing.

Fact:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

Donate Now