Walter E. Williams

What about black education in Virginia? According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), black education is a disgrace. In 2003, 51 percent of black eighth-graders scored below basic; 49 percent at or above basic; of these, only 11 percent scored proficient. For black fourth-graders, the scores were 34, 66 and 13 percent, respectively.

In 2002 in reading, 38 percent of black eighth-graders scored below basic, with 62 percent at or above basic and 15 percent scoring proficient. For fourth-graders, the scores were 53, 47 and 15 percent, respectively.

Below basic is the category the NAEP uses for students unable to display even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at their grade level. Given this extreme academic incompetence, one shouldn't be surprised by the 2002 Virginia State Education Profile showing that the median combined SAT score for black students is a disgraceful 848 out of 1600, 210 points below the white median, and the white median is nothing to write home about.

The next time the Virginia General Assembly gets into an apologetic mood and wants to pass another resolution aimed at its black citizens, here are my suggestions: The Commonwealth of Virginia apologizes to its black citizens for not protecting them from criminals who prey upon them and make their lives a daily nightmare. The Commonwealth also apologizes for our government-sanctioned school system that delivers fraudulent education, thereby consigning many of its black citizens to the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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