In 2006, about 2% of UNC-Asheville’s incoming Freshman Class came from the “bottom half” of their high school class ranking (13 students out of 464). 45% of Fayetteville State University’s incoming Freshman Class, for that year, came from the “bottom half” of their high school class ranking (341 students out of 751).
At that time, (FSU) Graduation rates, for Fall 2000 Freshmen, after 4 years, was 14.2% This percentage increased to 31.8% after 5 years. UNC-A: Graduation rates, for Fall 2000 Freshmen, was 30.0%, after 4 years, increasing to 49.7% after 5 years. UNC-G: Graduation rates, for Fall 2000 Freshmen, was 29.7%, after 4 years, increasing to 48.3% after 5 years.
FSU full-time faculty with doctorate or first professional degree was 207/249 (83%).
UNC-A full-time faculty with doctorate or first professional degree was 154/206 (75%).
UNC-G full-time faculty with doctorate or first professional degree was 546/736 (74%).
If you wanted to provide an intentionally racist and biased system for education, could you come up with a system that is much better than what we currently have? And, how convenient that the lower achievers are willing to group themselves together for racial pride, such as HBCUs… As a system, the numbers don’t look as bad as when you look at the individual institutions.
If I am in the bottom half of my high school ranking, then I might as well not apply to UNC-Asheville because it is highly unlikely that I’m even going to be accepted (2 out of every 100). So, by applying to FSU, I have about a 50-50 chance of being accepted, even though I am in the bottom half of my high school class ranking.
*If I’m in the bottom half of my high school ranking, why would I even apply to college?
Sometime in my life I determined that, “If you want things to change, everybody has to suffer.” Maybe it’s time to “spread the wealth” of our poorly educated students to all UNC-System institutions. I know that’s not going to happen, but if the premier institutions had to start accommodating the “least and the more poorly educated,” then that would be a motivational factor for things to actually change.
You know what I’m saying. If UNC-Asheville started with more than 2%, or UNC-Greensboro started with more than 13%, of their incoming Freshmen being ranked in the “bottom half” of their high school class ranking, then the retention and graduation rates for UNC-A and UNC-G wouldn’t be anywhere near as high as they are. And, if FSU started with less that 45% of their incoming Freshman class being ranked in the bottom-half of their high school ranking, then FSU’s retention & graduation numbers would begin to rapidly improve also.
How about setting a UNC-System standard that no less than 20% and no more than 25% of incoming Freshmen can be from the bottom-half ranking in any of the UNC institutions? That means that UNC-G would take about 135 more low-achieving students and UNC-A about 79 more under-achievers into their Freshmen classes.
Where does the change need to take place? Not by waiting until after the 12th Grade, to provide remedial tutoring to those who have a high school diploma, with hardly the ability to read and understand the words written upon it. If you failed to educate someone in 12 years, you are facing a daunting task if you expect to “catch them up” in 4 or 5 years, plus provide them with a college degree.
Institutions like FSU are not examples of failed college education, but show the fruits of a failed secondary education. If you want to increase retention and graduation rates at FSU, then you need to start with a Freshman class of students who are mostly in the “top-half” of their high school ranking.
Why are the results so difficult to understand? A sports analogy is simple. Would you choose the less talented and motivated individuals for your team, and then expect to win the Super Bowl, or the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship? Well, not unless you are a moron. Even Davidson’s basketball team from a couple of years ago, who displayed probably the best example of “team work” I have ever seen, eventually failed to win the game before reaching the final game. Pro-leagues attempt to spread the talent across teams, by “biased” player drafts based upon the previous year’s low team performance.
Something to watch for in the next 10 years will be the results of the Wake County School Board’s decision to go to Community Based Schools. Specifically, the not quite finished “Walnut Creek Middle School,” where a large percentage (80%) of the student body will come (it is planned) from low-income families. “The General” has already said that if you “get in front of the problem” it is possible to have a positive outcome. Riiiight!?!