Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Data from U.S. Department of Education Notes Racial Educational Inequities in Public Schools.

New data from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights reveal an unsettling observation about the nature of the U.S. Public Education system. In summary, findings suggest that African American and Latino students across the nation are far more likely to be suspended than white students – as well as be more likely to have lower and limited access to rigorous college-prep courses.

The study, which was conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) is a first-of-its kind and was designed to examine educational inequities around teacher experience, discipline and high school rigor. The data was collected from 72,000 schools serving 85 percent of the nation's students and revealed major disparities in the public school experiences of minority and white students.

For example, African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers. Although African American students comprise just 18% of the sample, 35% of the students suspended once, and 39% of the students expelled were black. Findings also indicate that one in five African-American boys - and one in 10 African-American girls - was suspended from school during the study period, the 2009-10 school years. Meaning African-American students are 3-1/2 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers. And 70 percent of students arrested or referred to law enforcement for disciplinary infractions are black or Latino.

The study also notes that nationally, students with disabilities are also more than twice as likely to be suspended as students without disabilities and that teachers in high-minority schools were paid $2,251 less per year than their colleagues in teaching in low-minority schools in the same district.

Academic opportunities also vary widely by race. Among high schools that serve predominately Latino and African-American students, just 29 percent offer a calculus class and only 40 percent offer physics. In some school districts, those numbers are even more glaring. In New York City, for instance, just 10 percent of the high schools with the highest black and Latino enrollment offer Algebra II.

The data breaks down the national data district by district and school by school. In addition, it examines racial disparities in r access to pre-kindergarten programs, success in Advanced Placement courses and the use of physical restraints on students with disabilities. One finding of note was that Just over a quarter of high-minority high schools offered Calculus, while over half of schools with the lowest black and Hispanic enrollment offered the course.

10 comments:

Tiffany Nicole said...

I was just having a conversation with a peer about the state of education after we listened to a speech by educational historian Diane Ravitch. Being an educator, I know first had the depth of the gap; yet my repeated questions is what shall we do? More studies show the problem exists yet no solutions have been brought into action. Choice schools, Raise to the top, etc are not working nor addressing the true problem.

rainywalker said...

This shouldn't be new to any of us. Same with the children in the hills from New York to Georgia, Mississippi, Colorado, etc. No money, no teachers and very few care.

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