Failing Diversity Grades for Virginia Public Colleges

Source: Education Trust, “Segregation Forever?”

by James A. Bacon

Virginia’s most selective public universities get failing grades in a report by the Education Trust for under-representation of African-American students, and most get failing grades for the enrollment of Latino students. But, then, the track record of higher-ed institutions nationally is discouraging, too. While roughly 40% of the nation’s most selective public colleges and universities increased the percentage of black students since 2000, 60% saw a decrease. The higher-ed institutions did a better job of increasing Latino enrollments, but still fell short of the Education Trust’s proportional-representation standards.

The report, “Segregation Forever?” has many grave flaws. The study holds universities accountable for “systemic inequities” in the educational pipeline, starting in preschool, in which blacks and Latinos are less likely to receive college-preparatory educations. The institutions, says the report, “cannot continue to hide behind biased admissions standards, such as high-stakes standardized testing.” Furthermore, the study ignores the fact that public institutions are competing against elite private universities, often with large endowments, for a limited pool of minority candidates. Its recommendations would intensify the competition for the top minority applicants while doing nothing to enlarge the pool.

Still, the report does highlight how, despite the sea change in ideology and rhetoric about race in the top public campuses, no progress has been made since 2000.

The Education Trust report compiled a list of the 101 most selective public colleges in the country. Virginia had more than its proportional share of elective institutions. They include the University of Virginia, the College of William  Mary, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Christopher Newport University, and the Virginia Military Institute. The researchers compared the enrollment of blacks and Latinos at each institution in 2017 with the percentage of blacks and Latinos among the state’s high school graduates that year to derive a grade.

The one Virginia standout was George Mason, which rated an A for its enrollment of Latino students. However, GMU was rated F for blacks.

Christopher Newport, which ranked C for its enrollment of blacks in 2000, fell to an F in 2017.

Improving access, suggests the authors, is “a matter of will.” The report recommends the following:

  1. Adopt goals to increase access.
  2. Increase access to high-quality guidance counselors.
  3. Use race more prominently in admissions decisions.
  4. Rescind state bans on affirmative action.
  5. Increase aid to black and Latino students.
  6. Alter recruitment strategies.
  7. Improve campus racial climates.
  8. Use outcomes-based funding policies equitably.
  9. Leverage federal accountability.
  10. Reduce the role of standardized testing and/or consider making tests optional

Without saying so directly, the Education Trust recommends setting racial quotas, and giving blacks and Latinos preferential treatment in admissions and financial aid. These policies would entail active discrimination against whites and, most especially, Asians. Furthermore, the Trust gives no consideration to the impact of admitting minority students into institutions where they are less academically prepared to handle the level of work. Other research indicates that such policies have a negative impact on minority students’ self confidence and their ability to complete college.

Clearly, the United States falls far short of the ideal of equal opportunity for all. The question is, how do we fix the problem? Is it the responsibility of public higher-ed institutions to remedy the deficits created by years of sub-par schooling — or the responsibility of the school systems? Is it the responsibility of higher-ed institutions to remedy the dysfunctions created by single-mother households, absentee fathers, rampant child abuse and neglect, crime-plagued neighborhoods, and differing cultural attitudes of lower-income Americans (of all races) toward the value of education — or do families themselves bear some responsibility for their own self improvement?

Other than reminding us that we have a long way to go, the fixation on racial bean counting and harping on “disparities” accomplishes nothing useful. The report’s recommendations would do active harm.

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75 responses to “Failing Diversity Grades for Virginia Public Colleges

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    The Education Trust needs to ask this important question. Are black and Latino students prepared for college? The metric of readiness needs to come first. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has produced data that measures readiness. It reveals deep cracks in college readiness in the areas of Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry, and AP coursework. Very informative report with terrific charts/tables.
    https://cdn.uncf.org/wp-content/uploads/PDFs/College-readiness2-2.pdf?_ga=2.18584508.449979412.1596210241-1263222074.1596210241

  2. Like a lot of Jim’s tomes on this subject, it was good until this:

    ” Is it the responsibility of higher-ed institutions to remedy the dysfunctions created by single-mother households, absentee fathers, rampant child abuse and neglect, crime-plagued neighborhoods, and differing cultural attitudes of lower-income Americans (of all races) toward the value of education — or do families themselves bear some responsibility for their own self improvement?”

    so schools and ANY level , not only College but K-12 before – cannot fix the problem and it is the fault of “families”?

    so, for instance… this – about the opportunity to prepared for going to college:

    ” The Loudoun County NAACP says it wants a full investigation from the school system into the admissions process for the Academies of Loudoun due to the small number of black students accepted into the specialized schools.

    The Academies, which opened in August 2018 and sits on 120 acres located off Sycolin Road, is intended to train students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Academies houses Loudoun’s science, technology, engineering and career and vocational tech programs. It’s made up of the Academy of Science, Academy of Engineering and Technology and Monroe Advanced Technical Academy.

    The Academies has 1,542 students enrolled and has an application process that reviews previous grades, scores and requires further testing.

    A total of 2,116 students applied for the Academy of Science and Academy of Engineering and Technology, including 65 black students, according to a report from the schools.

    Only one black student was accepted along with two American Indian and Pacific Islander students, rounding out the three lowest ethnic groups admitted. Asian (353) and white (104) students make up the top two ethnicity groups accepted.”

    https://www.loudountimes.com/news/loudoun-county-naacp-calls-for-investigation-into-academies-admissions-process/article_3159c28c-4b22-11e9-aab8-7f598c595aa8.html

    is an example of the dysfunction of black families?

    seriously ?

