A new report from the Department of Education brings the statistical news that racial disparities continue in U.S. education. Statistics on pre-K suspensions are staggering. A summary from the Times:
Racial minorities are more likely than white students to be suspended from school, to have less access to rigorous math and science classes, and to be taught by lower-paid teachers with less experience, according to comprehensive data released Friday by the data released Friday by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil RightsDepartment of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
… Black students are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students. A quarter of high schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students do not offer any Algebra II courses, while a third of those schools do not have any chemistry classes. Black students are more than four times as likely as white students — and Latino students are twice as likely — to attend schools where one out of every five teachers does not meet all state teaching requirements.
Irony watch. Such research will help fuel the drive for still more charter schools, which march America even faster to a return to a dual system of education in America, segregated by race and class. Black families, too, seek these segregated settings, which isn’t justification That the “choice” schools — how about the irony of the language of Wallace, Thurmond and Maddox now being a battle cry for excellence? — perform as a whole no better than conventional public schools hasn’t been a deterrent to the movement.
But back to the inequities. This is a striking aspect of the report.
While black children make up 18 percent of preschool enrollment, close to half of all preschool children who are suspended more than once are African-American.
Four-year-olds are such problems that suspension is the best response? And black four-year-olds are three times more likely to be impossibly disruptive? Mind boggling.