The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

Research Writing 145 The American Educational System: Inequitable and Unjust Kristen Cochran The end of African American slavery marked the beginning of immense challenges in African American education. Studies reveal African Americans remain remarkably less likely to hold higher education degrees than Caucasians. A study conducted by authors Naylor, Wyatt-Nichol, and Brown reveals, “13.7% of the Black population 25 years and older hold a baccalaureate degree; and 7.5% hold an advanced degree” (528). A study of the same age groups in the white population reveals the following: “22.5% a baccalaureate degree and 12.5% an advanced degree” (528). The difference is dramatically clear. Naylor, Wyatt-Nichol, and Brown’s article, “Inequality: Underrepresentation of African American Males in U.S. Higher Education”; Whaley and Noël’s article, “Sociocultural Theories, Academic Achievement, and African American Adolescents in a Multicultural Context: A Review of the Cultural Compatibility Perspective”; and Lynn’s article, “Race, Culture, and the Education of African Americans” reveal the considerable research detailing the challenges African Americans face to receive superb educations. While Naylor, Wyatt-Nichol and Brown; Whaley and Noël; and Lynn agree that poverty and the African American culture play an imperative role in African American achievement, each study proposes various solutions to remedy the current depressed state of African American education. Each study acknowledges poverty’s detrimental role in African American education, but only Naylor, Wyatt-Nichol, and Brown offer potential solutions for poverty’s effects. The authors believe poverty directly relates to degree attainment. They provide a startling statistic: “Students from upper income families are nine times more likely to graduate from college than students from lower income families” (qtd. in Mortenson 245; Naylor, Wyatt-Nichol, and Brown 524). First, Naylor, Wyatt-Nichol, and Brown suggest low-income