Monday, July 18, 2016

How Racial Bias Affects The Quality Of Black Students' Education | ThinkProgress

How Racial Bias Affects The Quality Of Black Students' Education | ThinkProgress:

How Racial Bias Affects The Quality Of Black Students’ Education

A statue memorializing the Confederacy is spray-painted with the message "Black Lives Matter" several days after a shooting at a historic black church Sunday, June 21, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/WCSC-TV, Philip Weiss)

The Department of Education recently released some startling numbers about how much our country spends on prisons versus schools that added fuel to the fire of national conversation about criminal justice reform.
One way to think about our national priorities is to look at where we spend our money. For example, according to the department’s report, every single state spends less all on pre-k-12 education than they do on corrections. And over the past 20 years, state and local spending on public colleges and universities has remained stagnant while spending on the prison system rose by almost 90 percent.
Amid the conversation about systemic racism sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in the wake of the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling and the subsequent protests across the country, it is important to look at how racism manifests itself in our education system.
In addition to inadequate levels of education funding, there are other factors that affect quality of education, such as racial bias that reveals itself through school discipline and our curricula choices. Decades of racial bias against black Americans and the legacy of slavery are evident in our classrooms.

Ongoing school segregation that reduces opportunities for black students

Although it has been more than 60 years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision establishing that separate schools for white students and black students are not equal, schools in the U.S. remain very economically and racially segregated.
School segregation is often assumed to be a problem specific to the South. But northern cities and midwestern cities — like ChicagoNew York CityDetroit, and Boston, where people arguably fought hardest against court-ordered busing — also have many racially isolated schools. On the west coast, California had 31 open desegregation cases as of 2014.
Students’ quality of education suffers in this segregated school environment. In schools with a disproportionately high concentration of students of color, students are instructed by less experienced teachers, have less access to things like Advanced Placement courses, and receivemore expulsions and suspensions. Studies have shown that students who attend segregated schools make slower progress in reading.
The facilities themselves tend to be very poor as well. In Detroit Public Schools, where there is a budget crisis, teachers have protested poor school conditions such as dead rodents, spoiled food, cracked floors, and moldy ceilings. In Baltimore schools, students have had to wear coats and scarves to class because they didn’t have enough heat in their classrooms.

Student discipline that pushes black kids out of school

Racially biased school discipline contributes to what’s known as the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which refers to school policies that push students, especially students of color, into the criminal How Racial Bias Affects The Quality Of Black Students' Education | ThinkProgress:



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