A report released by the Department of Education’s civil rights division, found that black students were more likely to be suspended from U.S. public schools, even as preschoolers, than whites. In other words, Americans schools are still RACIST.
Attorney General Eric Holder said, “This critical report shows that racial disparities in school discipline policies are not only well-documented among older students, but actually begin during preschool.” “Every data point represents a life impacted and a future potentially diverted or derailed. This Administration is moving aggressively to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline in order to ensure that all of our young people have equal educational opportunities.”
Here are the key findings from the US Department of Education’s Civil Rights Unit:
- Access to preschool. About 40% of public school districts do not offer preschool, and where it is available, it is mostly part-day only. Of the school districts that operate public preschool programs, barely half are available to all students within the district.
- Suspension of preschool children. Black students represent 18% of preschool enrollment but 42% of students suspended once, and 48% of the students suspended more than once.
- Access to advanced courses. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Asian-American high school students and 71% of white high school students attend high schools where the full range of math and science courses are offered (Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics). However, less than half of American Indian and Native-Alaskan high school students have access to the full range of math and science courses in their high school. Black students (57%), Latino students (67%), students with disabilities (63%), and English language learner students (65%) also have less access to the full range of courses.
- Access to college counselors. Nationwide, one in five high schools lacks a school counselor; in Florida and Minnesota, more than two in five students lack access to a school counselor.
- Retention of English learners in high school. English learners make up 5% of high school enrollment but 11% of high school students held back each year.