This can be explained in part according to Riccucci & Moon (2007) by the contention that those making decisions regarding AA and Equal Opportunity (EO) hiring and promotions are still doing so with the application of their own moral judgments rather than again evaluating equally qualified candidates and then choosing the minority to fill the position. The implications of this are also significant t in that the federal government should set the benchmark for how effective AA policy is, as it was the first entity to adopt policy standards associated with civil rights legislation, AA and EO. In an academic example of the same type of investigation, i.e. The effectiveness and/or ineffectiveness of AA policy standards Owens (2010) looks at how minority students are represented in Texas flagship universities before the ban on AA and after. The work demonstrates that in many ways the institutions have simply changed their focus to continue to be able to seek out and admit foreign students, immigrants and domestic minorities, looking for ways to encourage application, and looking at non-racial indicators for acceptance rather than race. Owens, J. (2010) does a great job explaining little known or understood aspects of college admission criterion and demonstrates a very useful and practical before and after AA perspective with findings indicating that SAT and ACT are still important tools for admission for foreign candidates, due to lack of alternative information and that the level of diversity has decreased to some extent among domestic minority students to the universities in question post the ban on AA.
It is also important to understand the mechanism of change associated with AA and other EO and civil rights issues. Riccucci (2007) discusses the application of the legal reasoning "strict scrutiny" which has been adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in making decisions regarding the constitutionality of AA. The conclusions that Riccucci (2007) come to claim that "strict scrutiny" has been poorly and erratically applied to these cases and therefore supports the idea that the Civil Rights Act legislation demonstrates an equally or more compelling basis for judgment on the legality of AA programs and policies. This look specifically at a legal precedence may seem to be outside the scope of this research but a more holistic understanding of both how AA came about and how it will be altered in the future is essential to a greater understanding of the possibilities for change, that the public so certainly seems to be demanding. The situation is then that because AA has been applied in so many situations, as a race-based tool to promote ethnic diversity any changes will require some form of legal precedence setting, often challenging the constitutionality of the application of a policy. The insight of Riccucci (2007) is foundational to another alternative associated with how that legal precedence might be formed in the future as an application of the Civil Rights Legislation, which in and of itself seems to be slightly colorblind, by its very nature as a document of "inclusion" rather than "exclusion."
As a closing idea that will bring the reader back full circle to the idea of public opinion one last piece of literature will be addressed independently. Looking at qualitative and anecdotal literature is somewhat important because such literature is reflective of public opinion and perception of application and a holistic sense of the literature in general. To do this, this researcher sought out a representative review of a book that details public opinion, perception and application of AA and EO policy in a real world application. Riccucci & Moon (2005) discuss through a comprehensive book review of the 2003 book, by Steven Maynard-Moody & Michael Musheno, Cops, Teachers, Counselors: Stories from the Front Lines of Public Service the essential role of street level bureaucrats on how policies such as those associated with diversity and AA are applied. The work contends that individuals are more likely to make decisions about application based on their own moral judgments and knowledge of the client base rather than on policy mandates and/or standards. This review and the book itself are essential in the topic of AA as they demonstrate the ideation that though most public agencies approach AA through policy the real decisions associated with its application are not the policy makers but those who work directly with the public. These people are clearly making moral judgments based on their own beliefs and on the standards of their own identity subgroups both in and outside the workplace. Therefore in the court of public opinion when one is supportive of a system justification such as are discussed in Phelan & Rudman, Oh et al. And O'brian et al. The decisions will be made by the individual based on this ideology rather than the ideology of AA or EO and that this will apply to hiring and client encounter decisions. The importance of this is that the court of public opinion will prevail regardless of system ideology and policy or standards, requiring future research in AA and EO training and support as well as demanding greater diversity so that active and passive supporters of EO and AA are more likely to be part of the system as it changes possibly to respond to issues of disparity other than race designations. It is therefore clear from this review of literature that AA as a policy standard is likely in for some serious change, and may even be eliminated in the form it is currently in.
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Todd, N.R., Spanierman, L.B., & Poteat, V. (2011). Longitudinal Examination of…