Author: Michael Holzman

Time to Stop Suspending Young Black Men Into Prison and Poverty

It has long ago been clear that the use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and other forms of harsh school discipline does little to help children succeed in school and in…

It has long ago been clear that the use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and other forms of harsh school discipline does little to help children succeed in school and in life. Far too many kids, regardless of background, are suspended and expelled from school. Children from poor and minority households are more likely to be suspended and expelled than middle class peers. And more often than not, the underlying reasons for such discipline have little to do with violent behavior. For young black men, in particular, the consequences of out-of-school suspensions, especially those meted out by teachers and leaders in the schools surrounding our poorest neighborhoods, is absolutely dire: Every suspension puts them closer onto the path to poverty and prison. Which, in turn, fuels the poverty that that mires the very communities in which they live — and the schools are located. 

wpid10020-wpid-this_is_dropout_nation_logo2.pngIn this latest adaptation from his new book, from his new book, The Black Poverty Cycle and How to End It, Dropout Nation Contributing Editor Michael Holzman focuses on how school discipline policies give far too much leeway to adults in schools to make decisions — and wrecks havoc on the lives of the young black men in their charge. Read, consider, offer thoughts, and take action. And don’t forget to buy the book.

Black students are “pushed out” by means of expulsions and out-of-school suspensions. In elementary and secondary school, out-of-school suspensions are a sensitive predicator of a student’s future failure to complete high school with a regular diploma. One authoritative study found that students punished with out-of-school suspensions were three times as likely not to finish high school as those students who were not suspended.[i] According to the most recently available national survey by the U.S. Department of Education (2006), an extraordinary 19% of all young black men were suspended from school that year. Out-of-school suspension rates for young Latino and men were much less than half that.

These racial disparities in the application of school discipline policies are visible early on. Back in 2005, Walter Gilliam of Yale University established that in many cases prekindergarten suspension and expulsion rates for male Black children are extremely high and not wholly attributable to the behavior of those children. They are, in large part, he finds an artifact of the attitudes and expectations of the teachers of those three- and four-year-old children, a finding confirmed by the fact that professional development for these teachers significantly lowers suspension and expulsion rates for their male Black students.

The Justice Center of the Council of State Governments and the Public Policy Research Institute has published a study entitled Breaking School Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement. The study, which focused on the public school careers of seventh-graders in Texas found that 83 percent of young black men had at least one discretionary violation during their secondary school career (compared to 59 percent rate for non-Hispanic white students), but mandatory disciplinary actions were invoked at similar rates for black and white students. The difference between discretionary and mandatory actions, in the study’s vocabulary, is that the latter are based on regulated procedures and policies, set by the state, while the former are based on locally determined procedures and policies which, in general, have few if any safeguards against arbitrariness.

In other words, the Justice Center documented a natural experiment similar to that of drug abuse arrests: given more or less equal propensities to come afoul of objective rules (“mandatory actions”), public secondary school teachers and administrators use their discretion at the school level to punish black students nearly a third more often than both Latino and white students, and young black men much more often yet.

These suspensions lead to severe consequences for the educational careers of young black men students in Texas. According to the study: “A student who was suspended or expelled for a discretionary violation was twice as likely to repeat his or her grade compared to a student with the same characteristics, attending a similar school, who had not been suspended or expelled”. Further, “a student who was suspended or expelled for a discretionary violation was nearly three times as likely to be in contact with the juvenile justice system the following year,” and so into the criminal justice system later. (Note that these are the consequences, in the main, of “discretionary,” that is, unregulated, actions by local school personnel.)

Young black men who were subjected to discretionary suspensions by local school personnel were put on a path to incarceration. More than one-third of the cohort came into contact with the state’s juvenile justice system, only a slightly lower number than the number of male Black adults incarcerated in Texas. Being “known to the police” increases the chances that a person will be arrested. It is always easier to round up the usual suspects. That is why they are the usual suspects.

