Allen West Old School Patriot college

The Achievement Gap No One Talks About

In Education, Front Page by Allen WestLeave a Comment

Yes, I know, there is only one topic on everyone’s mind right now: will the Tennessee Volunteers redeem themselves this upcoming college football season? Okay, I am just kidding . . . well, actually there are some of us pondering that, I ain’t gonna lie.

But, in the real world, we are all wondering what’s going to happen with the summit between North Korea and the United States. This is, indeed, a high stakes, and historic, meeting. One thing is for certain: President Trump arrived on Air Force One, Kim Jong Un arrived on an Air China American made 747 — very telling right off. There is no doubt President Trump is going into this meeting commanding a moral high ground, and the economic cards. China is very concerned that Kim Jong Un could take a position that acts in contrast to its national security interests. However, let’s be honest, dictators want to stay in power, except Kim Jong Un finds himself rather isolated and leading a failing state.

But, if I could, I would like to focus this missive on something else that addresses a failure in our education system. We are coming out of the college graduation season, and there is an interesting statistic to ponder. As reported by CNS News:

“Women earned approximately 57 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded by U.S. institutions of higher education in the 2016-2017 academic year, according to data released this week by the National Center for Education Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education. That, according to NCES data, makes 2016-2017 the eighteenth straight academic year in which women have earned approximately 57 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded by U.S. colleges and universities.” 

Could it be that we have an educational achievement gap that few are speaking out about?

First, let me be honest: I am surrounded by three pretty smart women. My wife Angela obtained a BS degree in Marketing, with a minor in Finance, at Kansas State University. She also got her MBA from Long Island University, Brooklyn. Upon graduation, she joined me in Manhattan, KS — where I was stationed at Ft. Riley — and was hired by her alma mater, K-State, in the College of Business. Before we departed for Ft. Bragg in 1997, eight years later, Angela had earned her Ph.D in Psychology, Adult Education, and earned her status as an Assistant Professor.

Our oldest daughter, Aubrey, has her BS from Nova Southeastern University, in Pre-Med/Biology. Last year Aubrey graduated from Southern Methodist University, with her Masters in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She was accepted to Physician Assistant School, and has just completed her didactic year, and begins her clinical rotations next month.

Our youngest daughter, Austen, is heading into her senior year at Florida International University, in Health Services Administration. Yep, there are times when I feel rather intellectually challenged to keep up with these West women.

For eighteen years we have witnessed an incredible graduation achievement gap for women in America. I have to ask several questions, and would love to hear your thoughts on this consistent revelation. I would first like to know how much more exacerbated is this college graduation achievement gap in the black community? Now, I am not a brilliant fella, but I do have a Bachelor’s and two Masters degrees. But, the question I ponder is whether or not I am an anomaly, or the status quo? This statistic, revealed by the CNS News article, from the NCES data, is cause to ask more questions. Why are males graduating 14% less than females? Are these males entering the workforce moreso than females, or are they just not attending college . . . or are these males the snowflakes who are on college campuses, but not graduating?

Then again, we need to ask: what type of degrees are these young women acquiring? With our daughters, we are stressing hard skill degrees focused on certain fields, in their case, the medical field. I remember a young lady at University of California, Santa Barbara, who asked me a question during my Speaker’s Series visit there last year. Her inquiry centered on what her possibilities were post-graduation, with a degree in Women’s Studies. I was honest, and confided they were very little. I recommended that she acquire a Master’s degree in a field that makes her highly marketable. So, we need to ask: what types of degrees have these young women received? What we must all be on guard for are the degrees of indoctrination that serve only to produce the next generation of progressive socialist, female, or male.

Yes, 57% of the bachelors degrees in our colleges and universities are going to women. That’s great. I am glad to know that within our family, we have been a part of that statistic, and hope to continue in the next few years. But, a Bachelor’s degree is an enabler only if it has worth, relevance, and importance. I would like to see an increase in males receiving Bachelor’s degrees. I want all our children, and grandchildren, to attain the American dream; sometimes a college degree is not a necessity.

What is vital is that we have an economy that enables them to achieve success, to thrive, and, to pay back their student loans. One thing that is promising is that American now has an economy that is welcoming to college graduates. The question is: are these college graduates ready for this economy?

Another critical aspect is to ensure we have a safe, and secure, global society . . . and President Trump is poised to make that a real possibility this week.

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