Western Kentucky Students Declare Standardized Scores as Fostering “White Supremacy” and Demand Free Tuition as Reparations

500px-WKU_logo.svgWestern Kentucky University’s Student Government Association has passed a resolution that declares standardized scores as a tool for “white supremacy.”  They also demanded reparations for African-American students by guaranteeing free tuition.

 

The students denounced standardized test scores as “restrict[ing] the college opportunities for needy students, helping higher education perpetuate inequality.”

They added that “standardized tests perpetuate and uphold white supremacy.”

 “It is clear from research that students and families do not understand what this means, and that the use of test scores in admissions is a defining attribute of the institution and prominent piece of our image,” the resolution reads. “Additionally, the ‘arms race’ for merit aid only bars the low-income and minority students from attending Western Kentucky University.”

SGA President Jay Todd Richey added “We need to consider making reparations in the form of more equitable college admissions policies, financial assistance and campus support and resources, and we hope this provocative statement will launch an important dialogue about how to achieve that.”

WKU students are not alone in demanding the end of standardized tests as inimical to the advancement of black students.  Some schools including George Washington have dropped their reliance on scores as a way of increasing their class diversity.

99 thoughts on “Western Kentucky Students Declare Standardized Scores as Fostering “White Supremacy” and Demand Free Tuition as Reparations

  1. The Kentucky state system has a bloated census (enrollment per capita exceeds that in New York by 67% and exceeds that in Illinois by 93%. They insist on calling all of their institutions ‘universities’ (presumably because vocational master’s degrees are awarded), even the one with fewer than 2,000 enrolled. Four of the eight state ‘universities’ are in small towns. A fifth (this one) is in a small city. Only two (the University of Louisville and Northern Kentucky University) are in the sort of second-tier city in which research universities are at home. Four year completion rates in the system are such that it’s a reasonable wager that about 30% of those enrolled at any one time will never complete a degree.

    They appear to have adopted West Virginia’s economic development strategy: stuff a mess of marginal students into state higher education plants and hope they’ll acquire ‘human capital’ which will juice the economy. The headline numbers (both states have personal income per capita about 20% below national means and both have depressed employment-to-population ratios) suggest this strategy is really not getting the job done.

    Kentucky does not have a large black population (shy of 8% of the total) and if the distribution of black students between performance categories is about the mode, perhaps 5% of those who are college material are black. With some modest exceptions, black youths who are college material hail from that component of the black population enjoying a moderate prosperity, so it makes little sense to give them financial mulligans no one else is getting, particularly large mulligans.

    That this inane status signalling is going on in a small city in a happily provincial state is quite depressing.

    • Susan-You feature Northern Kentucky University(15,000 students). Why didn’t you mention the prestigious University of Kentucky in Lexington?(30,000 students in a city of 500,000). Because you did not do so, you lose all credibility!

      • I did not mention it because it was not my purpose to do a profile of every institution in the state. I mentioned the two institutions in passing because they are located in 2d tier cities (greater Louisville and greater Cincinnati). Lexington / Fayette County has a population just north of 300,000 of which perhaps 200,000 live in the dense core.For a research university to be maintained in a city that size requires a somewhat hypertrophied higher education sector, something a 2d tier city does not.

        The University of Kentucky is a state research university like a couple hundred others. Per US News, it does not rank exceptionally well among institutions of that description. It also has a 4 year completion rate of 35%, which is somewhat under par for a state flagship campus (Ohio State’s is 59%; SUNY Buffalo’s is 55%, George Mason’s is 46%, College Park’s is 69%, Chapel Hill’s is 82%.

  2. When unable to do college/university level work look for social promotions it’s the logical end to the
    ‘attaboy attagirl good try’ or “If three plus two = nine for you that’s fine lack of mentality.

    What are they going to do when they can’t get a job with a bogus diploma and see the employer asks for ‘educated’ graduates from places like Mexico.

    MORE WELFARE?

    That school will probably cave……good target for cutting taxpayer provided funding.

    Sorry I’m already ‘dumbing’ down the level of language as much as possible to pre legitimate 8th grade levels. Apologies for the serious contributors.

    • Yo! To help you out, I ran what you said thru an English to Ebonics translator, to make it easier to understand:

      Yo! When unable ta does college/unahversahty level work loaahahght for socahal promotahons aht’s da logahTaiwo P end ta da ‘attaboy attagahrl fly try’ or “If three plus two = nahne for ya dat’s straahght lack of mentalahty. Slap mah fro! With muh beeotch! What day at goahng ta does when day ca’t get a job wahth a bogus dahploma a’ see da employer asks for ‘educated’ graduates from places lahke Mexahco. mo WELFARE? dat school wahll probably cave……fly target for cuttahng taxpayer provahded fundahng. Sorry I’m already ‘dumbahng’ doeswn da level of laguage as much as possahble ta pre legahtahmate 8th grade levels. Apologahes for da serahous contrahbutars.

      http://funtranslations.com/ebonics

      Yo! Squeeky Fromm
      Beeotch Potoh

  3. As we speak, about 14% of the students enrolled in baccalaureate-granting institutions are black. Per the Census Bureau, about 15% of those in the relevant age group are black. Given the performance gaps between black students and generic students (about 0.75 standard deviations), you’re not going to get from here to there without dramatically lowering admissions standards for blacks. If you simply rank-ordered aspirants according to their board scores, achievement tests, and high school grades, it’s a passable wager that roughly 6% of matriculants would be black rather than 14%. If the majority of your subset were admitted contra the usual screens, the majority will be having academic problems well above and beyond the norm. It’s not surprising they’re dissatisfied with life. They’re just misunderstanding the source of their problem.