The national percentages for out-of-school suspensions were 19 percent for young black men, 7 percent for young white men, and 9 percent for young Latino men. Projecting on the basis of the national Latino numbers (because of the similarity of family economic status) would give us a figure of 400,000 excess Black male suspensions each year in the United States. Working from the Texas data, there is an excess of 250,000. Between the two, a conservative estimate would be 300,000 young black men punished with out-of-school suspensions each year, who would not have been removed from the classroom if they weren’t black.

Assuming that most suspensions are in secondary school, and counting six years of secondary school with a seven-percent chance of being suspended each year, it is likely that on a national basis Black male students have more than a 40 percent chance of out-of-school suspension for racial reasons during their secondary school careers. This happens to be approximately the percentage of young black men dropouts who might expect to experience incarceration as young adults.

Out-of-school suspension ratios at the district level vary from approximately 8-to-1 in Newark and Atlanta (and 6-to-1 in two other Atlanta metropolitan area districts) down to less than twice the percentage of young black men compared to male counterparts given these punishments in districts like Boston. Are young black men four times as well-behaved in Boston as in Atlanta?  The issue is one of district policies.

This push-out of black children could be ended by school district administrators any afternoon they chose to do so. Doing so might well increase the number of young black men with high school diplomas by a quarter of a million or more each year

[i] Teachers College Record, Volume 87 Number 3, 1986, p. 356-373

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Transforming Education – and Ending the Drug War – is Critical to Stemming Poverty for Black Children

How do we end cycles of economic and social poverty that trap far too many black children into adulthoods of misery? While traditionalists argue that the problems lie in anti-poverty…


How do we end cycles of economic and social poverty that trap far too many black children into adulthoods of misery? While traditionalists argue that the problems lie in anti-poverty programs that offer short-term relief from those issues, the reality remains that the path to helping all black children (and all children regardless of background) succeed goes through the schools at the center of their lives. But it isn’t just about transforming American public education. The nation’s so-called war on drugs other than alcohol, now into its second century, has put far too many young black men — many of whom, thanks to the education crisis, are high school dropouts with few prospects for earning family-sustaining wages — into prison, and in turn,along with welfare programs that disincentivized marriage and two-parent households, have led to generations of fatherless children.

wpid10020-wpid-this_is_dropout_nation_logo2.pngIn this excerpt from his new book, The Black Poverty Cycle and How to End It, Schott Foundation for Public Education research czar and Dropout Nation Contributing Editor Michael Holzman elaborates on how the nation’s education crisis and the nation’s war on drugs have come together to condemn generations of young black men and women to economic and social despair. Read, consider, and take action. And don’t forget to buy the book.

It is becoming fashionable to argue that the low education achievement levels of African-Americans and Latinos are caused by poverty.  This is tantamount to an argument that the problem is insolvable, as poverty, especially black poverty, is unlikely to become the focus of governmental action any time soon.  In any case, I think that the premise is incorrect.  The cycle of black poverty is driven by under-resourced schools and mass incarceration.  These underpin a vicious cycle, including high rates of violent felonies, resulting in yet more poverty.  The way out is through better schools and an end to mass incarceration.  Neither is sufficient in itself.

The lack of educational achievement of many Black children follows from the extraordinary rates at which their fathers are arrested and incarcerated. Imprisoned men can contribute little or nothing to save their children from lives spent in poverty. Even formerly imprisoned men all too often have little chance of finding work that can support their children above the poverty level, particularly given their own usual lack of effective educational attainment.

As housing patterns are strongly associated with household income, the families of incarcerated or formerly incarcerated men, especially if they are African-American, are among the most likely to live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. Traditional public schools in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty are all-too-often inadequate to their mission. A black student in an under-resourced, urban school, regardless of their economic class, is unlikely to receive an education that will graduate him from high school on-time and college- or career-ready.

Because of the peculiarities of the drug laws and matters at the level of detail of police officer reward systems and the career patterns of district attorneys, concentrated poverty leads to disproportionately intense police activity and prosecutions in predominately Black neighborhoods. Quite apart from this, or, more exactly, in addition to this, neighborhoods and communities of concentrated poverty, black or white, in themselves foster high rates of violent felonies.

