|Oh no, we aren't all the same. G-A-C-T clearly shows this...|
Without cheating, that is.
The culprit is not lack of education spending, but the DNA found in black students.
It's that simple.
Some call it Occam's Razor, we simply call it Kersey's Silencer: "Race defines everything, even seemingly undefinable problems. The simplest explanation normally has an unmentionable racial reality to it."
Well, the "Get Schooled" blog at AJC.com needs to understand G-A-C-T when lamenting the lack of black participants in science and math. [A Georgia Tech researcher asks: Where are the black students in science, math?, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9-21-13]:
Dr. Kamau Bobb is a research scientist at the Center for Education Integrating Science Mathematics and Computing at Georgia Tech. This is his first piece for the AJC Get Schooled blog.
By Kamau Bobb
“Stem for All. All for Stem” is the refrain heard throughout the nation and in Georgia. The national emphasis on improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education is to ensure the United States maintains global technological and economic leadership.
Emphasis on STEM has become the cornerstone of the national education dialogue. National and state level focus is on increasing the number of students who graduate from college with STEM degrees to meet growing workforce needs.
Behind the mask of those broad and very real concerns is the withering reality of the under-preparedness of black students in the basics of mathematics and science. The vast majority of black students in Georgia are completely excluded from real participation in the STEM education conversation.
Not since the launch of Sputnik in the late 1950s has the United States put so much emphasis on mathematics and science education. In the 50s, black children were locked out of many educational opportunities because of segregation. Now, more than a half century later, there is resurging attention to STEM fields, but most black children are locked out because of inadequate preparation.
There are innumerable high school and university level programs targeting black and underserved students designed to increase the number of STEM majors and graduates. Many STEM programs are based on the premise that exposing students to exciting applications of STEM studies will hook their intellectual interests and get them to want to pursue STEM education. Despite the efforts of these programs, black and underserved students are essentially locked out of pursuing STEM degrees.
The ugly reality is that the majority of black students in Georgia are not nearly academically equipped in mathematics and science to handle the rigors of post-secondary STEM education.
Blacks aren't 'locked out' from STEM degrees; G-A-C-T defines the key to which individuals succeed or not, as 'Kersey's Silencer' maintains
During the 2011 administration of the Georgia High School End of Course Test for Mathematics I examination, more than half, 54 percent, of the nearly 52,000 black students who took the exam, failed. The failure rate got worse when considering Mathematics II which is the integrated mathematics course that covers statistics, algebra and geometry. Of the approximately 44,000 black students who took that exam, nearly 60 percent failed.
Math II is essentially the gateway to post-secondary STEM education. Black 10th and 11th graders who took this examination are the only sub-group of students in the state where more students failed than passed. These rates are a stunning failure of the educational system in a state where 37 percent of all students in public schools are black and the vast majority of black children attend public schools.
Georgia is arguably two different states, the Atlanta metropolitan area and the rest of the state. The concentration of resources and academic talent around the Atlanta area is significant. Nearly half of all adults, approximately 45 percent, in the metro area have post-secondary degrees of some kind, as opposed to 20 percent or less in the rest of the state. Despite the opportunities and the concentration of educated adults, the academic performance for black students in Atlanta Public Schools is grim and the racial achievement gap is thriving.
71 percent of the 2,500 black students in APS who took the Mathematics II exam in 2011, failed and only 1 percent, 25 students, passed with distinction (Pass Plus). By contrast, only 21 percent of white students failed with 79 percent passing and 23 percent of those passing with distinction.
In Fulton County, where 62 percent of black students failed the Mathematics II exam, 90 percent of the white students passed, 32 percent with distinction. The failure rates and achievement gaps throughout most of the school districts in the metro-Atlanta area are astonishing.
The consequence of this reality is that black students are excluded from much of the STEM conversation and are nearly entirely excluded from the higher level STEM education discourse. For the incoming 2013 freshman class of first time full time freshmen at Georgia Tech, for example, there were only 61 applicants from the entire Atlanta Public School system, nearly 2,500 seniors. Of those 61 applicants, 26 were admitted and 15 have enrolled.
Despite APS being 79 percent black students, only 28 percent, or 17 applicants, of the total applicants from APS were black. Of those 17 applicants, only 1 black freshman was admitted.
The vast majority of black students are simply locked out of the most selective ranks of STEM education. According to the 2010 Schott report in black males and education, “The Urgency of Now,” this problem is compounded by data that suggests that only 42 percent of black male students even graduate from high school in the Atlanta area public school systems.
Despite the array of outreach programs at Georgia Tech, only a single black student in the neighborhood of Georgia Tech was admitted to one of the premiere technical universities in the world.Oh Dr. Bobb, there is no door that locks out black people from participating in STEM; merely, the reality of G-A-C-T represents the invisible key keeping blacks from passing the required mathematical exams necessary for admission to respected institutions such as the Georgia Institute of Technology.
'Kersey's Silencer' goes much farther than Occam's Razor in attempting to explain the how the simplest explanation is usually the truth: the reality of race is in everything, though to admit this is to unravel the very civilization created to blame black (minority) failure on ubiquitous white racism.
We don't live under the U.S. Constitution anymore; we live under the shadow of the Kerner Commission Report. Like a lunar cycle, this age will pass, but it will continue to compel (and inspire) monsters more fearsome than Lon Chaney Jr.'s 'Wolfman' to seek vengeance for G-A-C-T's continued ability to deny social engineers ultimate goal of eradicating whitey.