Tuesday, November 14, 2006

West Point Competes For Minority Applicants

Interesting information from the Times Herald-Record, a local newspaper near West Point.

The percentage of black cadets has dropped in recent years. In fact, there were only 600 qualified black candidates last year in the entire country.

From a high of 113 black recruits entering in 1998, to a low of 63 in 2003, West Point has seen a drop in black students for nearly a decade. Three years ago, the minority group made up about 7 percent of the 4,000-cadet population. Today it's down to 6 percent.

I remember that percentage being higher when I was there in the 80s, but I could be mistaken. Still, what's the problem?

"While this is an Academy and Army problem, it's a national problem in a much bigger sense," (Director of Admissions Colonel Mike) Jones said. "We have failed a generation of African-American kids... in terms of the opportunities we've provided them, and the emphasis we've given them on education in high schools throughout this country.

"It's a failure at the national level. And that's Jones speaking, not West Point. It's a travesty."

It's our job, in K-12, to fix that, and we're not going to fix it with fuzzy math, whole language, group work, watered-down courses, course title inflation, accepting socio-economic status as destiny, blaming racism, or any other paternalistic endeavor that does anything except hold all students in general, and blacks in particular, to high academic, conduct, and integrity standards.

There is some good news on the horizon, though.

Like the Army, West Point has made significant strides in raising the numbers of another minority population: Hispanic cadets are among the fastest-growing group at the military academy, admission data show.

The overall diversity of the corps has also climbed dramatically in the past decade, from 341 minorities in the Class of 1999 to 439 a decade later.

Hear hear.


Anonymous said...

is west point a good college?

Darren said...

It's a military academy. And by any of several metrics (except recent football stats!) it does an exceptional job of preparing lieutenants for the nation's army.

sailorman said...

"The percentage of black cadets has dropped in recent years. In fact, there were only 600 qualified black candidates last year in the entire country."

Are you insane? Or just trying to be deliberately offensive?

There are many more than 600 black candidates qualified to get into West point.

The reason they don't get in is that entry into West point is politically linked. Knowing a Senator helps. Being a high ranking general's son helps. And no, neither of those are really considered "qualifications" in any sense of the word.

Darren said...

Read the article again. It's what the article says.

When you look at GPA's and test scores, there are very few blacks qualified to attend West Point. I hear this several times a year from the Director of Admissions himself--and it has nothing to do with being "politically linked". Every university in the country is trying to recruit the very few highly-qualified black students that exist.

Sorry if you don't like that stark reality, but it exists.

Anonymous said...

Does this include the football team?

Darren said...

Does *what* include the football team?

If you're interested in specific statistics about West Point's football team, I'd direct you to the Director of Admissions, Colonel Mike Jones. Contact information can be found at http://admissions.usma.edu/