Ronald Saba, my father, grew up in Lawrence Massachusetts and was not from a wealthy family. He was second generation from Lebanon and his family knew one thing - he had to get a ticket to the middle class
Back then, just as it is today, there were two guaranteed tickets to the middle class - engineering and the military.
- Engineering jobs paid well, had benefits and prestige and provided an opportunity for those with the knowledge form a degree to get into the profession.
- The military provided a way to earn a college degree through the GI Bill and provided work and experience while you were getting there.
The ticket to the middle class is becoming scarce for many students of color who -
- In Mississippi only 19 African American students passed an AP math or science exam last year - 19 in the entire state. Their neighbors to the west in Louisiana fared slightly better with 100
- EdTrust reports that 29% of Hispanic and 39% of African Americans FAILED the military entrance exam - an incredibly basic exam
During the 90's and early 00's business school was the ticket out - people were becoming rich in sales and business. But their is a glut of business majors.
If we are ever going to fix the achievement gap we have to give more students a ticket to the middle class and that starts with STEM.