High rates of incarceration of young Black men lead to high rates of concentrated poverty for their neighborhoods, neighborhoods where ineffective schools contribute to high rates of incarceration and poverty, which foster high rates of violent offensives, and so on and on. The combination of these factors put astonishing numbers of young adult Black men at risk of incarceration and give another turn to the wheel of disadvantage for their children.

Most people, particularly most African-Americans, are familiar with this situation. The question is, then, what is to be done to end disproportionate black poverty?

The common response to the question is a resort to the American doctrine of individual responsibility. Issues of culture, community and psychology are, no doubt, important contributors to differing levels of achievement in education as well as to the disparities in incarceration rates. We are told that young black men should pull up their socks (and their trousers) and simply do better in school and act better in the community. Examples of “beating the odds” and “resiliency” are featured by the media, foundations, community groups and inspirational speakers. These responses are ways of blaming the victims of racism and each in their own manner is a way of maintaining the system of racism. On the other hand, institutional policy decisions are clearly causal, definable and quantifiable and, possibly, given the public will, amenable to change. The goal, after all, is not for individuals to beat the odds. The goal is to change the odds, or, rather, to change the game.

How is that to be done? Combining programs to improve educational attainment for black male students and to eliminate disparate rates of incarceration for matters such as drug offenses would cause the poverty rate for black children to decline significantly and the income of the black community to increase. As the black community’s income increased, the rate of violent offenses and incarcerations for those would decrease, further increasing the community’s income and educational attainment.

Disparate black poverty would begin to come to an end.

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Why Don’t We Educate Young Black Men?

Why don’t we educate young black men? This has been the question raised over the past few weeks in a series of reports, including Center for American Progress researcher Ary…

Why don’t we educate young black men? This has been the question raised over the past few weeks in a series of reports, including Center for American Progress researcher Ary Spatig-Amerikaner’s study on lower education spending on students of color; the Civil Liberties Project’s collection of research, including one on out-of-school suspensions by my colleague, Daniel Losen; and the reports the Schott Foundation has published, including A Rotting Apple on New York City’s Zip Code Education policies, and The Urgency of Now report released this week.

The Center for American Progress and related reports establish that school district administrations give schools serving black and Latino kids – especially those living in poverty – less money than they give to schools serving white middle class peers.  The Civil Rights Project’s school discipline report, in particular, shows that schools punish black children, and to a lesser extent, Latino kids, with out-of-school suspensions much more often than their white peers.

Then there are the reports Schott has published in the past few months. The first, on New York City, establishes that the diversion of school funding to more prosperous from less prosperous neighborhoods is established practice in New York City, that many, if not most, poor kids are not even tested for eligibility for Gifted and Talented programs, and that the city’s selective high schools select students on the basis of a test that for all practical purposes cannot be passed by kids whose parents cannot afford to given them private tutors.

This week’s report on graduation rates, the latest in the series on public education and black male students, documents the enormous differences in educational outcomes that result from segregation and inequitable funding. Although graduation rates for young black men has increased by ten percentage points between the classes of 2002 and 2010, the achievement gap between black and white males has only narrowed by three percentage points. At this rate it will take something like 50 more years to close the gap between male Black and White, non-Latino high school graduation rates. And with only three states – Maine, Arizona, and Vermont – with graduation rates that are higher for young black men than for young white men (and four more, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska, with higher graduation rates for black men than the levels for young white men eight years earlier), too many young black men aren’t being educated.

Even if more young black men are graduating, they aren’t necessarily being educated. This can be seen in the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress’ measure of students reading at or above proficient levels in eighth grade. Although the percentage of young black men in middle school reading Below Basic has declined, just 11 percent of young black men are reading at proficient or advanced levels [editor’s note: only two points better than in 2002, according to Dropout Nation research]. Simply put: Nearly 90 percent of young black men heading into high school, are not reading at proficient levels. Remember: Reading is the essential skill for education and by grade eight, schools and districts have had time to provide that basic skill to their students. It is even worse when you consider this: Nineteen percent of Connecticut’s young black male eighth-graders read at proficient levels, the same level of proficiency as for young white male counterparts in West Virginia.

