Earlier today, Secretary Duncan released new data from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that reveal unfortunate truths about our nation’s schools. The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) is a first-of-its kind national data tool that highlights schools that are making real progress in closing opportunity gaps, as well as educational inequities around teacher experience, discipline and high school rigor.
Key findings of the new data released today include:
Disparate Discipline Rates
African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers. Black students make up 18% of the students in the sample, but 35% of the students suspended once, and 39% of the students expelled.
Students with Disabilities
Nationally, students with disabilities are also more than twice as likely to be suspended as students without disabilities.
Unequal Access to Rigor
Just over a quarter of high-minority high schools offered Calculus, while over half of schools with the lowest black and Hispanic enrollment offered the course.
Teachers in high-minority schools were paid $2,251 less per year than their colleagues in other schools.
Duncan noted that the Department is not alleging overt discrimination in some or all of these instances, but that “these are long-held patterns of behavior and until the data is tracked and evaluated, many educators may not even be aware of the discrepancies.”
Cameron Brenchley is Director of Digital Engagement at the U.S. Department of Education