10/23/11 09:41 AM ET
... STEM barriers are not unique to black people. The United States does not produce as high a proportion of white engineers, scientists and mathematicians as it used to. Women and Latinos also lag behind white men.
Yet the situation is most acute for African-Americans.
Black people are 12 percent of the U.S. population and 11 percent of all students beyond high school. In 2009, they received just 7 percent of all STEM bachelor's degrees, 4 percent of master's degrees, and 2 percent of PhDs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
From community college through PhD level, the percentage of STEM degrees received by blacks in 2009 was 7.5 percent, down from 8.1 percent in 2001.
The numbers are striking in certain fields. In 2009, African-Americans received 1 percent of degrees in science technologies, and 4 percent of degrees in math and statistics. Out of 5,048 PhDs awarded in the physical sciences, such as chemistry and physics, 89 went to African-Americans – less than 2 percent.
Several factors are cited by scientists, educators and students. One is a self-defeating perception that STEM is too hard. Also mentioned are a lack of role models and mentors, pressure to earn money quickly, and discouraging academic environments....
There is a sincere problem with 'attitude' about securing our brain trust in the USA. And any excuse to demean hard working Americans and seek to victimize them and their children further is still being touted by the rightwing.
The electorate of the USA needs to decide either they are going to be a world power that makes strides in science and math across the spectrum of those able to learn and carry out discovery, or they can forget about the national security their children will inherit.
First, a graph of how Black students in DC (click here) compare with Black students from other large cities and in the entire nation, from 1992 (the earliest date I found data for):
From "Real Time with Bill Maher" (click here)
...ALICIA MENENDEZ: Yeah, I mean, it creates opportunity -- it basically is a game of musical chairs where we have the same number of chairs but less people competing to sit in those chairs. So it creates opportunity, and as you said, free people up. So that means: you want to go hang out with your grandkids? You can do that. You want to start a business? You can do that because you're no longer dependent on your job for your healthcare.
MAHER: Yeah disincentives to work are not always a bad thing. Americans work too much. Americans are over-worked, overstressed. They take less vacation time. They don't retire when they want to. Not everything is GDP.
S.E. CUPP: No. Um, no. Disincentivizing work, up until two days, was agreed by Democrats and Republicans to be not a great thing. The project of economics on the left and the right has always been to come up with welfare programs that disincentivize work the least. Why? Work is dignity. Work is social and economic empowerment. Work is women's lib. Work is opportunity. So this false argument that somehow disincentivizing 2 million people to work and leave the economy is now a good thing is bull. It's absolute spin....
...MAHER: But Social Security is a disincentive to work.
MENENDEZ: Pell grants are a disincentive to work. I mean, you take basically any program and you say that because you're giving another opportunity now I don't need to fish fry. (HBO's Real Time, February 7, 2014)