Invited commentary on "When Policy Opportunity is not Enough: College Access and Enrollment Patterns among Texas Percent Plan Eligible Students" by Catherine Horn and Stella Flores.

Author Biography

Liliana M. Garces is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, the George Washington University. Her research, at the intersection of law and social science fields, works to understand and inform policies that can assist educators and policymakers address racial and ethnic inequities in K-12 and postsecondary education. She has written on the use of social science evidence in court decisions and on the impact of state laws and court cases related to affirmative action on the representation of students of color in graduate education. Her research has been published in the Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, the Urban Review, and law journals. In her work, Garces also seeks to bridge research and practice by communicating research findings that can help inform legal developments in education. To this end, she has represented hundreds of social science researchers who have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in two separate U.S. Supreme Court cases that have examined the constitutionality of race-conscious policies in higher education (Fisher v. University of Texas, 2011) and in K-12 schools (Parents v. Seattle School District No. 1, 2007). She holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University and a juris doctor from the University of Southern California School of Law.

Gary Orfield is the Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Orfield's research interests are in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He was co-founder and director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, and now serves as co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. His central interest has been the development and implementation of social policy, with a central focus on the impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in American society. Recent works include six co-edited books since 2004 and numerous articles and reports. A recent piece, "A Life in Civil Rights," appears in the October 2010 issue of PS: Political Science & Politics. Recent books include, Dropouts in America: Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis, School Resegregation: Must the South Turn Back? (with John Boger), and Higher Education and the Color Line (with Patricia Marin and Catherine Horn). In addition to his scholarly work, Orfield has been involved in the development of governmental policy and has served as an expert witness in several dozen court cases related to his research, including the University of Michigan Supreme Court case which upheld the policy of affirmative action in 2003 and has been called to give testimony in civil rights suits by the United States Department of Justice and many civil rights, legal services, and educational organizations. A forthcoming book (October 2012), The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education, co-edited with Erica Frankenberg, will be available from Harvard Education Press.