Monday, February 27, 2017

Calling sexual harassment “urban culture,” and other reasons the Education Secretary may need a reality check - The Hechinger Report

Calling sexual harassment “urban culture,” and other reasons the Education Secretary may need a reality check - The Hechinger Report:

Calling sexual harassment “urban culture,” and other reasons the Education Secretary may need a reality check
Former civil rights chief of the Education Department on why the agency is indispensable
When we had segregated schools and when we had a time when, you know, girls weren’t allowed to have the same kind of sports teams [these were] important inflection points for the federal government to get involved,” the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, said recently.
But when asked whether any such need for federal involvement exists today, Secretary DeVos responded that she “can’t think of any right now.”
Our nation’s students need her to know better.
Secretary DeVos holds the purse strings for billions of federal dollars and leads federal involvement in schools, making it critically important that she know what students in too many schools today know all too well, and what Congress has mandated for close to 60 years: The federal government must actively ensure that our nation’s schools keep core civil rights promises.
I led the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, so I can offer Secretary DeVos a dose of reality about just how far we have to go as a nation to fulfill the law.
In Lee County Schools system in rural Alabama, for example, which had years earlier convinced a federal court that it had eliminated the effects of segregation, one of the four public high schools served more than 90 percent black students – even though the district student population was only 23 percent black.
The majority-black high school had never offered an Advanced Placement course to its students until three years before the civil rights office investigated, while the other three high schools offered a broad range of A.P. courses. Investigators from the Office of Civil Rights asked the principal of the overwhelmingly black school why he didn’t offer high-rigor courses. He said his students needed remedial education, not A.P. It took federal intervention in 2013, almost 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, to ensure that all students in Lee County – not just the white students and the few black students attending majority-white schools – had access to an Calling sexual harassment “urban culture,” and other reasons the Education Secretary may need a reality check - The Hechinger Report:


LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education