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Mr. Larry I think readiness is the key to admissions at the Academies of Loudoun. The campus and buildings are just stunning. Enrollment here is clear pathway to six figure salaries and rewarding jobs. Take a look at the Academies of Technology at AOL. The courses require a mastery of math and science from the elementary and middle school years. Loudoun County needs to make a major investment in math and science for Blacks/Latinos at the K-8 grade level to unlock the doors to AOL. This is going to take serious cash and 8 years of time to fully measure. AET Course Descriptions are daunting! Those kids are doing college level work before they can get a drivers license.
      https://www.lcps.org/domain/23876

      • James, I have to say you are man of patience and moderation but I do suspect you may also have a wild side! 😉

        re: ” Loudoun County needs to make a major investment in math and science for Blacks/Latinos at the K-8 grade level to unlock the doors to AOL. This is going to take serious cash and 8 years of time to fully measure. AET Course Descriptions are daunting! Those kids are doing college level work before they can get a drivers license.”

        So – why is this? Is the problem what Bacon says – that dysfunctional black (disadvantaged?) families are the cause?

        If admission to this school is based on merit – (and I AGREE whether it’s this school or college it must be on merit) – then is Loudoun doing something wrong that they need to change and it will take gobs of money to do it?

        • James Wyatt Whitehead V

          Mr. Larry I think the solution is to target Black/Latino students for smaller class sizes, remedial assistance (before/after school and summer school), with a heavy emphasis on math and science. This must be done starting K all the way 8th grade. I believe that this would raise readiness levels and overcome the AOL admissions disparities. It would require additional staffing. That means:
          1. Divert resources from Asians/whites to blacks/Latinos.
          or
          2. Raise additional cash to bring on highly qualified teachers to target the black/Latino subgroup without diverting resources from other subgroups.

          • geeze James… it makes sense… no? somehow Bacon doesn’t see it this way…

            Steve Haner says this: ” The idea that the black representation at these schools is unchanged in 20 years is tragic and needs to be understood. If the answer is, that community or culture doesn’t see the value of the effort, we need to know that and face it. If the lower-level schools are discouraging or discriminating, we need to know that and face that.”

            they key phrase – 20 years – but longer than that, much longer, I cannot recall at all when blacks had “equal” representation…. in College… it’s a never thing.

          • Great idea. I would support such a solution, using option #2.

            However, I predict the grievance-mongers will cry “racism” because your plan involves “segregating” black & latino students from other students and “forcing” them to be be at school longer than other students.

          • There are assessments for kids (PALS in Virginia) that can identify their shortfalls and you tie that to an IDP – individual development plan – and you provide periodic results… to show it’s working.

            Some won’t have it but I bet most will especially if the IDP is a path to future College Prep curriculum.

            And you do this with black teachers and administrators…

          • Larry,

            “And you do this with black teachers and administrators…”

            Are you saying black children should only be taught by black teachers and only deal with black administrators?

          • No. But I am saying that if you have some demographic share of them – they can and do act as role models for some kids that need convincing.

            Turn this around – when black kids are surrounded by white folks who run the show – what effect does that have?

            hey, surely you can come up with a better question than that
            black kids need black role models just like boys need men role models, or girls need women role models. They have to see that there are some of them who got ahead by being educated.

            and again – do what needs to be done to get them to value education… that’s much better than telling them that they have no chance to get into the Loudoun College Prep school because blacks never make it.

          • Wayne;

            “Are you saying black children should only be taught by black teachers and only deal with black administrators?”

            That actually is a strain of thought at VT now…brought up by some students and faculty in light of the BLM ‘black power’ movement: That students of color can only be mentored by faculty of color.

            We’ll see if it gains ground.. but remember there is now a segregated dorm of color on campus, so it just might.

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            You might be right Mr. Wayne. There would be critics. I think it would work. Getting top shelf teachers in the described environment might move the needle faster than we think.

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            Mr. Larry I don’t think it really matters on the skin color of the teachers and administrators. Able school leaders can create the needed bridges. They would need to be hand picked by a discerning eye to match the right instructors with the small classes.

          • James , was not saying that ONLY black but that SOME are helpful in convincing some kids but totally agree that good teachers tend to be totally color-blind and focus on the needs of the kids – no matter the reason for the needs… whether it’s a learning disability or parents who don’t value education, etc.

            Good teachers find out what the kid needs to get turned on to learning. You are one of them… for sure… and I know some others… and for some of us – I can remember back to the teachers that motivated me – and also the ones who were slugs.

            What I still do not understand is how an entire demographic of kids – gets bypassed … I can understand the rationale that some kids have family disadvantages – but that ought not be distinguished by race. When some imply that an entire race is “culturally” disinclined towards education – we’re getting into some weird and unproductive territory and make no mistake, we have decades of some white folks who say exactly that.

      • re: ” The courses require a mastery of math and science from the elementary and middle school years. Loudoun County needs to make a major investment in math and science for Blacks/Latinos at the K-8 grade level to unlock the doors to AOL. This is going to take serious cash and 8 years of time to fully measure.:

        If others including Jim are reading the above, I’d be curious as to your view :

        1. – why are some Loudoun kids “not ready” for AOL when they are apparently going to schools that offer the pre-reqs?

        2. – what exactly would a pile of more money be spent on to rectify this?

        Jim B has opined that we already spend more money on blacks than whites…. so if he were to go to the Loudoun school quality profile and do his data analysis Jiu Jitsu would it likely show the same as it did for Alexandria and Henrico?

        • James Wyatt Whitehead V

          Mr. Larry socio economics and culture play a huge role in explaining why minorities are not ready on paper for AOL. It is more than just cash resources. Human resources. Community resources. Strong and stable families. Laser and exacting focus starting in K and sustaining this all the way to the 8th grade. I am optimistic Mr. Larry. I believe the right combination of the above can empower the next generation.

          • You know James. This coming from a veteran teacher has weight.

            I’m an optimist also. Not to say we’re going to reach as much success as we want.

