Why So Few Nonwhites Graduate from College
Alamance Independent, May 30
“The report by The Education Trust, a Washington-based non-profit, calls particular attention to the poor and to racial minorities, noting the majority of both Latinos and blacks who enter four-year colleges have no degree to show for it six years later. Overall, 63 percent of four-year college students earn a degree within six years, the usual benchmark for college completion.” -Associated Press, May 27, 2004.
And why is that? Last Thursday, many “mainstream” dailies ran a long wire story — including the part above — but none of that wire story touched the explosive real issue: why so few nonwhite freshmen graduate to anything but student-loan debt. It’s no secret that the graduation rate for blacks in college is abysmal — as in for black males. A black syndicated columnist even recently stated it in a column that ran in the “mainstream” daily in nearby Greensboro. Although he never commented on it, he also cited the graduation rate for black women in college — a rate about that of European-Americans, male or female.
Nobody in either the “mainstream” media — or in university administrations — wants to talk about it. But the policies of college administrators are self-defeating — at least if the goal is graduating more nonwhite students to anything other than loan debt, rather than just milking them for tuition for a year or two, because so many leave that soon.
In the Jimmy Carter administration, a federal lawsuit against this state’s “flagship” state university ended in an out-of-court settlement — in which UNC-Chapel Hill was to meet one quota for black freshmen, another for black sophomores by certain deadlines. And that was the problem.
Meeting the freshman quota was easy; all the university had to do was become — effectively — open-admission for blacks. But it never met the sophomore quota — simply because so many of those admitted under special open-admissions rules for blacks flunked out or dropped out that fast.
That — in a single example — was why so few nonwhite freshmen, particularly males, ever graduate. It’s easy admitting just about any nonwhite applicant in the name of “diversity.” The problem hits in his first freshman math course months later.
Math is what keeps most students who fail from graduating. In other courses, it’s easy to — at least — pass by either just coming to class and listening to the prof or just staying home in the dorm and reading the text. You can have failed every social-studies course in school — and graduate with honors majoring in history in it when you go to college. But not only doesn’t that work in math, but there is another huge problem for weak students — that math is a sequential subject.
Didn’t learn third-grade math? You won’t learn fourth-grade math — and you won’t learn algebra when you get to high school, either. And that sequential nature unique to math isn’t repealed because you’re nonwhite. Nor is it repealed because you didn’t learn a year of math in elementary school because you had a bad teacher that year — something more likely in chaotic ghetto schools that really are “farm systems” for affluent suburbs seeking proven teachers for their schools.
In a very-real sense, it thus doesn’t matter whether nonwhites “need” reverse discrimination due to genetic-inspired lack of skill or from having attended poor schools or from “societal racism.” If a guy didn’t learn junior-high math, he isn’t likely to pass the one or two college math courses required to graduate in any major he might choose — even physical education.
Thus, the diversity racket makes lots of money for colleges, pacifies black and Latino activists — but dooms lots of students to nothing but graduating to heavy student-loan debt. If you really want a higher percentage of nonwhite freshmen to graduate, you have to admit them on the same basis as everyone else. It’s time to tell the truth.