    • By their reasoning, a college degree, earned by merit, is the ultimate symbol of white privilege. As is a clean criminal record, job experience, and being articulate. There was that infamous push to accept Ibonics as a valid language, and to hire people who spoke it exclusively in jobs that dealt with the public.

      They are pushing for Fahrenheit 451, where only those who stutter are TV anchors, only the most discombobulated dance ballet, and the intelligent are affixed with a chip to disrupt thoughts. Only they want only Black People to get that special treatment.

      Meanwhile, people like Misty Copeland, Venus and Serena Williams, and Ben Carson are out there busting barriers and earning their victories.

      • They are pushing for Fahrenheit 451, where only those who stutter are TV anchors, only the most discombobulated dance ballet, and the intelligent are affixed with a chip to disrupt thoughts. Only they want only Black People to get that special treatment.

        Not sure with what you’ve confused Fahrenheit 451, but those things are not in the plot.

  4. “Western Kentucky University’s Student Government Association has passed a resolution that declares standardized scores as a tool for “white supremacy.””

    This is actually inherent to the Affirmative Action movement. It was the reasoning behind lowering the bar for minorities. They assumed that minorities who have lower grades and SAT scores were underprivileged, and underperformed through no fault of their own, and so it was unfair to hold them to the same standards as Caucasians. This led to students being admitted to higher education who had no business being there. They either flunked out, or they continued to receive special treatment and skated through.

    I have always found Affirmative Action, and especially lowering the bar, to be inherently racist. It assumes that the child of a rich rapper is similarly “underprivileged” as someone from the poor inner city. Both might have a C average, but both clearly did not enjoy the same advantages.

    Lowering the bar sends the message that an African American is incapable of performing at the same high level as a Caucasian of the same socioeconomic status. I cannot think of a more racist message than that.

    The answer to low test scores among African American and other minority students is early intervention, intense tutoring, or any other help we can give them to learn more, perform better, and retain more. The answer is never to expect less. The movie Stand By Me was an inspirational true story on the power of one teacher throwing himself into improving the lives of his students. And he got results.

    Any student, of any race or ethnicity, who is struggling in school should have access to the same resources to help him or her improve.

    • Oh, and another issue that can be difficult to address is culture. Among first generation Asians, for example, the pressure to excel in school is so intense that you could make a diamond out of those students by the time they graduate. It can be excessive. On the other hand, there is intense pressure among Latinos and African Americans to drop out. It can be excessive.

      Facing the pressures head on that these precious kids face every day is critical to the key to their success. That includes doing drugs, crime, not raising their hand in school, not doing homework because nerds aren’t cool, getting pregnant in high school, or whatever. There is a lot of pressure on a lot of these kids pushing them to ruin their lives. And they don’t always have a Mom and Dad or peer group teaching them the strength to push back. If we could somehow help kids learn inner strength, character, and set high goals, it could turn things around.

      All of our fortunes are interconnected. When 75% of families are single mothers with absentee fathers, struggling in poverty in gang infested neighborhoods, it affects the crime rate of entire cities, drives businesses away, and ends up driving the social programs of the entire country trying to deal with the mess. Creating a culture where kids strive to be successful and law abiding benefits us as a country, financially, ethically, and socially.

      • All of our fortunes are interconnected. When 75% of families are single mothers with absentee fathers, struggling in poverty in gang infested neighborhoods,

        1. About 30% of black households include a married couple. A great many of those who do not do not include minor children.

        2. The personal income per capita for blacks is about 1/3 lower than the national mean, or about what was normal for whites ca. 1985. In terms of purchaseable goods and services, black Americans are more affluent than the people of Mediterranean Europe and on a par with that part of Britain outside of the London commuter belt. The life expectancy for blacks is also about what it was for whites in 1985. They’re not all that poor.

        3. If you’re concerned about the crime rate in black neighborhoods, time to agitate for a metropolitan police force, better police staffing, and use of best practices by police forces (what New York does and Chicago does not do). Whinging about imaginary ‘poverty’ or about people’s domestic arrangements gets you precisely nowhere.

        4. ‘Gangs’ are largely the stuff of entertainment. You have high homicide rates in slums because you’ve got a great many short-tempered and impetuous people there. More cops, please, and proactive policing please.

        5. If you want to improve the schools, start with shipping the inocrrigibles to day detention centers run by the Sheriff’s department.

      • Among first generation Asians, for example, the pressure to excel in school is so intense that you could make a diamond out of those students by the time they graduate.

        Not every Oriental kid gets stuck with Amy Chua.

        The movie Stand By Me was an inspirational true story on the power of one teacher throwing himself into improving the lives of his students. And he got results.

        No, Stand By Me was a completely fictional adventure story / buddy picture and had nothing to do with schooling. You’re thinking of Stand and Deliver. Hiring Jaime Escalante is a non-scalable solution to our problems.

        • Desperate is sharp w/ movies. Stand by Me had a good cast including JT’s boyhood friend, John Cusack. Based on the Stephen King novella, The Body.

  5. Dumping standardized tests as the basis for much of anything is a great idea on its own. All the racism stuff is just noise. What purpose do such tests actually serve? What do they tell us about a student other than their test taking ability? Not a whole lot.

    • They tell us plenty about general intellectual performance and (regarding achievement tests) the foundation of academic knowledge a student has. The trouble with secondary school grades is that they’re not calibrated and cannot be calibrated.

  6. Do these young black students really think young whites from off the back roads of Appalachia are privileged white folk? Perhaps they need to study the history of other ethnic groups. Then, just maybe they can begin to learn how other groups have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. In their striving to succeed, they look up to those who have gone before and succeeded. They do not make themselves victims by remembering only those who failed.

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