            To me, when we have a college-prep school that accepts on merit – in one of the richest counties in the United States and one black kid qualifies.. its breathtaking..

            So really – how many black kids in Loudoun will be “college ready” – will qualify for college purely on merit ?

            It’s hard for me to believe that ALL black kids in Loudoun are from dsyfunctional famlies though… I think it might be interesting to know of the white kids that were accepted on merit -how many of them come from disadvantaged families.

            Surely there are black kids in Loudoun from two-parent families that are not “dsyfunctional”.

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            Mr. Larry there are still de facto barriers that are cultural and difficult to quantify. Starting so young at the K level and pushing it hard to the 8th grade is the smart move. Nobody gets to bail out either. Continuous follow thru that not enlists the support of the family structure but demands that support as a prerequisite.

    • Why hold people accountable for their behavior when there are taxpayers to fleece?

      And with racial and ethnic quotas for minimum admissions, are there also maximum racial and ethnic quotas? And if not, then which groups will next be under-represented? I wouldn’t expect a racist organization like the Education Trust to answer this.

      • Too Many Taxes say:
        “I wouldn’t expect a racist organization like the Education Trust to answer this.”

        He’s spot on. The issue here is not the color of kids skin. It is creating the circumstances that provide all kids with an equality opportunity to get the best education their talents and motivation, and will allow. Colleges cannot fix this problems. Trying to, they have done far more harm to students, parents, and society than good. History over past 50 years in America makes this clear.

    • I appreciate your motivation, but I do not agree with your assessment.

      Some of the concepts that you appear to reject as causes for academic failure are personal responsibility, agency, the family, substandard physical, social, health and economic environments away from school, and the value of role models and discipline.

      Having taught a lot of elementary students, I will assure you it was swimming against a very strong current trying to help some of them learn if they had disfunctional environments outside of school.

      The fact that some charter schools can pull that off with regularity is a testiment to the fact that they are all in to create a structured and disciplined environment in school and to create a cocoon of support around the kids as completely as possible to give them a chance to learn.

      To accomplish this task, charter schools tend to demand that their teachers work very long hours and remain on call for students during the evening. The best teachers do that whether they are teaching in public schools, public charters, or private schools.

      It is an extremely hard job to do that well. It has also tended to create relatively high turnover in charter school teaching ranks and eventually burnout in teachers who try to hard for too many hours a day.

      So my point is, for a lot of kids, life is not fair or equitable. Public policy cannot fully substitute the state for the home without taking the child out of his home, and I know you are not suggesting that.

      Asking the schools to fix a lack of learning and non-school social, economic and disciplinary dysfunction with quotas for such elite schools as the Academies is not a solution.

      It is a sure way to crush the spirit of a kid who is doing better than average in dealing with his lack of advantages by putting him in an environment in which he has no chance of succeeding.

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        Captain Sherlock your comment about structure and discipline are essential elements. Another is instructional contact hours invested. Afterschool programs, summer school, and in school remediation that targets the black/Latino subgroup should generate positive measurable outcomes.

  3. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    The Education Trust must examine the completion of college rates. UNCF has another revealing report the tracks the Fall of 2010 Cohort by race and gender. An alarmingly high number of Black and Latino students fail to complete college over the course of 6 years. Interestingly, black women have a higher chance of finishing than black men. There must be a correlation between college readiness and college completion. The tables and charts demonstrate that whites and Asians are far better positioned for readiness and completion.
    https://nscresearchcenter.org/signaturereport12-supplement-2/

  4. For the last two years VT has proudly proclaimed the number of incoming freshmen of disadvantaged, or under represented, or minority backgrounds. Which is good, but those numbers are meaningless unless you also look a year later at other facets of the VT college experience;
    What was the high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores?
    How many take ‘remedial’ classes [basically high school classes in English, math, writing, etc.]?
    What was the first year GPA?
    How many passed all their courses?
    How many returned for their sophomore year?
    What extracurricular activities were the students involved with?
    How many undertook an ‘Ut Prosim’ experience?
    How many acted as tutors/mentors?

    I have never seen any follow up on these numbers? Why? Are they that bad that the diversity dynasty in Blacksburg is unwilling to expose the failure of its college success?

    And no one has ever asked such questions about the success of these programs.

    • Oh, they know.

      • Yes, the results typically are poor and harmful, setting the kids back often forever, filling them with resentment, and anger because most are at a place they should not be, and a place where they cannot succeed (for lack of preparation before they arrived.) And they know all this, and sense all the other kids know all this too, so they carry these negative feelings around with them often for a lifetime. Studies verify this. No one wants to face these facts, or admit them, much less fix them. So the ongoing damage has continued year after year, poisoning generations. And now The Education Trust and its bad conclusion will only make matters worse if they continue it, leading to ever more dead ends, instead of fixing real problems.

      • Here are a few more honest and responsible comments about failures in education and ways the rotten culture keeps this failure going, written the few people on this blog who know what they are talking about and thus are worth reading on this subject.

        This from Jim Sherlock:

        “Some of the concepts that you appear to reject as causes for academic failure are personal responsibility, agency, the family, substandard physical, social, health and economic environments away from school, and the value of role models and discipline.

        Having taught a lot of elementary students, I will assure you it was swimming against a very strong current trying to help some of them learn if they had dysfunctional environments outside of school.”

        Here is another:
        James Wyatt Whitehead V | July 31, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Reply

        Captain Sherlock your comment about structure and discipline are essential elements. Another is instructional contact hours invested.

        After school programs, summer school, and in school remediation that targets the black/Latino subgroup should generate positive measurable outcomes.

