Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Happens When You Send A Kid To The Wrong Level of College

A recurring concern of African-American opponents of affirmative action is that when highly competitive universities (Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard) admit students who are far less prepared than the average incoming freshman, it sets up those students for failure.  As Shelby Steele has pointed out, it is better for a student to graduate from San Jose State than to drop out of Berkeley.  It is better for a student whose high school has not adequately prepared him or her for college to spend a couple of years at a community college before transferring to a four year school, instead of going directly to a four year school, where that student is simply in over his head.

To my shock, the August 16, 2013 Los Angeles Times has published an article concerning a young man named Kashawn Campbell who went from being the class salutatorian at Jefferson High, a very bad school in South Central Los Angeles to being a freshman at UC Berkeley.  He struggled there to keep from being expelled for poor grades.  They also recount the situation of another young African-American who came out of Inglewood High -- and has a 3.8 GPA at Berkeley.  It is pretty clear from reading the article that because Mr. Campbell was making a serious effort at school in a high school where gangster culture was dominant, he was a standout who was praised and strongly encouraged by his teachers to go to a prestige school like Berkeley.

Unfortunately, being at the top of such a high school did not mean that he was ready for Berkeley (unlike the young man who graduated from Inglewood High).  It appears that Mr. Campbell barely survived his first year because of an A- in an African-American Studies class -- while failing, or close, most of his other classes.  (What makes African-American Studies so much easier for Mr. Campbell?)

This is the sort of thing that really angers me.  Mr. Campbell is going to struggle his way through Berkeley because of inadequate primary and secondary education -- and perhaps not graduate.  I understand why his high school was so enthusiastic about him -- think how depressing it must be to be in charge of a school where many of the students are there only until they can legally drop out, or end up in prison.

Berkeley has less of an excuse.  They have to know that admitting a student who is woefully underprepared is not in Mr. Campbell's best interests -- although it does assuage liberal guilt quite effectively.

3 comments:

John Cunningham said...

there are a couple of great posts on this case--
http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/kashawn-campbell/
steve sailer also has a great post on this

TOTWTYTR said...

Not to worry. Kashawn will become a community organizer, go to law school, and eventually become President of the United States.

The LA Times will destroy all traces of this story, tell us how smart he is, and along with the rest of the leftist media fail to ask even one question about his academic record.

After all, it's what they did for Obama.

w said...

More "African-American" messiah's in the making?