A Persistent Divide: New Federal Data Explore Education Disparities

The labor supply of low social status, docile and cheap, can be maintained in subjection only by systematic degradation and by deliberate efforts to suppress its intelligence. Capitalism & Slavery, Eric Williams, The University of North Carolina Press, 1944

A deep gulf between the educational experiences of traditionally disadvantaged student groups and their peers on a broad range of indicators persists in U.S. public schools, according to new federal data. Here are some major highlights from the latest Civil Rights Data Collection—data on more than 50 million students collected from more than 99 percent of public schools and districts in the country during the 2013-14 school year.
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School Discipline
The number of K-12 students who received at least one out-of-school suspension dropped by nearly 20 percent since the 2011-12 school year, but disparities persist.
• 6 percent of all K-12 students were suspended in 2013-14. The suspension rate was 18 percent for black boys, 10 percent for black girls, 5 percent for white boys, and 2 percent for white girls.
• American Indian or Alaska Native, Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and multiracial boys are also disproportionately suspended from school, representing 15% of K-12 students but 19% of K-12 students receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions.
• Students with disabilities served by IDEA are more than twice as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions as students without disabilities.
• Black boys represent 8% of all students, but 19% of students expelled without educational services.
• Black children made up 19 percent of preschool enrollment, but 47 percent of suspended preschool children. By comparison, white children made up 41 percent of enrollment but 28 percent of children suspended.
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Access to Advanced Coursework
High-level math and science classes were not universally, or equally, offered in the nation’s high schools in 2013-14.
• 33% of high schools with high black and Latino student enrollment* offer calculus, compared to 56% of high schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.
• 48% of high schools with high black and Latino student enrollment* offer physics, compared to 67% of high schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.
• 65% of high schools with high black and Latino student enrollment* offer chemistry, compared to 78% of high schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.
• 71% of high schools with high black and Latino student enrollment* offer Algebra II, compared to 84% of high schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.
• Black and Latino students represent 38% of students in schools that offer AP courses, but 29% of students enrolled in at least one Advance Placement course.
* “High/low black and Latino student enrollment” refers to schools with more than 75 percent and less than 25 percent black and Latino student enrollment, respectively.
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Chronic Student Absenteeism
About 13 percent of all U.S. students—more than 6 million—missed at least 15 days of school in the 2013-14 school year.
• 20% or more of American Indian or Alaska Native (26%), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (25%), black (22%), multiracial (21%), and Latino (20%) high school students are chronically absent.
• High school students with disabilities served by IDEA are 1.3 times as likely to be chronically absent as high school students without disabilities.
• 20% of all English-language-learner high school students are chronically absent.

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Teacher Absenteeism
Nationally, 27 percent of pre-K-12 teachers were absent for more than 10 school days in the 2013-14 school year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education and Education Week Research Center
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Teacher/Staffing Equity
Black, Latino, and American Indian or Alaska Native students are more likely to attend schools with higher concentrations of inexperienced teachers.
• 11% of black students, 9% of Latino students, and 7% of American Indian or Alaska Native students attend schools where more than 20% of teachers are in their first year of teaching, compared to 5% of white students and 4% of Asian students.
• 10% of teachers in schools with high black and Latino student enrollment* are in their first year of teaching, compared to 5% of teachers in schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.

Sources: Civil Rights Data Collection and U.S. Department of Education

“Signed…An Educated Brother!”

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And Everybody Knows The Truth…We Just Keep On Pushing!!!

