Tuesday, October 5, 2010

False Comparisons: the Plight of Historically Black Colleges?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 4, 2010, 02:53 PM ET

By Marybeth Gasman
No matter how many times historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) demonstrate progress and success, they continue to take a beating from ill-informed critics. The latest incident appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Once again, the author used flawed analysis in an attempt to show that HBCUs are inferior.Since their inception, many people have labeled HBCUs inferior even though they are responsible for educating the majority of the African-American middle class as we know it. When hurling criticism at HBCUs, most naysayers point to the words of Black conservatives—such as Thomas Sowell, who has lambasted HBCUs for decades, or sociologists Christopher Jencks and Davie Riesman, whose 1967 study of HBCUs labeled them “academic disaster areas.” What these critics fail to realize is that neither Sowell nor Jencks and Riesman did empirical research on HBCUs to make their claims—instead, they relied only on anecdote and personal experience.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogPost/False-Comparisons-the-Plight/27406/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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