Today, 580,000 African-American males are serving sentences in state or federal prison, while fewer than 40,000 Black males earn a bachelor’s degree each year. Nearly 70 percent of Blacks in prison never completed high school. Only 50 percent of Black students graduated from high school on time with a regular diploma in 2001.
In the National Urban League’s annual report on “The State of Black America” the issue of education, was addressed and compared with the overall progression of education in the African-American community versus the larger American community in the past year.
The study revealed disparities in the quality of education, attainment, and retention rates among many other factors.
The National Urban League’s report mainly states that there is no equality between the resources that are being received within the Black community as opposed to the White community.
The study suggests that inequality dominates how each population fares in high school, college, and corporate America. From this assertion, the data explores the quality skills and experience of teacher and the course curriculum of the student.
A chart accompanying the report shows that teacher quality is proven better for the White community in comparison to the Black community. On the middle school level, the study shows that 49 percent of middle school teachers of Black students lacked even a college minor in the subject(s) they are teaching in comparison to 40 percent of teachers who teach white students. The study however doesn’t measure what percentage of teachers achieved qualification certificates in the subjects they now instruct.
The report also highlighted course quality. The results were measured in eight data series-six measured general strength in a student’s high school curriculum while two others measured enrollment in classes like Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Chemistry, English and Grammar. Although, 65 percent of black students were enrolled in high school Algebra courses along with 69 percent of whites, only 32 percent of Black students took Pre-Calculus compared with 50 percent of White students. In calculus 14 percent of Blacks compared with 28 percent of Whites were enrolled.
Attainment was the second disparity studied. In 2004, 26 percent of blacks graduated from two-year-degree-granting schools versus 32 percent of whites. The discrepancy, the study suggests, appears in graduation rates at four-year colleges and universities. 39 percent of Blacks graduate compared to 57 percent of Whites.
The most improvement was observed at the Associate Degree Level. For Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the study reported only slight improvement over the last year. The data shows that a greater percentage of Blacks chose Business, Computer and Education concentrations, while more Whites chose Architecture, Engineering, Law and Medicine concentrations. However, there has been increase in college enrollment of recent high school graduates and in the larger 18-24-year-old age group, an improvement from the same study done in 2005.