IN HONOR OF WE PEOPLE WHO ARE DARKER THAN BLUE

We’re A Winner
And Never Let Anybody Say
Boy, You Can’t Make It
Cause Some People’s Mind Is In Your Way
No More Tears Do We Cry,
The Black Boy Done Dried His Eyes,
Cause We’re Moving On Up, Moving On Up
Lord Have Mercy, We’re Moving On Up Now, Moving On Up
They’ll Be No More Uncle Tom
Unless That Blessed Day Has Come
And We’re A Winner, And Everybody Knows The Truth
We’ll Just Keep On Pushing, Like Martin Luther Told You To
And I Don’t Mind Leaving Here, To Show The World We Have No Fear
Cause We’re Moving On Up, Moving On Up, Lord Have Mercy We’re Moving On Up
We’re Moving On Up
So People Get Ready, I’ve Got Good News For You
How We Got Over, Like We’re All Suppose To Do
Let Us All Say A-Men, And Together We’ll Clap Our Hands
Cause We’re Moving On Up, Moving On Up
Lord Have Mercy We’re Moving On Up Now, Moving On Up!!!

Curtis Mayfield, Curtis/Live! (Live @ Bitter End, NYC), Buddah Records, 1971

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Education Week Examines The Teaching Profession

African-American men like Chrissell Rhone make up just 2 percent of U.S. teachers and, for many of them, school can be a lonely place.

 

 

 

 

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The Nation: How Could Tamir Rice’s Death Be ‘Reasonable’?

Imaginative legal reasoning deals a real blow.

 In a world of complex and systemic violence, legal reason sometimes follows an imaginative narrative arc.

Take the case of Charles K. Goodridge, a computer programmer in Texas, who sued Hewlett-Packard, his employer of nearly a decade, for racial discrimination. He lost his job as part of a settlement in that case. Already in his late 40s, he was unable to find other regular work and was eventually evicted from his apartment. As Anand Jahi, Goodridge’s cousin and a graduate student at Princeton, wrote in YES! Magazine, “economic devastation turned him into a trespasser.” And so, early on the morning of July 9, 2014, Goodridge was discovered in the fitness center of his former building by Francisco Ruiz, an erstwhile neighbor and off-duty county constable who moonlighted as a security guard for the complex. Ruiz returned to his apartment to retrieve his gun and a set of handcuffs. He then chased Goodridge into the parking lot of the complex, where, according to the Harris County DA, he “became fearful that Goodridge was going to take his gun and kill him with it, so when he gained some distance from Goodridge, Ruiz pulled the gun and shot [him] twice” in the abdomen. A grand jury failed to indict Ruiz for this act…

For the entire piece check out http://www.thenation.com/article/how-could-tamir-rices-death-be-reasonable/

“Signed…An Educated Brother!”

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The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

by Langston Hughes
The Nation, June 23, 1926
(From April 2015 150th Anniversary Edition)

One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, “I want to be a poet—not a Negro poet,” meaning, I believe, “I want to write like a white poet”, meaning subconsciously, “I would like to be a white poet”, meaning behind that, “I would like to be white.”  And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself.  And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet.  But this is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art in  America—this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible.  A very high mountain indeed for the would-be racial artist to climb in order to discover himself and his people.

Certainly there is, for the American Negro artist who can escape the restrictions the more advanced among his own group would put upon him, a great field of unused material ready for his art.  Without going outside his race, and even among the better classes with their “white” culture and conscious American manners, but still Negro enough to be different, there is sufficient matter to furnish a black artist with a lifetime of creative work.  And when he chooses to touch on the relations between Negroes and whites in this country with their innumerable overtones and undertones, surely, and especially for literature and the drama, there is an inexhaustible supply of themes at hand.  To these the Negro artist can give his racial individuality, his heritage of rhythm and warmth, and his incongruous humor that so often, as in the Blues, becomes ironic laughter mixed with tears. 

Jazz to me is one of the inherent expressions of Negro life in America: the eternal tom-tom beating in the Negro soul—the tom-tom of revolt against weariness in a white world, a world of subway trains, and work, work, work,; the tom-tom of joy and laughter, and pain swallowed in a smile.  To my mind, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering “I want to be white,” hidden in the aspirations of his people, to “Why should I want to be white?  I am a Negro—and beautiful!”

So I am ashamed for the black poet who says, “I want to be a poet, not a Negro poet,” as though his own racial world were not as interesting as any other world.  I am ashamed, too, for the colored artist who runs from the painting of Negro faces to the painting of sunsets after the manner of the academicians because he fears the strange un-whiteness of his own features.  An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.

