Kansas and Missouri Worst in Educating Black Collegians

Despite protests in 2015, Missouri still lags behind most other states in educating Black college students.

Despite protests in 2015, Missouri still lags behind most other states in educating Black college students.

By Free Radical

The states of Kansas and Missouri rank worst when it comes to educating Black college students, according to a new report. On a 4.0 GPA-style scale, the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center ranked Kansas the lowest at 1.61 followed by Missouri at 1.68.

The study’s authors USC professor Shaun Harper and research associate Isaiah Simmons employed a rubric that weighed the percentage of black students compared to the percentage of black people 18- to 25 years old in the state; the graduation rate of black students; the number of black women versus black men in the student body; and the ratio of black students to black faculty.

Though no state earned a “B” average, Massachusetts scored highest with 2.81.  In Missouri, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Kansas City received the highest marks of 2.25. The stage’s flagship college, University of Missouri in Columbia scored a 1.75.

The report called on institutions to take diversity seriously and work to correct the microaggressions, culturally irrelevant curricula, and other offensive experiences that repel Black students and faculty.

These circumstances caused Mizzou to erupt along with many other colleges in 2015 as Black students protested their alienation on White college campuses following uprisings in major cities prompted by the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, MO. Mizzou has since made strides to hire more faculty of color, offered aggressive scholarship packages for low-income students, and hired Kevin McDonald as Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Black faculty have increased at Mizzou from 61 in 2014 to 65 in 2017. Yet they still make up just 7 percent of all instructors. The number of Black students has dropped from the 2,500 pre-protest number in 2014 to 2,067 currently.

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