It is no surprise that Nebraska has the second to the worst achievement gap in college education between whites and minorities. Go Big Ed has been harping on the atrocious racial achievement gap among Nebraska schoolchildren as shown by nationally standardized tests in K-12 for years and years. it is what happens — or doesn’t happen — in K-12 education that most often determines whether a student eventually will earn a diploma and mortar board. And, through the years, minority students have done disturbingly worse on tests such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the ACT and the SAT than their Caucasian peers here.

The statistics point the finger particularly at the two school districts in Nebraska with the biggest minority enrollments, the Omaha Public Schools and the Lincoln Public Schools. A racial achievement gap that is so wide in a state with mostly public, and little private, education, is an indictment of the public policies which apparently are not succeeding in giving equal educational opportunity to minorities here. Obviously, changes need to be made on a massive scale to bring minority students onto an equal par with whites, without degrading the quality of the curriculum and instruction, so that all student populations gain. The findings may be an important boost to proposed school choice legislation in the Unicameral.

Only 26.5% of Nebraska’s minority residents from ages 25 to 44 had at least a two-year, associate’s degree, while 52.8% of whites did, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Community Survey from 2011-15. That gap of 26.3% compares to the racial degree attainment gap in Iowa of 15.6%. It is significantly higher than the national average for the stages of 16.4%. Only Colorado had a wider gap.

The statistics were compiled by David Drozd of the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and released by the Nebraska Coordinating Commission on Postsecondary Education.

Here’s background on the racial achievement gap between younger students in Nebraska, with indicators that form the precursor to the college racial gap: