For years, it’s been acknowledged that children of color face an unequal access to education compared to their white peers. Recent data from the United States Department of Education confirms this long-held belief. The information shows a significant educational racial disparity for Black and Brown students.
According to the report from the Civil Rights Data Collection Office for Civil Rights, Black and Brown students truly find themselves at a disadvantage. These students tend to have less access to advanced placement courses, certified teachers and counselors than their white counterparts.
This imbalance has a detrimental effect on the general welfare of Black and Brown students, putting them at a disadvantage in terms of college preparedness, priority in admission decisions, and access to scholarships.
The data came as a part of a federal survey of over 97K schools nationwide, conducted during the 2020-2021 school year.
While researchers delved further into AP access for Black and Brown students, they found that although Black students made up 15 percent of the total number of high school students, they only represented 8 percent of students enrolled in AP science courses. The number was even lower for those enrolled in AP math courses at 6 percent.
In terms of access to quality educators, according to researchers, only one percent of students attend schools where less than half of the teachers meet state certification requirements. Unfortunately, 66 percent of students in these schools are Black or Latino.
Adding to the already bleak situation, the data also shows that Black and Brown students are often deprived of adequate emotional support or guidance in addition to unequal access to higher level classes and quality instructors. Students are 1.2 times more likely to attend a school with a police officer or security guard instead of a guidance counselor.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona weighed-in on the data report calling the results, “appalling.”
He continued saying that, “We view education as the springboard that puts the American dream within reach. Yet access to educational opportunity in this country remains unequal.”
We have defined the problem. We have made observations. We have formed a hypothesis, and conducted experiments to obtain data that confirms our observations, now when are we going to start correcting the problem so that Black and Brown students have a truly equal educational playing field?
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