Pass / Fail

So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Minority students face harsher discipline, less access and inexperienced teachers

Educational Inequality
Educational Inequality AFP/Getty Images

African-American students are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers, according to data released today from a national survey by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

Their data shows that minority students face harsher discipline, have less access to more rigorous school courses, and are more often taught by less experienced and lower-paid teachers. The national survey included more than 72,000 schools serving 85 percent of students.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement that the findings are "a wake-up call to educators at every level and issued a broad challenge to work together to address educational inequities."

Findings from the department's release include:

  • African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers.  Black students make up 18 percent of the students in the CRDC sample, but 35 percent of the students suspended once, and 39 percent of the students expelled.
  • Students learning English (ELL) were 6 percent of the CRDC high school enrollment, but made up 12 percent of students retained.
  • Only 29 percent of high-minority high schools offered Calculus, compared to 55 percent of schools with the lowest black and Hispanic enrollment.
  • Teachers in high-minority schools were paid $2,251 less per year than their colleagues in teaching in low-minority schools in the same district.

Black students in L.A. are suspended at a proportionally higher rate than anywhere else in the country, according to a story by the Los Angeles Times today.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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