        The Education Trust must examine the completion of college rates. UNCF has another revealing report the tracks the Fall of 2010 Cohort by race and gender. An alarmingly high number of Black and Latino students fail to complete college over the course of 6 years. Interestingly, black women have a higher chance of finishing than black men. There must be a correlation between college readiness and college completion. The tables and charts demonstrate that whites and Asians are far better positioned for readiness and completion.
        https://nscresearchcenter.org/signaturereport12-supplement-2/

  5. Any word on ODU?

    • ODU was not included in the study.

      • I’d like to know how the hell Christopher Newport got on that list. Whatever….

        Behind George Floyd, behind BLM, behind “economic justice” and all that BS, this is the problem of the age. We are 66 years past the Brown case and everybody in sight gives homage to equal opportunity, with most being sincere. Millions have been spent on the effort. The idea that the black representation at these schools is unchanged in 20 years is tragic and needs to be understood. If the answer is, that community or culture doesn’t see the value of the effort, we need to know that and face it. If the lower-level schools are discouraging or discriminating, we need to know that and face that.

        I happen to think both have some truth. But the really pernicious problem to me is the cultural meme among too many young black students that academic success is “acting white.”

        The next generation of leaders, the next Congressman John Lewis or business guy Herman Cain, will be coming from those schools or won’t come. (Actually, one went to Fisk and the other to Morehouse.)

        • “But the really pernicious problem to me is the cultural meme among too many young black students that academic success is “acting white.””

          That is an issue, and has been for a very long time, but God help you if you say that too loudly, especially today. You will be branded a racist and “cancelled”.

          • Not if you are a black teacher or administrator or some black parents who are themselves college grads, or employed as bosses and high level leaders.

            It’s really not that different than trying to encourage kids of farmers or blue collar workers that education is valuable.

            No one thing is going to fix this but for us to see that for an entire college-prep school in Loudoun county – a county with about 6000 black kids – that just one qualified for enrollment.

            When the NAACP comes out and demands an investigation about it – my suspects is that more than a few black parents are paying attention.

        • Acting white as a widespread, debilitating problem is a myth perpetuated by white people who don’t know any Black people and non-scientist John McWhorter: https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/1/5/14175116/acting-white-myth-black-kids-academics-school-achievement-gap-debunked

          A key finding discussed from a study referenced there that tracks with similar studies I’ve read: the most popular students had 3.5 GPAs, students with 4.0 and 3.0 GPAs had equivalent amounts of friends, and students with GPAs under 2.5 were the least popular. This also tracks with my personal experience in school – academic achievement was not a barrier to peer acceptance.

          Black and Latino parents also value a college education more than their white counterparts: https://www.ewa.org/blog-latino-ed-beat/study-hispanic-black-parents-value-college-degree-more-whites

          This weird idea that Black and white Americans have shared this country for 400 years but have wildly diverging cultures needs to stop. It’s condescending and unAmerican. Black people have just historically and systematically been excluded from the same opportunities of their white peers. And given that modern conservative thought holds that taxation is theft the fact that conservatives are less not more open to the idea of reparations for the wages stolen through slavery and taxes taken to provide benefits and programs Black Americans were blocked from enjoying is incoherent.

          • worth putting that chart up:

          • “Black people have just historically and systematically been excluded from the same opportunities of their white peers.” …..especially all that privilege available to all those white kids in Appalachia.

          • don’t be so sure….

            this is Lynch Kentucky in the Appalachians..

          • My source had 39 years in the classroom — you got that, Up Yours? (I’m sick of these cutesy coward names….) And she is not the only person I’ve heard it from. And Larry, I don’t doubt that chart but what I’m talking about is the peer pressure. Hey, being one of the “smart kids” gets anybody grief. School was brutal before social media, and I’d hate to go through it now.

          • Steve – I’m not sure I understand your point here.

            The chart shows that both Blacks and Hispanics highly value college – and that pretty much destroys any “culture” claim that they don’t value education.

  6. Why is college the goal? Many don’t want/like/should go to college.

    A ‘good’ welder in SW Virginia can earn $70K a year; the median family income in Montgomery County is $66K.

    • it’s not but one might think – of each race – that they end up with somewhat proportional representation in college and welding….

      why should we have of one demographic in college and the majority of them in blue collar – and the next demographic is the opposite?

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Excellent point. One of the biggest hard heads I have ever taught made it big time as a welder. I was able to convince this young man to enlist in the Marine Corps. He was taught the welding trade in the service. After his enlistment expired this young fella was able to secure a job as a welder for the Department of the Interior. The guy has a bigger house than me, a nicer pickup truck, and boat to pull down to Lake Anna.

  7. ha ha. Met a retired Marine the other day that goes by “Gunny”. Asked him what he did in the Marine Corps….. “Information Technology”.

    😉

  8. The report that Jim references gave Virginia universities (UVA, VMI, VT, W&M, GMU, and CNU) largely failing grades for diversity, specifically for enrolling blacks and Latino students. Point 3 in the Education Trust’s list of recommendations is: Use race more prominently in admissions decisions.

    Looking back at a study in a post on Bacon’s Rebellion from last year, one can see that race already plays an enormous factor in admission. Taking data from FOIA requests, the study showed that there is a large delta between the standardized test scores for different racial groups. Asians had the highest scores at all of the institutions studied. Here is the SAT 50th percentile delta between Asians and other groups by institution:

    UVA: Whites, -60 points; Hispanic, -130 points; Black, -240 points
    W&M: Whites, -50 points; Hispanic, -140 points; Black, -240 points
    VT: Whites, -40 points; Hispanic, -70 points; Black, -140 points
    GMU: Whites, -30 points; Hispanic, -90 points; Black, -130 points

    These are significant differences. For an applicant with the same stats, odds already heavily favor blacks and Hispanics over whites and Asians. Asians must produce the highest stats to get admitted.

    https://www.baconsrebellion.com/wp/yup-virginia-universities-discriminate-against-asians/

    • I had the same thought, i.e. that the Universities were already trying to enroll more people of color but were forced to accept lesser academically qualified because higher qualified people of color apparently do not exist.

