All Articles Tagged "black students"
Christian Science Monitor recently asked the question: “School suspensions: Does racial bias feed the school-to-prison pipeline?” According to the magazine, the sharp increase in school suspensions may increase the likelihood of more minority youth entering then prison system – and even violate civil rights.
According to a recent study, there is a racial discrepancy between suspensions. Christian Science Monitor cited the example of two students—an African-American kindergarten student and a white ninth grader– who set off fire alarms in the same school district. The black student was suspended for five days; the other for one day.
According to data gathered nationally by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), while African Americans make up 18 percent of students, they account for 46 percent of students suspended more than once, 39 percent of students expelled, and 36 percent of students arrested on campus. The data was taken from 72,000 American public schools in the 2009-10 school year.
Looking at the white student population however, the stats are remarkably different. White students make up 29 percent of multiple suspensions and 33 percent of expulsions – but 51 percent of the students.
On the whole, school suspension have been on the rise. In 1976, nearly 1.8 million students were suspended – four percent of all public school students; by 2006, the number of students suspended had nearly doubled to 3.3 million, about seven percent of all students, found the Department of Education.
And the racial divide has sharpened as well. “Nearly two decades of a ‘zero tolerance’ mentality has contributed dramatically to a spike in exclusionary discipline that involves racial disparities, youth and civil rights advocates say,” reports the magazine.
This affects college applicants and then, further down the line, job opportunities for minorities. According to a groundbreaking 2011 Texas study that tracked more than one million students for six years called “Breaking Schools’ Rules” by the Council of State Governments Justice Center in New York, of the 15 percent of students suspended or expelled 11 or more times in Texas, only four in 10 graduated within one to three years of their expected graduation date.
And with a lack of opportunities, this could lead some to the prison system. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights recently considered testimony about the school-to-prison pipeline – and how some communities are trying to reverse it.
Critics say there is no connection. Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, said at the Senate hearing that in the past two decades school crime as well as juvenile arrests have declined at the same time that schools have expanded the use of resource officers – typically armed police who are trained to work with students.
Still, some school districts are changing the way they practice discipline. Last year, Colorado passed the Smart School Discipline Bill, which eliminates mandatory suspensions and expulsions for anything except carrying a firearm reports the Christian Science Monitor. And, a new law in Massachusetts says students can no longer be permanently excluded from school, and gives them the right to alternative education if they are suspended for more than 10 days and also requires schools to work with students to try to improve their behavior before excluding them from school. Other states have passed or are looking at similar laws.
Chicago’s Urban Prep Charter Academies announced that all of their graduating seniors have been accepted to a four-year university for the fourth year in a row. It’s such a relief to see Chicago in the news for something other than gun violence, and this great information combats all the negativity associated with the city.
These 167 students are transcending while being members of the Englewood and University Village campuses, which are some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Chicago. Even as a Chicago native, I rarely step foot on this side of town after dark, which is why it is even more of an accomplishment for these young black males to have made it out of high school and furthermore to be on their way to college.
Urban Prep founder Tim King gushed with happiness stating, “It’s really heartwarming. It’s really an inspiration. These guys are an inspiration to all of us because they show you what can happen when you really work hard and do the right thing. I feel great. There are no words to describe how powerful and wonderful it is to be a part of Urban Prep.”
Urban Prep Academies established the country’s first charter high school for boys in 2002 and most of the students come from economically disadvantaged households and some students even enroll already behind in many subjects. It’s amazing what these boys have done against all odds and they should be an inspiration to us all.
Education appears to be king in Maryland. According to new stats, more African-American students in the state’s class of 2012 successfully passed a tough Advanced Placement exam than ever before. And beyond this, the state leads the nation in the percentage of students who are college- and career-ready, according to the “Annual AP Report to the Nation” compiled by the College Board.
The 11.4 percent of black students who earned a score of 3 or better on an exam is a small fraction of the 29.6 percent of all Maryland seniors who passed a test. Still, the current numbers are among the highest percentages in the nation, reflecting the increased access and success for black students on the exams, reports The Baltimore Sun. More students in Maryland are taking the exams—in fact the number has more than doubled. According to state schools superintendent Lillian M. Lowery parents and students are being proactive in preparing for college. She told the Sun that “parents and students really stepping out there, ready to take these risks. We believe that every child should have access to the most rigorous curriculum possible.”
Maryland outpaced the nation, where 19.5 percent of students scored a 3 or higher. It was also the largest percentage increase of students passing the tests in the past 10 years.
“The state was among a few in the country in which both the number of students taking the tests, particularly among minorities and other underserved populations, and pass rates increased,” writes the newspaper.
