12 May 2008

Black Graduation Rates are Low: How Would Converting Affirmative Action to Class-Based AA Instead of Race-Based AA Affect That?

Barack Obama must decide how he will frame the issue of Affirmative Action in the coming campaign speeches and debates. Affirmative Action as it stands is a racially divisive issue that pits blacks against whites and Asians. From school admissions to government and corporate hires to government contracts, preferential treatment based upon race guarantees a lasting distrust between ethnic groups.

This article at InsideHigherEd looks at Obama's dilemma, and suggests that Obama propose to transition Affirmative Action from a race-based program to a class-based program instead. It is certain that the racial divide will never get narrower until all the races are treated fairly in terms of equality of opportunity.

But how would such a transition affect the already abysmally low black college graduation rates in the US? Go to the article above at Minding the Campus and read the comments, which address this issue.

As you can see from the graphic at the top, black women are doing fairly well in higher education. There is still room for improvement.

When looking over the reports (PDF) and discussions dealing with the issue of black education rates, one never sees the well-documented 1 standard deviation IQ gap mentioned. And one does not expect to see it mentioned, despite its bona fides. Political Correctness dictates the terms of discussion here, and despite possible relevance in understanding some of the underlying reasons for a black-white college graduation gap, the 1 SD gap remains invisible.As you can see from the graph above, SAT scores rise with family income, but the scores of black students from the highest family incomes never reach the scores of white students from the lowest family incomes. These are ticklish issues that must be tiptoed around if a politician--or anyone in the public eye--wishes to prosper.

Realistically, this issue appears to be soundly asleep, and neither of the likely candidates really wants to wake it up. Still, Ward Connerly and other private but influenctial citizens interested in eliminating this festering source of inter-racial irritation will probably be unwilling to let it rest.

The far more important issue is to make sure that all college graduates and non-graduates come away from higher education with useful skills that will serve them well in the real world. Such a worthy goal is far from being achieved for today's students regardless of gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

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Blogger SwampWoman said...

I'm still wondering why we have college graduates that are innumerate and spelling/punctuation challenged.

I believe they should get their money back.

Tuesday, 13 May, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Good point. I think the property owners whose property taxes supported the K-12 government schools they came from originally, should get their property taxes back.

Tuesday, 13 May, 2008  

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