New Report Illuminates California’s Growing Higher Education Inequities
Los Angeles“Stony the Road We Trod” is the first comprehensive look at higher education outcomes for African American students across California’s elementary, high school and college levels. The report highlights several disturbing facts, such as California Black males are 3 percent of the state’s overall population, 25 percent of its prison population and 1 percent of its college population.The report has helped focus the attention of a growing number of African American education stakeholders. Young Black Scholars, a college prep project of 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, is mobilizing beyond the awareness phase and forming a statewide coalition to address three areas critical to increasing the numbers of African American college graduates: college prep, admissions and retention.Specifically, Young Black Scholars’ goals are: to expand awareness about the status of African American students in California; to help eliminate the achievement gaps between California’s African American students and their peers; and to help increase the number of African Americans graduating from California colleges and universities. “As a seasoned researcher, I’ve unearthed many disturbing socio-economic facts from time to time. However, I must admit that I was truly surprised at the depth of African American students’ plight in California,” says Dr. Walter Allen, author of the report and director of UCLA’s CHOICES: Access, Equity and Diversity in Higher Education. “The data clearly indicates a crisis and I, along with many of my colleagues, welcome the degree of urgency that this new coalition is according the issues my research raises.”Some additional facts in “Stony the Road We Trod” include:• In 1999 only 3 percent of African American high school graduates were fully eligible for admission to the University of California, compared to 13 percent of Whites, 30 percent of Asians and 4 percent of Latinos.• Around three-quarters of both Blacks and Asians who enter kindergarten graduate high school; however, Asian Americans are three times more likely to graduate college.• For the academic year 1997-1998, 28 percent of African American high school graduates, compared to 41 percent of Whites, 58 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders, 44 percent of Filipinos and 24 percent of Latinos, completed course eligibility requirements for admission to the University of California.An online version of the report can be found at <www.beedu.org/projects/choices/index.html>.
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