Report: Educational Inequities Still Hold Black Students Back

Frank McCoy, BET News | July 1, 2011

The U.S. Department of Education released part one of its 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Thursday, and it is a comprehensive, and downbeat, look at the education of 75 percent of American students in more than 7,000 districts.

The report, which is long on data and short on recommendations, shows among other things that many Black and other minority children still attend schools that are separate and unequal fifty-seven years after the Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision declared that the situation must end.

During a press conference, Russlyn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights in the Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, provided one recommendation on how the data may assist schools to educate more productive citizens.

Unfortunately, the federal official then tossed the problem back to the local level. Ali said,  “Transparency is the first step toward reform and for districts that want to do the right thing, the CRDC is an incredible source of information that shows them where they can improve and how to get better.”

One can almost hear district school administrators saying “thanks a lot.”

The problem the data shows is that the U.S. is not preparing all public school children for a competitive digital future equally.  How can African-American children learn to excel when the study reports that their schools are the most likely to have inexperienced teachers while white students in the same area have more experienced teachers?  (Read more)