MARCH 07, 2012
Minorities are being cheated out of a quality education and essentially getting persecuted in public schools around the United States, according to a new report published by the Obama Department of Education (DOE).
It marks the latest of several government probes aimed at illustrating perpetual discrimination against minorities in various sectors. The Obama Administration has also released findings of prejudice against minorities in farming, voting, the judicial system, employment and even nutrition. In fact, Michelle Obama’s $4.5 billion nutrition law focuses solely on poor, inner-city residents and “at-risk” children. That’s code for low-income minorities.
Why should education be left out of the president’s discrimination bandwagon? This week the DOE reveals that minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers. The agency concludes this after conducting a national survey of more than 72,000 schools serving 85% of the nation’s students.
Among the key findings are that African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers and that students learning English are more likely to be retained. Also, only 29% of “high-minority high schools” offer advanced math such as calculus, compared to 55% of schools with the “lowest black and Hispanic enrollment.” Presumably those are campuses with large white populations.
As if this weren’t bad enough, teachers in “high-minority schools” get paid $2,251 less per year than their colleagues in “low-minority” schools in the same district, the DOE probe found. Calling the findings a “wake-up call to educators at every level,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a challenge to address what he calls “educational inequities.”
In a statement announcing the new discrimination statistics, Duncan said “the undeniable truth is that the everyday educational experience for many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise.” “It is our collective duty to change that.” The top three offenders, according to the DOE report, are the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago public school districts. Miami-Dade County in south Florida ranks fourth.
A few months ago, the DOE issued official guidelines to promote diversity in the nation’s public education system by, among other things, blending the rich with the poor. The goal behind that plan, according to the Obama Administration, is to “reduce racial isolation among students.” The guidelines are expected to be implemented by the nation’s elementary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities that get taxpayer dollars.
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