U.S. report finds inequalities in courses and discipline for minority students
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary Russlynn Ali appear at Howard University on Tuesday to discuss the release of data on race, educational equity and opportunity.
March 6th, 2012
08:11 PM ET

U.S. report finds inequalities in courses and discipline for minority students

by Sally Holland, CNN

(CNN) African-American boys and girls have higher suspension rates than their white or Hispanic peers, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights on Tuesday. The report looks at race, educational equity and opportunities of U.S.students.

"Perhaps the most alarming findings involve the topic of discipline," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  "The sad fact is that minority students across America face much harsher discipline than nonminorities, even within the same school. Some examples - African American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers."

"We cannot suspend, expel and arrest our way out of our nation's education problems," said John Payton of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in response to the report.

"In fact, relying upon exclusionary discipline policies actually fuels academic failure and drives achievement gaps," he added.

According to the report, African American students are more than three and a half times likely to be suspended or expelled than their white counterparts.

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Filed under: Policy • Practice
March 6th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Education News: Las Vegas District Teacher Layoffs Loom, says Superintendent
An unsettled teacher contract and a looming deficit could mean as many as 1000 layoffs of teachers and staff in Clark County Schools.

Fox2 Now: Parent Furious After Watching Middle School Bus Fight Video
At least one parent is furious at what she saw and heard in a video on a school bus ride home for 5th and 6th graders.

CBS Detroit: Free College for All? State Democrats to Unveil Plan
Democratic state lawmakers in Michigan will release a plan to offer free college for those who need it.

Fox 31: Court: Students can carry guns on campus
The Colorado Supreme Court has struck down a gun ban by the Colorado Board of Regents that prevented people with concealed weapons permits from carrying guns on campuses.

Wall Street Journal: Tech Titans Fund Undocumented Students
Some Silicon Valley CEOs are supporting an effort that provides a college education, legal assistance and a possible path to citizenship for undocumented students.

My View: When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?
Sam Chaltain: Align teacher evaluation systems around "what parents and teachers are both really seeking."
March 6th, 2012
06:10 AM ET

My View: When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?

Courtesy Marilyn MargonBy Sam Chaltain, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Sam Chaltain  is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and education advocate. He can be found on Twitter at @samchaltain.

With spring training under way, fantasy baseball owners across the country are hard at work readying their draft boards and preparing to select their championship rosters. As they do, I have a modest proposal to make that will simplify the whole process: Let’s stop getting weighed down by multiple data points, and start looking at just one number instead – the number of doubles a player hit the previous season.

Too simplistic a way to evaluate something as complex as a player’s overall value to your team?  Hogwash. For example, look at last year’s stats and you’ll see that the Kansas City Royals’ Jeff Francoeur smacked almost 50 two-baggers. By contrast, some guy named Albert Pujols hit half as many. By my calculations, then, Francoeur must be twice as good.

Sounds simple enough – unless you know anything about baseball, and which of those two guys is the sure Hall of Famer who just signed a $254 million dollar contract (hint: it isn’t Francoeur). In fact, the only thing effective about drafting a fantasy baseball team this way is that it would effectively eliminate you from competition before the season starts. Yet this sort of magical thinking is exactly what’s happening in New York City right now, thanks to the city’s recent release of its own fantasy rankings based on how the students of 18,000 schoolteachers did on standardized reading and math exams.

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Filed under: Policy • Sam Chaltain • Teachers • Voices