While we wait to see where affirmative action in U.S. public education is headed next with the soon-to-be released opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, for some perspective you might find two recent New York Times stories on race and education elsewhere interesting. "In Its Efforts to Integrate Roma, Slovakia Recalls U.S. Struggles," describes how a small town in Slovakia is struggling to break down centuries of segregation of the Roma (Gypsies):
The most powerful lever working for desegregation in Slovakia has been the court system, which has been reinforced by antidiscrimination statutes adopted in the past decade to bring the code into conformity with European Union standards.
Inspired by the landmark 1954 United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which declared segregated schooling unconstitutional, Vanda Durbakova, a Slovak civil rights lawyer, filed a suit in 2010 against the Sarisske Michalany elementary school.
Last week, Race to the Top described recent affirmative action efforts in Brazil:
In April of last year, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the University of Brasília, which introduced racial quotas in its admissions process in 2004. This validated the action of 70 of Brazil’s 98 state and federal universities, which had independently adopted some form of preferential admission based on race, income or a combination of the two. When the Law of Quotas, which derived from these principles a single model for all federal universities, came up for a Senate vote, it was approved 80-1.
The piece says that early reports suggest that students admitted through Brazil's quota system perform no worse than their peers.