National Institute on Aging

Survey Finds African Americans Value Higher Education But Are Unprepared for It

riceThe Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in Houston recently surveyed residents of Harris County, Texas, on their views on education. Some 90 percent of African American respondents stated that success requires education beyond high school. This was a higher rate than other ethnic groups in the survey. Only 64 percent of non-Hispanic Whites said that higher education was necessary for success.

However, despite the importance of higher education to the African American community, only 7 percent of Black high school seniors in the Houston Independent School District have standardized test scores that indicate they are ready to tackle a college-level curriculum. Stephen Klineberg, co-director of the Kinder Institute, professor of sociology, and author of the report, stated, “If Houston’s young people, 70 percent of whom are African American and Hispanic, are unprepared to succeed in today’s knowledge economy, it is difficult to envision a prosperous future for the region as a whole.”


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