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ERIC Number: EJ873894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1067-1803
Beware of False Promises
Bush, Edward C.; Bush, Lawson, V
Community College Journal, v74 n5 p36-39 Apr-May 2004
The "good fruit, bad fruit" parable provides a metaphor for sound accountability. If one wants to assess the source of problems to determine quality, then one must look at what has been produced. Unfortunately, many researchers and practitioners have examined the fruit without determining the quality of the tree. This failure has allowed institutions like the community college to escape responsibility for the results of their harvest. The new, national, educational accountability system, which requires K-12 schools to demonstrate success for each racial subgroup, has created an institutional dialogue in school districts across the nation on teaching and schooling practices that best suit the needs of underachieving populations. Although this policy is a minor step towards addressing the educational inequity of the K-12 system, it has created conversation around race and achievement. The community college system at this point has not undergone this same type of scrutiny. It also lacks the incentive to examine the academic outcomes by ethnicity in a meaningful way that will spur the type of qualitative change that is necessary to change these outcomes. Without fiscal or community pressure, there is very little incentive for community colleges to deal with this difficult and politically charged discussion about race, institutional racism, and achievement. In looking at the microcosm of the California community college system, have institutions neglected higher education for African-American males? A review of student performance at the postsecondary level indicates that perhaps no other subgroup has been left as unattended and undernourished as have African-American males. African-American men in the California state system are the lowest performing subgroup in percentage of degrees earned, persistence rates, and average cumulative grade point average. Transfer rates are the only measure in which African-American males are not the lowest performing group but they are still well behind Anglo and Asians subgroups. Like fruit that is left on the vine, African-American male students in many institutions have been left with only the potential of ripening. It is wasted potential because the institutions of higher education have yet to put forth a concerted effort to develop techniques to support them so that they can grow and fulfill their life's purpose. With the need for new policies in mind, the authors have formulated a list of recommendations for community colleges that are specifically designed to address the needs of African-American male students. (Contains 1 table.)
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California