College & Workforce Readiness Opinion

The Reason Why Obama Will Miss His 2020 Goal

By Richard Whitmire — October 20, 2010 1 min read
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That goal, to boost the United States to the top of world rankings for college completion, won’t happen, and today’s report from the American Council on Education makes it clear why: men are not completing college at the same rate as women. The Post’s version.

If Obama and the national foundations dedicated to boosting college attainment rates want to make progress toward the 2020 goal they can start by knocking down the de facto moratorium they maintain on acknowledging the gender gaps. The DOE has not issued a single study on the gender gaps. And it’s possible to read through an entire college attainment report by the Gates or Lumina foundations and see not a word on the topic.

Even foundations that should be aware of how powerful and predictive these gaps are prefer to look the other way. Just recently the Schott Foundation released a report on the plight of black males and never got around to comparing black males to black females.

My personal favorite was Obama’s graduation speech at Hampton University, where he looked out over a sea of female graduates and never once commented on the gender gap right in front of him.

These gender gaps have emerged in most Western countries. And yet other countries, England and Australia, for example, are far ahead of the U.S. in trying to deal with them. Why the lag in the country? Here, it’s considered politically incorrect to even broach the topic. Don’t men dominate the White House and the Fortune 500?

True enough, but it’s also true that the U.S. won’t field its best internationally competitive team unless we deal with these gender gaps. And isn’t that what the 2020 goal is all about?
Here’s the full ACE report.

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