Affirmative action unit plan

Stage One: Desired Results

Recommended Texts


Essential Questions:

  • How do we amend historical systemic racism?
  • How does affirmative action address systemic racism in America?
  • How do we judge the constitutionality of affirmative action policies?

  • The 14th amendment as the foundation of Affirmative Action policies through its equal protection clause.
  • Previous Court cases against affirmative action mainly raised by white people trying to attack affirmative action using civil rights language to dismantle it in education.
  • Elimination of Race as a factor in admissions seeks to benefit White Americans other than Asian Americans
  • Model Minority is a myth that pits minorities against each other.
Student Knowledge: Students will know…

  • 14 Amendment and Equal Protection
    • Constitutional promise of equality to all that can’t be denied.
  • Executive Order 10925
    • Established requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of U.S. government contractors.
  • Lau v. Nichols
    • Landmark case for Affirmative Action by Asian Americans in San Francisco. The Court unanimously decided that the lack of supplemental language instruction in public school for students with limited English proficiency violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke
    • Abolishment of Racial Quotas in College Education. Favoring other forms of Affirmative Action Policies in schools.
  • Gruetter v Bollinger
    • SCOTUS in favor of University of Michigan Law, upholding schools aim for a “Critical Mass”, not enough evidence to say it is a Quota.
  • Gratz v Bollinger
    • SCOTUS Ruled the University of Michigan’s (NOT LAW) use of Bonus Points based on race is unconstitutional.
  • Community Schools v Seattle School District No.1
    • Use of Race in tiebreaker situations declared unconstitutional to 14th amendment.
  • Prop 209 & SCA-5
    • CA Law banning affirmative action in college, Resulting in Black admissions dropping 55% at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Overturned in 2012. Effects of repealing AA in college admissions.
  • Fisher v. University of Texas
    • SCOTUS affirmed Texas’s top 10 percent rule as a form of affirmative action.
    • Acknowledging privilege: Fisher’s disposition as the space in college meant for her but given to “less qualified” minority groups.
  • Harvard lawsuit.
    • Current Lawsuit difference from Fisher, Asian students protesting, Nuances in race factors
    • Harvard’s admission process, Personality and Race factors in applications. Holistic approach.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act
    • United States first ever immigration ban based on Race.
    • Institutionalized racism against Asian Americans
  • Vietnamese Refugees & Cambodian Refugees
    • Two waves of refugee populations with different projections and treatments
      • Vietnamese – Treated politically as tools, glorifying US militarization as liberation to free people who want to work.
      • Cambodian – Similar to Vietnamese, annexed to hyperghettos  and criminalized for not living up to minority stereotype
  • Asian Minority Myth
    • The way the country has racialized Asian Americans as an exceptional race and a standard for other minorities to hold themselves up to.
Student Skills: Students will be able to…

  • Define the 14th amendment and explain what Executive Order 10925 means.
  • Assemble a history and development of Affirmative Action cases in Education
  • Draw conclusions from data of student population when Affirmative Action is repealed.
  • Compare and contrast the immigration histories of Asian American communities in the United States
  • Synthesize courtroom arguments and revise from counter arguments.
  • Perform synthesized arguments and debate arguments in a mock trial.


Stage Two: Assessment Evidence

Performance Tasks: What summative assessment tasks will student create?

*Mock Trial – Students will be assembled into teams and present cases for and against – Formative Assessment***

 -Prepare one PRO and one CON with reflection but present on a random side.

Other Evidence: What other assessments will help students demonstrate their understanding (diagnostic, formative, and interim)?

*14th Amendment poster – Students will assemble a poster about the 14th amendment and Executive Order 10925 and detail the history and draw examples of their meaning.

*Affirmative Action Timeline – Students will construct a timeline of supreme court cases and trace the developments of how affirmative action is enacted in college admissions.

*Research Paper – Using the Statistics of College Admission data and Race demographics, students will synthesize a conclusion on the effects of affirmative action policies on student populations.

*Venn Diagram – Students will fill out a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the immigration of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees.

*Argument Proposals – Analyzing the arguments of the Harvards from the Asian American students and Harvard with the conclusions from their research paper, students will outline potential arguments and counter-arguments for their Mock Trial of the Harvard case.


Stage Three: Learning Plan

What learning activities will help students meet the desired results?

Section 1: History/Affirmative Action

Lesson – New Deal, Origins of “Affirmative Action”

Lesson – 14th Amendment and Equal Protection

Section 2: Court Cases

Lesson – Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke / Community Schools v Seattle School District No.1

Lesson – Gruetter v Bollinger / Gratz v Bollinger

Lesson – Current Court Cases

*Fisher v. University of Texas – What the case symbolizes and means

Section 3: Harvard Case

Lesson – Intro the Harvard Case

*Argument Analysis of Blume and Harvard defence

*Statistic Analysis of admission data

Lesson – Historicising Asian America through Government Policy

*Chinese Exclusion

*Cambodian and Vietnamese refugee cases study.

*Deconstructing the Model Minority Myth.

Lesson – Mock Trial


Prepared by Ricardo Wemiz