A report released on Friday by the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Education highlights the alarming disparities in public education, disproportionally and adversely affecting children of color.
Starting in preschool, barely past the age of toddler, children of color are disciplined far more often, and far more harshly, for rule infractions than their white counterparts. They are sent to schools with substandard infrastructures—old boilers, peeling paint, classrooms too hot or too cold—and given the least experienced teachers, who themselves are poorly trained and ill-equipped to teach students who enter school already burdened with social, societal, and economic disadvantages.
Black students are less likely to have access to advanced academics classes, so that even the highest performing minority pupils are held back from reaching their potential. Conversely, they are more likely to be placed in remedial or special education classes by administrators who are either untrained or unconcerned about whether those placements are warranted.
Sadly, nothing contained in the DOE report comes as a surprise to Black parents, especially poor parents, who face these harsh realities every day.