I was going through a blog written by a gentleman named Tom McMahon, a conservative who I don't often agree with but still enjoy looking at from time to time, and he had this one entry which was talking about a news story where a writer named Jonah Goldberg, a writer for the National Review, had written this article basically indicating that diversity programs that some universities across the country are trying to implement are causing other minority groups, most specifically Asian and Jewish Americans, to be bumped from those same universities because, though their test scores are high, there's too many of them who qualify, based on the criteria, at the expense of other minorities.

In the same story, Mr. Goldberg goes on further to say that these affirmative action programs haven't necessarily helped blacks either because, in his words, "Black students admitted to universities above their skill level often do poorly and fail to graduate in high numbers.

I'm sure he would say that someone like me was missing the point, and I did see that quote in his story, but not on what I'm going to say. Truthfully, it's him and others like him who are missing the point. There is more at stake here than just a review of test scores. It's all about opportunity and the chance for a better life that some students wouldn't have a chance at without having the opportunity to go to certain colleges. It's so much different going to a school where you have so much more to worry about as far as your life goes than just trying to get the best grades possible. I went to an inner city school, and I went to school in the suburbs, and one can see that it's not about quality, it's about perspective.

Schools in suburbia are now just starting to concern themselves with some of the dangers that urban and city schools have always had to concern themselves about. Disenfranchised children? Suburban schools can't compare in numbers with anything the other schools have to deal with, and for a much longer time period. If one only had to worry about high school kids at least there might be a chance for some balanced perspective, but it starts much earlier, in grade school, where some of the city kids have to worry about whether they're going to be eating at home that night or whether they're going to be with their mother or grandmother or aunts, or whether they're going to be wearing something different to school the next day. And that's the easy stuff.

There are two realities. One, some of the data that stories like the one above is based on is fairly old, based on a report from the Harvard Crimson. And two, college dropout rates are high across the board, though it's worse for minority students. Does this mean that minorities aren't intellectually capable of competing at the same level as other students, or does it mean that there are other, more pressing concerns, that make staying in college more difficult?

I guess that's the problem with some statistics; they don't come close to telling the whole story.