Posts published on May 12, 2012
Not one and the same
In an article in USA TODAY, Richard Whitmire writes that data indicate we should stop lumping blacks and Hispanics together as “students of color,” both in terms of how we measure progress and in terms of policy, since the groups have different education needs. Whitmire cites several sets of college-readiness data: Between 2002 and 2011, the percentage of black students taking the ACT who met all readiness benchmarks rose from 3 percent to 4 percent. Among Hispanic students, it rose from 8 percent to 11 percent. In 2010, black students made up 14.6 percent of high school graduates, but only 8.6 percent of AP test-takers. By contrast, Hispanics made up 17 percent of graduates and 16 percent of test-takers. This Hispanic-black separation can be seen within individual school districts; whether on state reading and math tests or district “exit” exams, Hispanic students have been making faster progress. Why? According to Amy Wilkins of the Education Trust, African-American students are more socially and economically isolated, less likely to get strong teachers, and less likely to go to better-funded majority-white schools. Recent research also shows that many successful all-black schools build school culture based on social justice, and employ highly structured curricula that emphasize verbal instruction. Successful Hispanic schools more often base school culture on connections to family, with an unstructured curriculum emphasizing visual instruction. For these and other reasons, Whitmire would dispense with the monolithic “students of color” category.
Source PEN Newsblast