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As Focus on Closing the Achievement Gap Grows, So Does Segregation in America’s Schools

As Focus on Closing the Achievement Gap Grows, So Does Segregation in America’s Schools

New findings reveal that America’s public schools are increasingly segregated by race and class despite closing the achievement gap being a national priority for years.

And the findings are quite drastic.

"U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigators found that from the 2000-2001 to the 2013-2014 school year, both the percentage of K-12 public schools in high-poverty and the percentage comprised of mostly African-American or Hispanic students grew significantly, more than doubling, from 7,009 schools to 15,089 schools. The percentage of all schools with so-called racial or socio-economic isolation grew from 9% to 16%, said USA Today.

Coupled with these findings of racial and socio-economic isolation were also findings that these schools have access to significantly fewer resources than others as well as have lower graduation rates and higher rates of discipline.

The GAO used the findings to urge the Department of Education to analyze civil rights data to perform analysis itself and develop a plan of action for making improvements.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Eve L. Hill told USA Today that the report misunderstands how the Department of Education’s civil rights division functions, as well as wrongly assumes that a school comprised of mostly once race is inherently segregated.

“The Department carefully monitors each open desegregation case to which the United States is a party on a case-by-case basis, recognizing that each case is unique...The Department believes its procedures for tracking case-related data is adequate,” she said.

"Hill also said the Supreme Court has held that a school with one race or virtually one race within a district 'is not, in and of itself, the mark of a system that still practices segregation by law,’” said USA Today.

Hill did not acknowledge the fact that the report also found the racially and socio-economically isolated schools to be lacking resources and to be graduating less students in comparison to national figures.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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