Decoding Kilgore’s college admissions message.

From the comments:

I’ve been muddling over this August Free Press article the past two days and still wonder what Kilgore meant. Either it’s a parsed racial message or Kilgore is making a wildly wrong answer.

Virginia is one of the only states in the nation that guarantees universal access to its higher education system. That means that all legal resident of the state are assured acceptance at one of Virginia’s network of public universities, colleges and junior colleges. However, that doesn’t mean that parents who believe their child is a “good student” can count on getting a slot at a top tier school (like, say, UVA, W&M or VATech) if their child isn’t qualified (”good enough”) to attend.

So, does that constitute a backwards reference to equal opportunity? That’s a possibility. It also crosses my mind that it may also be an effort to create a mythos that Virginia’s educational system functions only as a benefit for the priviledged elite, to devalue the work Warner has done to benefit higher education systems. Of course, the message may be to create both a subliminal perception of both issues–racial unfairness and an unfair higher education system–even though neither, in fact, exists.

Still, when faced with such misleading claims, is it enough to show that the claims are incorrect? It’s not as if we gain anything from calling them liars (that just appears defensive and weak). It appears to me that we really have to expose the rationale behind all these manipulative statements, make their hidden agenda known and fight them on that…

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

One reply on “Decoding Kilgore’s college admissions message.”

  1. I thought the Kilgore comments were more about the stuff that is the subject of this article than anything to do with race

    particularly where it says –

    Carmen Comsti, a lower-income fourth-year College student, said she believes students who attend less affluent high schools may be less likely to apply.

    “If an applicant came from a lower-income [area] with a less-than-adequate high school system, they would have to compete with applicants from places like Northern Virginia, which has some of the best high schools in the country,” Comsti said.


    Having come from modest beginnings himself–-his family having worked in a shipyard in Norfolk back to colonial times–Casteen attributed the lack of lower-income students at the University to a variety of factors, including the uneven distribution of “fast-track, college-bound courses” and the concentration of wealth and high achievement in Northern Virginia schools, which makes it difficult for the rest of the state to keep up.

    I infer from these comments that the “good students” at lower performing schools are at a disadvantage, but not necessarily because of their race.

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