      The stats that Izzo provided for UVA show this.

      but if one looks at the actual enrollment demographics of UVA:

      White 58.4%
      Asian 13.7%
      Black or African American 6.6% (about 1100)
      Hispanic/Latino 6.6%
      Non-Resident Alien 4.4%
      American Indian or Alaska Native 0.1%
      Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.1%
      Ethnicity Unknown 10.2%

      What would happen if UVA did not do this?

      Probably the same thing that happened to the Loudoun College Prep school that accepted on merit only – no accommodations – and out of a county with a population of 400,000, one kid of color qualified.

      The colleges have taken it upon themselves to enroll some even if they are lesser qualified in an attempt to have some demographic representation, and they are moving away from academic merit-only entrance standards.

      Most of us are believers that academic merit should be the primary way that opportunity is rewarded. We rank many schools students classes by ranking academic performance, i.e. what is a persons class rank whether a Doctor or a West Point Grad.

      But we also know that accomplished leaders , very successful people, often did not rank at the top of their class. Indeed some ranked low and others did not even finish college at all but achieved far more than others who did rank higher academically.

      So… should we rethink what the purpose of College is? The schools like UVA already have. The rest of us are still not totally convinced it’s safe to say.

      Is academic performance the primary way we should determine ranking and access to opportunity?

      • Eric the Half a Troll

        From George Mason President’s statement recently. One of their goals includes: “Recognizing and rewarding adversity barriers in promotion and tenure – We will develop specific mechanisms in the promotion and tenure process that recognize the invisible and uncredited emotional labor that people of color expend to learn, teach, discover, and work on campus.”

        If you can (and should) do this for faculty promotion and tenure, isn’t it all the more important to do so during the enrollment process and further down the chain (e.g. your Loudoun academy selection process). Suppose it’s time to contact my school board reps….

      • For over $300K a year you’d think the head diversity officers at UVA and VT would be better at their jobs. Or held accountable at least.

        • “diversity” is a neverending career job! sorta like traffic engineers and congestion or police and crime!

          we don’t fire traffic engineers because they didn’t fix congestion, right?

          😉

  9. re: ” “Recognizing and rewarding adversity barriers in promotion and tenure – We will develop specific mechanisms in the promotion and tenure process that recognize the invisible and uncredited emotional labor that people of color expend to learn, teach, discover, and work on campus.”

    If you take “people of color” out of that – and let it apply to everyone , I’d support.

    I’m somewhat skeptically supportive of factors other than academic performance to be included – for all – but to set different standards for different groups is wrong and just counter to many folks sense of fairness.

    It’s one thing to argue that the use of factors may favor of disfavor some groups but to explicitly set different standards per group.. nope.

  10. Eric the Half a Troll

    Maybe it is time that we as a country start valuing different achievements than simply academic prowess.

    You are going to hire… Applicant 1 is someone who grew up as a person of color (maybe from a single-parent urban house hold) and over came the hurdles that others did not have to face to graduate from a mid-ranked school with a non-STEM degree, not top of their class. No scholarship, no greek life, working nights.

    Applicant 2 grew up in a high income suburban neighborhood, two parents with one home to raise the kids (read: keep them out of trouble when they come home, volunteer in school, make sure they are fed well, sleep well, do their homework – starting in Kindergarten). Applicant 2 gets special tutors when they bring home a C score and takes ACT/SAT prep classes in 10th grade and finally gets decent enough scores that combined with the extra-curricular activities and “legacy” bump gets over the hump for admission into UVA or W&M or VT with a sweet little scholarship for good measure. Graduates in STEM, of course, with Honors and hits the job market with a parent arranged internship under their belt.

    Who looks better on paper? Who makes it through the HR screen? Which one will likely be a better leader? Which one would operate better under pressure? Which one knows how to make something of value out of nothing? Who achieved more to that point? Hard to say. Maybe the suburban graduate is better placed and now has a better skill set. Where does the student of color land, however, if they are given the advantages the suburban student is granted – at birth? Earlier recognition of the non-academic achievements of challenged students (particularly of color) can help level that field and allow for a more honest evaluation of the individual when it really counts in their life. You might call it discrimination, I think of it more as equality.

    • Maybe ask what is the purpose of K-12 if not academics?

      It seems our whole mindset of K-12 and College is predicated on learning, understanding, knowledge and competence and all of that tied to the idea that many (most?) jobs in the economy require academic competence.

      Not all of them for sure… for instance, sports, or entertainment or the ability to “sell”, etc…

      We have a plethora of “educated” folks who are not competent at other things that some jobs require… the proverbial PHD that you’d never get into a car with…. etc…

      • Eric the Half a Troll

        Seems to me that in suburbia, the point to K-12 (and further) education is about learning to game the system. Then we compare the “academic” results of those who don’t have THAT education with those who do. Which one will win? Which achieved more though? Either we need to recognize that the suburban achiever results are inflated relatively because of them gaming the system or the POC results are deflated because a “game the system” education was not available to them.

        I know I am generalizing… alas…

  11. Here is an article written by a fourth grade teacher that foretells the looming death of public k-12 education in America, including Virginia, and how education is being replaced by the indoctrination of fourth grade children with left wing propaganda:

    “While a world without textbooks or homework and where getting the wrong answer is celebrated may sound like an elementary student’s fantasy, that becoming reality would damage a generation of young minds. However, that is exactly what is happening in public elementary schools.

    I recently spoke with a fourth grade teacher from the midwest, who shared her experiences of curriculum shifting from history and science and towards political indoctrination, to the detriment of students’ learning. For this person’s privacy, she will remain nameless.

