NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Integration Demands Minorities Achieve Academic Distinction

October 18, 1999

If blacks, Hispanics and American Indians want to achieve a place in American society alongside whites and Asian-Americans, they must excel academically. That is the conclusion of a blue ribbon panel commissioned by the College Board, the National Task Force on Minority High Achievement.

  • The panel observed that while many minority members excel academically, many more do not -- despite the narrowing of the achievement gaps since the 1970s.
  • It recommended initiating high quality after-school and summer supplemental programs; a commitment from schools, colleges and universities to focus on high achieving minorities; and public and private resources to seek out and fund successful programs to tackle the problem.
  • The panel found that minorities lag behind their white and Asian-American peers at all socioeconomic levels -- including the middle class.
  • The issue of middle-class minorities' underperformance has only recently received public attention the panel said, even though it has been acknowledged since the late 1960s.

The middle-class gap is significantly related to the high-achievement issue, since it is the middle class that typically produces high achievers.

Source: Annie Nakao, "Success by Minorities Needed for Integration, Task Force Says," Washington Times, October 18, 1999.


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