While Maryland has increased access to AP testing, others states have been slow in doing so. College Board officials told the newspaper that the gap in the number of underserved populations who have access to the rigor of Advanced Placement courses remains a national struggle. While one in four AP students nationwide are underserved minorities, the proportion of those students who have the potential to excel in the classes still lags in some subjects. Three out of 10 African-American and Hispanic students, for example, potential to excel in AP math classes actually enroll in them.
Maryland also had the highest percentage of students in the counrty taking math and science assessments.
In 2012 Maryland passed the Maryland Dream Act, becoming the first state to allow qualifying undocumented immigrant students to access in-state tuition rates and state financial aid.
We often talk about the need for more black teachers, particularly males, in school systems across the country to help our kids excel, but according to a new study from the University of Houston, that desire may be baseless.
Walter Hunt,a recent graduate from the University of Houston’s Executive Education Doctorate in Professional Leadership and a local assistant principal, says African American students don’t necessarily fare better when taught by African American teachers. When he examined the impact of African American teachers on African American eighth-graders in Texas Title I schools he found no significant relationship between their academic achievement and the percentage of African American teachers on campus.
“At first glance, it would appear that teacher race doesn’t matter when addressing student achievement of minority students, but there are many layers involved when analyzing achievement of a middle-school student, such as racial identity, self-identity, age, involvement in school activities,” he said. “In this particular study, I was surprised to see that the campuses with more African-American teachers did not have the highest African-American student achievement. This just goes to show that having a positive impact on students is a complex, multi-layered process.”
Hunt examined eighth-graders and teacher diversity in 198 Title I Texas schools because Title I is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which provides additional funding for campuses serving children from low-income families. Comparing 2010 eighth-grade math and reading scores from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests with African American and Caucasian students from campuses with both large and small percentages of African American teachers showed no significant difference in outcomes. In a lot of ways this isn’t totally shocking because plenty of black students have done well without ever having been taught by a black teacher but in some environments the influence of an African American teacher shouldn’t be downplayed.
Hunt does want to delve a little bit deeper into the study by perhaps broadening the examination to other middle school grades and high school and also looking at social studies and science TAKS scores. He should also consider how disciplinary action towards black students is carried out in schools with more black teachers, and also considered the psychological effects of black children seeing someone who looks like them in certain professions and positions of authority.
Do you still think having more black teachers in school would help black students perform better academically?
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Black and Latino students may be getting less critical, but helpful, feedback from teachers than their white counterparts, a new educational study indicates.
“The social implications of these results are important; many minority students might not be getting input from instructors thatstimulates intellectual growth and fosters achievement,” study researcher Kent Harber, a Rutgers-Newark psychology professor, said in a press release.
This positive bias in feedback to minority students may be contributing to the achievement gap between white and minority students, a stubborn national problem, Harber said.
The study “tested” 113 white middle-school and high-school teachers in two public school districts, one middle class and white, and the other working class and racially mixed. Both are located in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tri-state area.
Get the rest of the story at BlackVoices.com.
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Minority students have less access to advanced courses, more inexperienced teachers and face tougher disciplinary consequences than their counterparts, a new trove of federal data shows, affirming long-held beliefs about disparities in the classroom.
Civil rights advocates expect this data, collected during the 2009-10 school year, will provide new ammunition for compliance reviews, advocacy and lawsuits involving educational fairness in America.
“The undeniable truth is that the everyday educational experience for too many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on an embargoed phone call Monday afternoon. “It is our collective duty to change that.” Duncan is expected to make similar remarks Tuesday at Washington, D.C.’s Howard University.
The numbers, to be released Tuesday, are jarring. Black students are more than three-and-a-half times as likely as white students to be suspended or expelled, according to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights’ survey, known as the “Civil Rights Data Collection.” More than 70 percent of students arrested in school or handed over to law enforcement were black or Hispanic.
Get the rest of the story at Black Voices.com.
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When it comes to education, students in the African-American and Hispanic communities are the least likely to examine the rewards that a science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) degree can provide. With the U.S overall poverty rate at 15.1 percent and the rates of the African-American and Hispanic communities at 27.4 and 26.6 percent respectively, a STEM education is positive option that would assist those students (and their families) from getting out of poverty.
Yet, statistics show that few African-American and Hispanic students are choosing to go to college and the ones that do end up attending, don’t appear to major in STEM fields. Last week, the Department of Commerce reported that in 2009 alone, 22 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 14 percent of Hispanics hold bachelor’s degrees. While 54 percent of Asians and 35 percent of non-Hispanic whites receive a college education. Also, when it comes to those African-American and Hispanic students that do graduate, approximately 17 percent of black non-Hispanic students and 21 percent of Hispanic students majored in STEM disciplines.