    In supervising fourth grade, she teaches a little of everything: math, reading, language arts, social studies, and science. Recently her school district, like many others, switched to “integrated curriculum.”

    On paper, an integrated curriculum sounds like a fair idea: learning subjects by exploring their intersections to deepen understanding. However, in practice, the curriculum all but eradicates history, and works to push politics on impressionable children.

    The teacher said, “It says ‘integrated curriculum,’ and some of its science, and some of its social studies but it really isn’t. It’s more of a push for the progressive movement.” Her curriculum was fundamentally altered by it. The school district’s new curricula is online, gives outsiders the ability to dictates curriculum to teachers. This teacher’s science and history classes were gutted.
    History Deemed Expendable

    In history, she used to teach government, the explorers, and the Civil wWr, from a nuanced perspective that is still accessible to her young students. She told me:

    I used to do a whole unit an Abraham Lincoln, and for some reason it’s just all of that is gone, based on integrated curriculum. When you look at our curriculum, they’ve removed everything that was in the textbook. They say, ‘Don’t use the textbook, and you don’t need to teach that anymore.’

    The kids are missing out on learning why there was a civil war in the first place. They don’t learn the true meaning of slavery and how it got resolved, because it’s just disappeared from the curriculum.

    The only thing I can teach in social studies was a little bit of government. There wasn’t anything anymore about the Civil War; that was completely gone. I felt bad about that.

    I spoke to a friend, who’s a fifth-grade teacher, and her Revolutionary War unit was gone. She used to do a great job on the colonists of America.
    Science Replaced With Propaganda

    Before integrated curriculum began, this teacher engaged her students in an array of American history, focusing on the Civil War, the states, and government. In the new curriculum, however:

    My last unit of teaching was just a long unit on petroleum and how bad it was. It would talk about oil spills. We’d have an experiment that kids have to mix tempera paint and oil to simulate an oil spill, so when that happened, the kids would see how awful it was on plants and animals.

    In reality, these are few and far between, where we have oil spills and causing great damage. But they take something that was awful that happened back in history, we’ll take that and say, ‘This is why no one should never use oil or gas.’

    They’re trying to tell the kids that you are bad if you think that you should drive a car or a school bus without it being with renewable energy. I’m teaching renewable energy in the 4th grade and feeling that is there should be a debate on it, and it should be taught both ways.

    Instead, it’s video after video after video how we killed animals, how it’s bad for environment. It’s one-sided education instead of the time for debate. That is what it’s really changed in the elementary school year. It’s a one-sided script.

    Science class under this curriculum mandate is not science, but political propaganda. Students have lost out on foundational skills that would benefit them greatly in middle and high school.

    They don’t give you the base level of what these little students need, and so these younger kids are not experiencing what the past children learn, which was things like: how does the machine work?

    They’re not looking at the different levels of electricity. They’re not looking at anything about the water cycle. It’s all in the electronics area or it’s always on the Internet. Nothing is about reading a book and learning about following directions anymore. It goes backwards.

    Science is taught in a very progressive manner. No longer the kids ever going to see a textbook in schools. It’s called ’21st century learning’ so therefore without a textbook now.

    I go to the Internet get the curriculum guide and it’s about computers and making robots work. They’re just kind of step by step guides. Instead of learning where the energy comes from, we go right to the Internet and we just build a robot, but they don’t even know what’s going on. They don’t learn how the robot works. . . .”

    For much more of this fine article, dated August 1, 2020, written by Paula Inck, and titled Fourth Grade Teacher Details how Students Ban History and Push Left Wing Agendas, see:

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/01/fourth-grade-teacher-details-how-schools-push-ban-history-and-leftist-agendas/

  12. I sorta get the point – that if College sets the standard for entrance that k-12 will do the things that get their kids “college ready”.

    That’s not a recent thing… longstanding… and College is supposedly setting their standard based on what the economy wants.

    Our “suburban school” says this ” College or Career Ready”.

    As long as I can remember VocEd was for those who were not on a college track – no real connotation with respect to race.

    In fact, many in VocEd (that I recall) have been white so not like a split where white go to college and black to blue collar…

    College has always been about academics – and more than that – the ability to learn – even more difficult material – for higher level professional work like Medical, Science, Engineering where there are no “gimmes” for a lack of competence. We don’t want bridges designed by folks whose priorities are other things.

    You will not find a stronger advocate for removing the obstacles for people of color to fairly achieve opportunity and success, but we can’t be reducing standards for what it takes to become a Doctor or Scientist or any field where lives depend on skill, knowledge, competency.

    And it’s not that folks don’t know that achievement is important – we have a ton of people who have achieved success in sports and entertainment so it’s not a foreign concept.

    And I guess there is some irony here that I’m not thinking wonderfully about and that’s K-12 and College involvement in Sports where a lot of folks do very much excuse poor academic performance in exchange for good athletic performance… but DANG they award an Academic Diploma to people who still cannot read and write and yep, no complaints at all from those who insist College should be all about academic merit.

    • Eric the Half a Troll

      When we get to the level of med school and PE testing, yes, academic prowess and rigor are essential. No argument there. However, at that point the results are already baked in the cake for those highest level areas.

      Mid-level management of a public utility? Not so much. Supply chain management? These are areas where on-the-job training is most of one’s applicable education. Heck, I got my first job because I (unlike many recent college grads in my field) knew how to use a pipe wrench and could do basic plumbing and wiring. My GPA (due to my own academic laziness – not systemic issues) would take me completely out of the running these days.

      What needs to happen is we need to recognize (as early as possible) personal and academic achievements relative to one’s starting point. That recognition needs to happen early and often and be carried forward through our society.

      I know you agree with this conceptually and that is really all I have, a concept. Harder to implement equitably.

