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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Educating Black Americans

For John, BLUFIf big groups are not getting education it is not just a blot on us, but a detriment to economic progress.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In today's edition of The Boston Globe, page A1, above the fold, is an article bylined by Laura Krantz, about Black students as minorities in local Boston area higher education institutions, Diverse campuses, but still few black students.  The sub-headline is:
With little representation, many battle culture shock at Boston-area colleges
Oh, I understand that.  It is like arriving in Lowell, from another planet state.  It isn't just being tagged a "blow in", but also the many new and different rituals, like squeaking through on a red at stoplights.  At least there are traffic lights.  It is the decent roads I miss.  The snow I don't mind.  I have a couple of years in Alaska.

I was a little surprised the reporter didn't note that with 15% of the student population across the nation, Blacks are actually over-represented.  The 2010 Census has Blacks at 12.6% of the national population, albeit only 7.02% of the Massachusetts population, making us 26th in the nation.

I found this interesting, quoting from the article:

BU devotes two admissions officers to recruit students deemed to be “under-represented minorities” — which includes Hispanic and Pacific Islander students.
What about students with a Portuguese background, students from Brazil?

And, the reporter talks about a student from Ethiopia.  I am probably mistaken, but I don't think of Ethiopia being populated by Blacks, who are from further south and west.  Are the Oromo and the Amhara, some 61.4% of the population of Ethiopia, racially Black, as are the people of, say, South Sudan?

OK, so my take-away is that Blacks in Boston who want to go to college and are not finding seats locally should come up here to Martyville.  With only 6.8% of the population of Lowell being African American the students would find their representation larger, proportionately, and thus more satisfying, and it would help us get over our own 4% hump.  That said, UMass Lowell has 15% minority and 4% foreign.  Interestingly, we have 21% "declines to state".  I wonder, being "blow ins", how my wife and I are grouped when we take classes?

I don't wish to make fun of this issue, just reframe it.  With Boston being 24% Black, per the article, the percentages in local colleges is abysmal.  One wonders if a significant number go off to other institutions?  Where would we go to get that data?

Regards  —  Cliff


lance said...

But it does sound like you are making fun of the issue.

C R Krieger said...

No, it sounds like I am making fun of the reporting.

It sounds like you are not doing the intellectual heavy lifting necessary to more fully understand the problem.  Such as the 15% issue.  Why is the Boston area underperforming?  Is it the "high quality" schools (Harvard, BC, North Eastern, etc) attracting people from all over, thus diluting the local intake?  For UMass Lowell, it is attracting Black students at twice the local Lowell concentration.  What about Bunker Hill Community College?  And on it goes.

Regards  —  Cliff