A recent report finds that almost sixty years after the Supreme Court ruled out the separation of students by race, there are still large discrepancies that exist in how the country treats its poor and minority students in education.
The Government Accountability Office released a report on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 that unveiled the deepened levels of segregation of black and Hispanic students at poor K-12 public schools. These schools usually offer less math, science, and college prep classes, and have higher rates of students who were left back in their freshmen year, suspended, or expelled.
The analysis conducted through the study validated the notion that the American school system is segregated by race and class, leaving “more than 20 million students of color now attending racially and socioeconomically isolated public schools.”
“This report is a national call to action,” said Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia, who was also the House of Representative education committee’s top Democrat who demanded the study. The release of the study titled “Better Use of Information Could Help Agencies Identify Disparities and Address Racial Discrimination” coincided with the 62nd anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which stated that segregated schools were unconstitutional.
“While much has changed in public education in the decades following this landmark decision and subsequent legislative action, research has shown that some of the most vexing issues affecting children and their access to educational excellence and opportunity today are inextricably linked to race and poverty,” the report said.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked into three school districts in the South, Northeast, and West that were taking steps to rise the racial and economic diversity in their school systems, but could not due to transportation issues and garnering support from the parents and community.
Some of the shocking findings that this report displays are that:
- Students at these high-poverty minority schools were 7 percent of all ninth grade students in the country, but were 17 percent of all students held back that grade.
- Students at these schools accounted for 12 percent of all students nationwide, and represented 22 percent of all students with one or more out-of-school suspensions and 16 percent of all students expelled.
Make sure you read the report here.
(Photo credit: SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)