      • You are correct. Generally and conceptually with the main caveat being, as Dick pointed out – the difference between an education that ostensibly has also imbued Critical Thinking versus – “training” which can be done outside of a traditional College realm (and may also have specific critical thinking training).

        Some of the most valuable people, as pointed out, are those who have knowledge in more than one area.

        Take education software. Gotta know education and gotta know software… one without the other is a no go for education software.

        Your view on admitting academically unqualified for college sports?

        • Eric the Half a Troll

          Unfortunately, college sports admission policies are one of the few field leveling tools available to the disadvantaged these days. In the end, the student athletes are often used and abused by the universities and view their education as nothing more than a pipeline to the pros (often wrongly). I am not a big supporter of the sports industry in general and would not cry if it simply imploded and ceased to exist. But we need something akin to it from a college admissions standpoint to provide an entrance ramp onto the road to success for those who are on the have-nots side of society.

          Sorry for the cliche metaphors…

          • So if it’s okay to admit unqualified folks for sports, can we justify for other things too?

    • LarryG,

      ‘so schools and ANY level , not only College but K-12 before – cannot fix the problem and it is the fault of “families”?’

      This is not a case where the problem is the ‘fault’ of families. But all of the contributors to this discussion seem to agree that students raised in a single parent, low income family have more academic challenges than students raised in two parent homes of any income level.

      You assume that schools are actually capable of overcoming those challenges. But my experience is that, while schools can provide a better or worse environment, it is the student who must overcome the challenge. Education is not fed to students. It is achieved by students. Which is why Reed’s comments are so concerning. If teachers are not teaching, and students are not doing the work required to learn, our future is bleak.

      “Only one black student was accepted along with two American Indian and Pacific Islander students, rounding out the three lowest ethnic groups admitted. Asian (353) and white (104) students make up the top two ethnicity groups accepted.”

      You might consider asking why Asian students are so successful academically and what other communities can learn from them.

      • Inthemiddle Says:
        “You assume that schools are actually capable of overcoming those challenges. But my experience is that, while schools can provide a better or worse environment, it is the student who must overcome the challenge. Education is not fed to students. It is achieved by students. Which is why Reed’s comments are so concerning. If teachers are not teaching, and students are not doing the work required to learn, our future is bleak.”

        BINGO – Inthemiddle nails it!

        For example, a child can (and many we know) DO learn how to read well enough by the FIRST GRADE with the result that they are by then empowered and motivated to learn by reading, and interacting with others, strong habits that often last lifetimes.

        Getting to that point is the easy part for these kids, if they’d been brought up from infancy within a vibrant, save, secure, loving and learning home and environment that is filled with many loving and health stimulating opportunities of all sorts built around caring parents, kids, people, and communities that insure that these kids have these opportunities before they go to kindergarten.

        Without all that, however, the great majority of kids are more likely than not doomed, left far far behind, with opportunities then extremely limited for them. Many well known and recent studies confirm this.

        So that is the real issue here, what is our greatest failure here, what we must fix. But instead our politicians, public educators and administrators, and race-baiters and the like, erect scapegoat after scapegoat to hide their own, and our societies real failings, that doom generations of kids, as they aggregate power for themselves.

  13. Larry,

    I have a friend who teaches at James Madison. She’s made the following observation: If it wasn’t for athletes, the black % of the student body would be 2 or 3 percent.

    I imagine you could take the Tech and U.Va. numbers and subtract an entire % point of black students at those schools if the schools did not provide athletic scholarships.

    Athletics are truly shading an even greater chasm than the report demonstrates.

    Again, I ask anyone on the Left why they keep supporting a public education system that is clearly failing black and brown students across this nation. There is always an enormous pushback on any alternative to failing public schools.

    • and so do you support enrolling black athletes to college when they are not academically qualified?

      You will not find me opposed to non-public schools at all.

      I support competition to public schools but if public money is involved – they need to be just as transparent and accountable on their performance.

      I acknowledge the success of schools like the Success Academy in NYC but the problem is only a lucky few have access.

      I support the use of tutors for kids who are behind. Whatever it takes to get them back on grade level – no matter their race.

      And finally, public schools do not “fail” – if they REALLY “failed” then what is all the uproar about with them reopening? You’d think people would be relieved, no?

  14. I point out that there are “single” parents who send their kids to a tutor or a private school to get their child educated and it seems to work even though the parent is not as involved as other parents, those parents – also AWOL – have the income to help their kids anyhow.

    I acknowledge the Asian issue.

    • LarryG, I’m not sure what your point is here.

      I think we agree that single parents who make education a priority are likely to have educated children.

      I assume you also agree that it is difficult for a single, low income parent to make education a priority, if only because there are other basic needs that need to be priorities.

      I wonder if you would agree that places like Success Academy succeed because the student body comes from families who make education a priority and are not representative of the population in general.

      Reed touches on a bigger problem in our education system – we seem to have lost our commitment to learning in favor of equity and student ‘self-happiness’.

      One place where we disagree – I want the teachers who have the ability to challenge the students who show the greatest academic ability and effort to teach those students. I want those students to be driven to excel, which can only come through hard work on challenging problems. I want teachers who have the ability to reach less academically inclined students to teach those students. Yes, I’m in favor of tracking.

      Not to go all international, but if we hope to keep up with China 20 years from now, we will need a workforce that has studied as hard as Chinese students for whom academic merit is the primary criteria for advancement (and membership in the CCP). There are currently 20 million research students in China and another 600,000 research students studying abroad. Add them to China’s commitment to building the future technologies in energy, transportation, artificial intelligence (as opposed to the US commitment to the technologies of the past – coal, really) and we see where China’s strength will come from.

      • Eric the Half a Troll

        “(and membership in the CCP)”

        Our counterpart may very well be an Amazon account in good standing.