Especially since the potential earning power for some STEM grads can be six-figures or higher, with average starting salaries for engineers in Silicon Valley starting at $98,000 – the options for students would be basically endless. At the same time, efforts have been slow when it comes to improving the resources needed for STEM education in low-income school districts, which are primarily filled with high quantities of African-American and Hispanic students.
Which leaves those that graduate with non-STEM degrees out in the workforce in a horrible economy trying to make their way or relying on unpaid internships. However, students that come from low-income families, pursuing an unpaid internship is more than likely not a feasible option.
At the same time, there is concern that if students were pushed to pursue only STEM pursuits forsaking the arts and other non-STEM disciples, that students would be trained to be drones instead of innovators.
So what is the educational holdup? Well first, many of the nation’s public schools are not preparing students to be innovators and with No Child Left Behind still in effect, schools are only looking to teach what is needed for the tests and little else. Not to mention the basic annihilation of arts education in schools, which have been felt the most in minority communities. While, we shouldn’t discount the importance of STEM classes, we also must focus on providing an all-inclusive learning environment for today’s youth, so they become well-rounded individuals. In order to enable African-Americans and Hispanic students to be better prepared for jobs as innovators, improving STEM education is not the only thing that matters.
Cynthia Wright is an avid lover of all things geeky. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found on her blog BGA Life and on Twitter at @cynisright.
by Selam Aster
Historically Black Colleges and Universities play a far different role today then they did well over a century ago. Times have changed, and so have the 105 HBCUs that still exist today. Recently, the Wall Street Journal illuminated the fact that more than 17 percent of the students in attendance are not Black. That number is not random.
Recruiters from top HBCUs are seeking out to diversify their enrollments. As competition has become stiff for Black students across the country, many of these schools can’t rely solely on Black students to fill up their classrooms. As private colleges, they still heavily rely on tuition to maintain and expand. Not only is there more competition to attract the top Black students but there is even more competition to attract mid-level students and those seeking vocational degrees as online schools have inundated education market in the past decade.
Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, has made an extra effort at recruiting by offering “presidential scholarships,” to students of all races. Of the 20 students that were selected to receive the scholarship, six have been Hispanic or white. Offering scholarships to non-Black students may raise some questions but on a publicity scale, the move definitely will help promote the school’s attractiveness to non-Black students.
With HBCUs looking to recruit talent across the board, many say their number one commitment is still providing a complementary and inspiring learning environment for Black students, who would otherwise represent the minority at other schools. “Black colleges do a good job by another measure, in educating students who enroll with less money and lower college-entrance test scores, on average, than incoming freshmen at other schools, Marybeth Gasman, professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate school of education told the Wall Street Journal. “Historically black colleges and universities enroll 16% of all black undergrads, but award 25% of the bachelor’s degrees received by African Americans.”
(Huffington Post) — Amid the intense debates about how much progress the nation has made in raising student achievement and whether federal investments in education have produced results, one important trend tends to be overlooked — namely, the notable gains made by African American and Latino students in reading and math achievement since 1971. According to long-term trend data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the most credible national measure of changes in achievement over the past four decades, progress varies by age group for students overall.
Between the early 1970s and 2008, 9-year-olds have made sizable gains in both math and reading — increases of 24 points in math and 12 points in reading on the NAEP scale of 0-500. Thirteen-year-olds have made smaller, though still significant, gains of 15 points in math and 5 points in reading. For 17-year-olds, however, changes in achievement have been so small as to be insignificant — 2 points in math and 1 point in reading. But the record looks entirely different and much more positive when long-term NAEP trend data is broken out by racial/ethnic group. White, African American, and Latino students — the three racial/ethnic groups included in the long-term NAEP — have made greater achievement gains than the averages for students overall, in both reading and math and for all three tested age groups.
We all know some smart kids. Maybe even some smart, athletic kids. But it’s safe to assume that not many of us know 15 year olds who’ve not only been accepted to several colleges across the nation, but will be attending Harvard University.
Now you do know of someone with those impressive credentials? This is the story of Saheela Ibraheem, a Piscataway, New Jersey resident and the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. In an interview with the Star Ledger, the teen noted that she was applied to 14 colleges and was accepted to 13 (including six Ivy League schools). In case you were wondering, Yale was the school that rejected her. Saheela’s parents think it was because of her age.
The soon-to-be 16 year old skipped sixth-grade and 9th grade. But get this, babygirl is not just some bookworm. She is a three-sport athlete (swimming, softball and soccer). Saheela’s grades are phenomenal, she scored a perfect score on the math section of the SAT and she’s all types of cute too.
Her parents are doing something right! We wish Saheela the best. Her story says something about expectations and resources, but also about personality and maturity. Experiencing college at 15/16 years old is very different than being 18 or 19 and something most kids her age probably could not do successfully on a social level regardless of grades. How young is too young to start college?