Friday, July 1, 2011

New Federal Data Reveal Educational Inequities

“Transparency is the path to reform,” said Russlynn Ali, the Department of Education’s assistant secretary for civil rights. New federal statistics shared Thursday revealed the level of equity in schools and districts across the United States.

Ali commented, “These data are incredible and revelatory. They paint a portrait of a sad truth in American schools: Fundamental fairness hasn’t reached whole groups of students.”

“For a long time, we have fallen short on why the achievement gap exists,” she said. But the data collected show “gaps in opportunity, in access to courses and other resources that continue to hobble students across the country.”

Although the data online isn’t aggregated by state, the numbers offer a glimpse into the educational inequities at the national level:

• Some 3,000 schools serving about 500,000 high school students weren’t offering Algebra II classes last school year, and more than 2 million students in 7,300 schools did not offer calculus.

• At schools where the majority of students were African-American, teachers were twice as likely to have only one or two years of experience compared with schools within the same district that had a majority-white student body.

Read the full article and learn more about the national inequities here.

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