Census Study Eyes Blacks in Prison
More than three times as many black people live in prison cells as in college dorms, the government said in a report to be released Thursday. The ratio is only slightly better for Hispanics, at 2.7 inmates for every Latino in college housing. Among non-Hispanic whites, more than twice as many live in college housing as in prison or jail.
There are a lot of reasons why black students do not reach college at the same rate as whites, said Amy Stuart Wells, a professor of sociology and education at Columbia University's Teachers College. Black students are more likely to attend segregated schools with high concentrations of poverty, less qualified teachers, lower expectations and a less demanding curriculum, she said.
"And they are perceived by society as terrible schools, so it is hard to get accepted into college," Wells said. "Even if you are a high-achieving kid who beats the odds, you are less likely to have access to the kinds of courses that colleges are looking for."
This article appeared in the September 26, 2007 edition of the Associated Press.