The U. S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights database shows that the ratio of  young black men to white peers in gifted-and-talented programs ranges from one-to-nine in Memphis and Nashville down to one-to-one in Montgomery County, Md., and Milwaukee. [Data for New York City was either incomplete or inaccurate, an issue I have raised earlier this year, and part of a national problem with the federal database upon which Dropout Nation Editor RiShawn Biddle has opined.] That is, young black men have an equal chance of receiving the increased resources characteristic of such programs as White, non-Latino, students in Montgomery County and Milwaukee, and barely more than one-tenth that opportunity in Memphis and Nashville.

The ratio of young black men to young white men classified as Intellectually Disabled (the term that federal officials use in place of “mentally retarded”) is as high as eight-to-one in Atlanta and six-to-one in Wake County despite decades of research showing that such disabilities are evenly distributed in the population.  It is noteworthy that the ratio is one-to-one in many northern urban districts. [Editor’s Note: Which hits upon the perniciousness of special education policies.]

Young black men were assigned to Advance Placement math courses at less than a tenth the rate as white male peers in two Louisiana districts, and similarly inequitably in many other districts, while being assigned to Advanced Placement math at approximately the same rate as young white male peers in the predominately Black districts of Newark, Atlanta and Cleveland.  Disparities in access to courses like Advanced Placement Mathematics are traceable to district policy decisions, as the College Board has repeatedly advocated an “open admissions” policy for its Advanced Placement program.

Out-of-School suspension ratios vary from approximately eight-to-one in Newark and Atlanta (and six-to-one in two other Atlanta metropolitan area districts) down to less than twice the percentage of young black men compared to male white non-Latino, students being given these punishments in districts like Boston. The absolute percentage of students gives out-of-school suspensions also vary widely.  Research has shown that out-of-school suspensions are highly detrimental to student learning and are strongly influenced by racial attitudes of teachers and school administrators.

It looks like some progress is being made, notably in graduation rates, but much more needs to be done.  The large gaps in basic skills achievement levels are particularly troubling.  Unless students are proficient in basic skills by grade 8, there is little chance that they will do well in high school or complete further education.  There is strong evidence that students, particularly young black men, who do not finish high school land in prison as young adults, while their children will grow up in poverty in neighborhoods with inferior schools, thus perpetuating the cycle that is limiting all too many American lives.

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Can Opening Up Stuyvesant (and Other New York City Selective High Schools) Help Poor Kids?

New York City’s specialized High Schools are highly selective public schools for academically and artistically gifted students. There are nine specialized high schools in New York City. Admission to eight…

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New York City’s specialized High Schools are highly selective public schools for academically and artistically gifted students. There are nine specialized high schools in New York City. Admission to eight of the schools is based on the score attained on the competitive Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT).  (Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts accepts students based on auditions and reviews of academic records.)  Places are awarded to those students who earn the highest scores on the SHSAT, which is offered to all eighth and ninth grade students residing within New York City. Students who qualify may attend the selective high school of their choice. The best known of these schools are the Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant High School.

According to a recent series on the local New York City NBC television affiliate, “a dramatic race gap persists at the city’s most elite public high schools, a product of a single standardized entrance exam that privileges students who have been intensively primed and prepped through expensive private tutoring programs.”  The reporters go on to point out that “At Stuyvesant High School, widely viewed as the crown jewels of the top public high schools, just two percent of incoming ninth-graders are black, and 3.5 percent are Hispanic . . . In the general New York City public school population, the two groups comprise a total of 77 percent.” 
New York City is divided into “community school districts,” neighborhoods, varying from the wealthy Upper East Side of Manhattan and the semi-suburban areas of eastern Queens, to the impoverished Bronx and central Brooklyn areas.  The distribution of students qualifying for selective high schools is a measure of the academic quality of science education in their middle and junior high schools and, perhaps, a measure of the family incomes in those neighborhoods. Students in northeastern Queens, near Great Neck, have a good opportunity to learn in a selective high school.  Students in the Bronx and Central Brooklyn have none.

