The Case of UC Davis v. Bakke

Open Letter to all US Government Teachers (APGov Teachers in Particular)

APGov teachers everywhere, have you yet had a chance to teach the United States Supreme Court case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (aka UC Davis v. Bakke)?

Most APGov teachers teach the case when covering the topic of Affirmative Action. They do this then for three reasons.

  1. APGov CED Topic 3:13 calls for the teaching of Affirmative Action.
  2. The learning objective for Topic 3:13 (CON-6.A) suggests that students, for the APGov exam, will need to be able to “explain how the Court has at times allowed the restriction of the civil rights of minority groups and at other times has protected those rights.”
  3. The Bakke case is a good example, many would say, of how the Court has protected the civil rights of minority groups.

If, for any reason, you haven’t yet managed to teach the case, no worries. To get your students to know what they need to know, you need only put before them any one or more of the following:

The above consists of just a sampling of all the UC Davis-related free and high-quality resources currently available online . . . though I’m certain you could suggest the addition of many other (including the soon to be published AP Daily Video Topic 3:13).

In any event, if after your students have learned about the Bakke case you want to have your students take it one step further, I suggest having them first view a very good 5:39 KQED Above the Noise video entitled Should Race Be a Factor in College Admissions

Then, after your students have watched the video, I suggest asking them whether they think race should be a factor in college admissions?

Then if they want to share their answer to this question in a super safe place (other than your classroom), I suggest placing this KQED Learn link before them

Here they can share with peers not only in their own classroom but also with students across the country, for KQED Learn isn’t just a private message board for the individual classroom — it’s a platform for larger discussion with students nationwide.

Lastly, if you, as an APGov teacher, know some other high school US Government teacher who might want to place the above-described learning experience before his/her students, feel free to share with that teacher a link to this blog post.

High school APUSH teacher with much in-class and online teaching experience. Also a blogger, keynote speaker, editor, podcast host, and conference presenter.