Government study shows that US public schools are racist
The US Education Department has, on 21 March, released the results of a survey that gathered data from every school district in the country. The results indicate that even today, racism and discrimination are still rampant in classrooms across the US.
In a statement, US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan said, “This data collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain. In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed.”
According to the survey results, public school students of color get more punishment and less access to experienced teachers than their white schoolmates. Black students are suspended or expelled at three times the rate of their white peers – 5% of white students were suspended annually as opposed to 16% of black students.
Black girls were also suspended at a far greater rate than girls of other ethnicities and even most categories of boys.
Also, minority students were assigned teachers that didn’t have the necessary experience. 7% of black students were assigned to schools where almost one in four of the teachers failed to meet license and certification requirements.
The difference isn’t just limited to the students. According to the report, a quarter of school districts in the country paid teachers in less-diverse high schools up to $5,000 more than they did those in schools with higher black and Latino student enrollment.
In 1954, the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling banned school segregation and affirmed the right to quality education for all children and the 1964 Civil Rights Act guaranteed equal access to education.
But, sadly, the new research shows that there is still a lot more to be done if the academic performance of minority students is to be improved and they are to be stopped from dropping out of school and ending up on the streets.