In judging the affirmative action program in Fisher v. University of Texas, an important question is the extent to which the Texas legislature's “ten percent” policy provides an effective race-neutral strategy for promoting diversity in the UT student body.
Under the Texas policy, the state's public undergraduate institutions admit all applicants whose grade point averages are in the top ten percent of their high schools’ graduating classes. (UT-Austin can limit top ten percent admissions to 75 percent of its entering class.) If colleges draw from the top ten percent at all high schools, their entering classes could mirror the ethnic and racial diversity of the high schools' students.
As I’ve written before, the Texas policy may be even more valuable in the incentive it provides for improving the educational quality of public high schools. Consider the potential impact if there were wider use of high class rank admissions policies.