The black-white gap in basic premarket
skills remains a factor of racial inequality in earnings (1).
When blacks and whites have the same twelfth grade test scores,
blacks are more likely than whites to complete college (2).
Similarly, adequate schooling remains an obstacle for the progress of
Latina/os. Therefore, if the American ‘creed of equal opportunity’
is to be inclusive of all groups, then factors that permit individuals
to fully participate in American life must be unrelated to race.
Reducing the racial achievement gap seems to be the best first step for
attaining racial equality and realizing the democratic values U.S.
laws/policies strive to achieve.
The achievement gap may now lead to
even greater racial disparity on many life-chance outcomes due to
antiaffirmative- action initiatives. Proposition 209 banned the
use of race in student admissions to attain diversity in public
institutions in California. Hopwood v. Texas (78 F.3d 932
Fifth Circuit 1995) led to the same ban in both public and private
institutions throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Since
affirmative action is limited to the most selective 20 percent of
four-year institutions (11), fewer blacks and Hispanics may gain
admission to flagship universities, which has occurred in both
California and Texas (12). Many private-sector employers also use
standardized tests for the hiring, placement, and promotion of
employees. Hedges and Nowell (13) write “if very high scores are
needed to excel in a field, or if gatekeepers believe that this is so,
the fact that whites are ten to twenty times more likely to have high
scores makes it almost impossible for blacks to be well represented in
high-ranking positions” (p. 167) (Click
here to see numbered references).