Let the blare of Negro jazz bands and the bellowing voice of Bessie Smith singing blues penetrate the closed ears of the colored near-intellectuals until they listen and perhaps understand.  We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame.  If white people are pleased we are glad.  If they are not, it doesn’t matter.  We know we are beautiful.  And ugly too.  The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs.   If colored people are pleased we are glad.  If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either.  We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.

“Signed…An Educated Brother!”

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For Ending Racial Bias, Diversity Training Alone Isn’t Effective by Samina Hadi-Tabassum

This opinion piece appeared in the July 2nd online edition of Education Week

In relation to the recent spate of police shootings, there are many parallels that can be made between the police force and the teaching force. Each profession is composed of mostly white middle class individuals who are finding themselves working in unexpected settings, often lacking the skills to address the needs of majority minority communities. In order to better prepare the new recruits for diverse settings, both schools of education and police departments are implementing anti-bias trainings.

We have enough research to support the finding that both teachers and police officers come into their work settings with implicit biases that can have a deleterious effect on students’ academic achievement, as well as a community’s well-being. Within a few seconds, teachers immediately begin to sort and classify students when they enter the classroom on the first day. The way a student speaks and the way she or he dresses are often two nodal points in which teachers implicitly judge students. Our ability to quickly sort and classify is a primordial mechanism, which dates back to our ancient brains that needed to determine immediately who was friend and who was foe. Yet, this binary mode of flight versus fight does not function well in a highly mobile and fluid landscape in which diversity is increasing at an exponential rate and our brains have not caught up yet with the rapid changes.

I work with teaching candidates who grow up in bubble worlds in which everyone is mostly white and mostly middle class. Their first encounter with a person of color is often with the students in their field-experience classroom. Their stellar suburban education never afforded them the social capital and emotional intelligence needed to work well with people who are not like them.Yet, when teachers walk into the classroom starting on the first day, their biases and assumptions about the students, their parents and their intelligence levels surface right away. These biases and assumptions can falsely drive instruction for the first weeks of teaching until student achievement data and other demographic information surfaces months later. It takes great effort on my part to undo these implicit biases.

However, the recent police shootings and subsequent anti-bias training, as noted by reports from National Public Radio as well as The New York Times, questions the effectiveness of such training. Can I train my teachers to become fair and impartial? Does addressing race, ethnicity, religion, and gender differences in my courses necessarily lead to less bias in my teaching candidates? Will my students empathize with the minority students in their future/current classrooms or will their stereotypes be reinforced through my diversity teachings?

There is a growing body of research that cites the need for better teaching as a solution to prevent implicit biases and assumptions from negatively affecting underrepresented minority students. Instead of more anti-bias training, police academies are also providing more specialized skill-based training, such as how to effectively identify what the assailant is holding, as a way to prevent police shootings. By learning to teach more effectively, the teacher can use specific strategies and techniques that allow all students to achieve, such as more student-centered methods in order to avoid the biases and assumptions from taking hold. It is important for the teacher to keep anti-bias training in the background of his or her mind, but it is imperative that they keep effective methods of teaching in the foreground of their mind. The methods should drive her or his teaching rather than their implicit biases and assumptions.

Samina Hadi-Tabassum is an associate professor of education at Dominican University, in River Forest, Ill., where she directs the English-as-a-second-language/bilingual program and works with cohorts of first-year teachers. She is writing a book addressing race relations in public schools. Follow her on Twitter @SaminaHadiTabas.

“Signed…An Educated Brother!”

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A Righteous Path

NEW ROCHELLE
UNITED METHODIST MEN
PRESENTS
“An Evening of Outreach & Understanding”

Friday, June 19th
6:00pm
New Rochelle United Methodist Church
1200 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10804

WEBSITE
http://www.gcumm.org/groups/NRUMM
RSVP
EdG2553@gmail.com

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