Urban Blacks Still Being Shortchanged on Education
May 29, 2002
The 2000 census verified the many advances achieved by black Americans over recent decades. In the education sphere, for example:
- Today, nearly 80 percent of blacks over the age of 25 hold high school degrees -- up from 50 percent in 1980 and just 37 percent in 1960.
- Some 87 percent of blacks between ages 25 and 29 are high school graduates -- the same proportion as whites.
- Forty years ago, just 3 percent of blacks held college degrees -- compared to 17 percent in 2000.
All that said, blacks still lag behind educationally. Test-score differences between black and white students persist, from fourth-grade proficiency exams straight through to SAT scores.
Observers say the last great barrier to educational equality in America is urban education reform. Reformers look to school choice -- particularly vouchers -- as the answer.
Results from existing voucher programs -- in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Florida --show that school choice enhances student achievement.
Source: Editorial, "Closing the Education Gap," Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2002.
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