It is statically proven that minorities in schools make up so little of the U.S.’
higher education population, success simply cannot be attained without a change.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, African American and Latino students
make up 37% of the public school population in the United States (U.S. Department of
Education). Of those 37%, the Department of Education finds that, 27% of the minority
student population is given the opportunity to take an AP course (U.S. Department of
Education). The rate at which the students pass goes down to 18%, as found in the study
(U.S. Department of Education). Although numbers have trended upwards in the rate at
which minority students pass these classes, students in the majority have much more
success. Students in the majority make up around 57% of the nation’s students taking
Advanced Placement courses, with a pass rate of 61%, given in the annual report done by
the Collgeboard on AP course history and testing results (Collegeboard). The stark
difference between students in the majority and minority on success rates, has a
significant impact on the view minority students have of themselves compared to their
classmates.
Martin 2
Continually preventing minority students from having higher level educational
opportunities given to their counterparts has proven to have taken a psychological and
behavioral toll on those students affected. Another study done by the U.S. Department of
Education found that nearly 16% of minority students are suspended and forced to go
home, while only one percent of students in the majority are suspended and forced to go
home (U.S. Department of Education). Suspensions can create a stigma that students are
not capable of attaining a higher level education. An additional idea shared by Karen
Powell Sears of UConn, is the theory of “misidentification” (Sears). It can be defined as,
“the state of feeling unworthy to motivate oneself to do anything out of fear of
preexisting stereotypes” (Sears). A relationship can be found between the concept of
“misidentification” and minority students as it pertains to less success and limited
opportunities in higher level education (Sears). As peer pressure is a common thing
among students of all ages, minority students struggle more than others because of
notions that their race is not capable of achieving a high level of education.