      • We agree but let me point out that here we’re saying that if a child fails and has a single parent – it’s because they have a single parent or “no dad” , etc.

        Some single parents that are low income and work a lot AND don’t have a good education are not going to be able to help their kids that in the way that a wealthy, educated single parent would.

        see the difference?

        I also want to see every child attain the highest potential they can – and do not support prioritizing the talented over the disadvantaged.

        I’m opposed to tracking for low level kids if there is no real plan to get them on grade level – AND let them leave that group and join a higher group when they improve.

        Well , yes we CAN go “international” and I ask why other countries beat the pants off of us if all of them are govt-run “public education” also?

        Is that another one of those “culture” deals?

        and thank you for civil discussion and no ad hominems…

        keep on keeping on……. 😉

        • I understand the difference, and I think we agree that the first statement is false. I would add to your second that there are low income, single parent families in which the children become well educated. But there are more challenges to overcome.

          I am in favor of tracking for the same goal as you propose: I also want to see every child attain the highest potential they can. But I recognize that there are differences among children, some of which are purely individual, some of which are socio-economic, some of which are cultural. Schools, as mass educational institutions, cannot overcome all of those differences, and, to a large extent, have to take the children as they are.

          Regarding education in other countries, yes! That ‘culture’ thing matters.

          And regarding civil discourse, I follow Karl Popper:
          “It thus leads, almost by necessity, to the realization that our attempts to see and to find the truth are not final, but open to improvement; that our knowledge, our doctrine, is conjectural; that it consists of guesses, of hypotheses, rather than final and certain truths; and that criticism and critical discussion are our only means of getting nearer to the truth.”
          The Beginnings of Rationalism (1958)

          • some kids of poor single parents do succeed and their parent is undoubtedly a major part of it but if that kid is in a low-track class and cannot escape it then he is doomed – so that’s my point. “tracking” is a reality and is needed to group kids of similar capabilities – primarily so that the teacher can focus the material rather than have to try to teach on a wider and shallower basis but the problem is if that is a low class – and it keeps kids that are capable of more – from advancing – they get trapped because there is no easy way for them to take on more difficult material and show they can do it – much less an institutional process that specifically targets that so that kids can move to a higher group.

            The school has to have a process – to identify those kids and a path for them to achieve.

            And really, when you get right down to it – the goal is to get ALL of those kids in the low class – up on grade level – and to achieve a base level of education – sufficient for them to graduate and read and write sufficiently well enough to get a job and provide for their needs without needing entitlements.

            When we say that is not possible – we’re agreeing to 30-40K a year in taxpayer entitlements.

            This is how you end up with one black kid in a county of 400,000 qualifying for college prep… IMHO.

            and this is what “equity” is about. If a kid does not have a real opportunity to advance to higher level material – how will they ever be able to eventually qualify for college prep classes?

            I just do not accept that out of … about 6000 black kids in Loudoun that only one has the intellect to do college prep. Something is wrong.

            At any rate – there are significant issues worthy of discussion, debate and opportunities to learn other points of view , etc so I don’t know Karl Popper guy but there are ways to continue the discussions and learn and understand.

      • Inthemiddle,

        As likely you already know, the Success Academy formula of proven success for disadvantaged intercity kids, is predicated on their having at least one parent committed to the child’s learning, including helping that child’s learning at home (homework). Absent that, they child typical will not succeed at the Success Academy. And, while the enrollment is open, the parent must file the child’s application, and demonstrate a willingness to help child learn. Many Success Academy kids are from single parent households. And of course, applications far exceed openings, so kids are initially chosen by lottery.

  15. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    One thing I have noticed about China. They have to steal innovation or copy it. They send their best and brightest here to learn at American universities. China’s big handicap? They cannot compete with the US in creativity and innovation. America’s handicap? We could lose this creative ingenuity advantage in the our current and future generations under current and evolving education policies.

    • I agree with your comments on our handicaps. But I would say that your observation on China is based on data that is at least 10 years old.

      One thing the CCP does well is focus national resources on programs it has identified as critical. And it has identified the development of leading edge technologies in information technology (including AI), transportation, energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical instruments. In 2017, they spent $444 billion on R&D, compared to $483 billion spent by the US. They now lead the world in patent filings. (Japan ranks third; Germany and South Korea rank fourth and fifth. Yes, LarryG – it’s that culture thing again.) They are currently the leaders in renewable power, batteries, electric vehicles, 5G, digital payments. https://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2019/10/30/china-emerges-as-global-tech-innovation-leader/

      Of concern, they are also leading in the development of a networked military platform and a variety of weapons, including hypersonic missiles, which will make the South China Sea inaccessible to our Navy.

      Everyone complains that China ‘steals’ innovation. There is undoubtedly some actual theft, especially in defense. (I assume our intelligence agencies are doing their best to capture other countries’ defense technologies, including from our allies).

      But, or the most part, Chinese companies purchase technology, much like American corporations. Some provinces require that foreign companies agree to transfer technology to set up a business in their province, which is not how we operate, but the foreign companies made the choice to trade technology for access to the China market – no one forces them to do that. (I worked at a company that opened a wholly owned subsidiary in China back in the 80s. We thought long and hard about which technologies we would bring to China, with the understanding that they would be stolen).

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        Present day China and 1930s Japan have the same problem. Access to raw materials to support economic expansion. Can this be done via the global market place or thru other means of hegemonic expansion? The role of US foreign policy in the present and future years will greatly shape this. There was a big difference in the US Asian foreign policy when you compare Dean Acheson to Henry Kissenger.

  16. yeah.. I wouldn’t say that China steals “instead of” – they do both – all of it!

    as to Culture – not all of Asia is “exceptional”

    lots of poor parts of Asia with literacy issues:

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