An especially curious fact is that 115 of the 843 students admitted to Stuyvesant in a recent year had not attended New York City schools.  They came from private schools and the suburbs.  Their parents had invested in their elementary and middle school education in expensive private schools so that they could have a free education in one of the nation’s best public high schools.

Selective high schools are the Emerald City of New York City traditional public schools. The yellow brick road leading to them starts with the kindergarten tests for Gifted and Talented programs. But not all children have a chance of even setting out on that road. The city tests only 21 percent of its kindergarten students. The percentage of students in a neighborhood the New York City district thinks it worthwhile to test varies by the income of their parents. In some community school districts 70 percent of the students are tested.  In others, as few as seven percent are tested.  If instead, say, 70 percent of ALL students were tested, we could estimate that there would be an additional 10,000 students qualifying for the ruby slippers of the city’s Gifted and Talented programs. These additional students would mostly be Black, Hispanic and living in poverty. It is these students, and their peers, whom the system is denying an equal opportunity to learn.

The yellow brick road out of poverty runs through the schools. Unfortunately, that road is blocked by a Tin Man, lacking a heart, who prevents poor children from embarking on that road by restricting the additional resources that flow to students in Gifted and Talented programs to those from prosperous families, and a Cowardly Lion, lacking the courage to do what he must knows is right, maintaining a gatekeeper examination that cannot be passed without expensive private tutoring. Is it then any accident that Stuyvesant is one of the most highly segregated schools in the country, with only two percent of its student body who are Black and three percent Latino?  Do we need any more evidence that there is a pattern of segregation from kindergarten through high school in New York City?

Any objective observer would find it highly suspicious that New York City has a system of  selective high schools with a gateway examination that cannot be passed without extra tutoring. The New York Department of Education appears to believe that its schools are not good enough for the SHSAT. Doesn’t that seem a bit odd? Perhaps not when we know that many schools in the poorest parts of the city do not offer the courses, like advanced algebra, necessary to even read the questions on the test.

However, this situation, just because it is so egregious, offers an opportunity for fundamental change in the nation’s largest school system.  

First, New York City should abolish the SHSAT. That should be done for a number of reasons, not the least being that no child’s future should be determined by a single, high stakes, standardized test that is admittedly not aligned with the curriculum of the schools and blatantly discriminates on the basis of family income.

Instead of the SHSAT, the school district should adopt a system used for college admission in various places around the country:  a quota, based on enrollment, from each middle and junior high school.  If a school enrolls, say, one percent of the city’s grade eight students, then one percent of the pool of students admitted to the specialized high schools should come from that school.  Each school should be permitted to set their own criteria for identifying those students, as who knows students better than their teachers? 

What would be the consequences of this innovation? Some schools which now send many students to the selective high schools would send fewer. Every school which now sends no students to the selective high schools would send some.  Every student in New York City would have an equal opportunity to learn in some of the best high schools in the nation.

It is possible that parents now willing and able to pay large amounts of money for after-school and Saturday classes for their children from kindergarten through grade eight, and to pay for special “cramming” tutoring in for the SHSAT, will consider moving from neighborhoods where the competition for places will be high to neighborhoods where the schools currently do not sent students to the selective high schools. It is possible that they will put pressure on those schools—and the New York Department of Education—to improve the schools so that their children will have the opportunity to attend a selective high school.  It is possible that the Department of Education will do this, will make all its schools places where every child has an opportunity to learn to high standards.

And now we will all join together and sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

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Mayor Bloomberg (and Arne Duncan): You Have a School Data Problem

Dropout Nation Contributing Editor Michael Holzman, whose report for the Schott Foundation on how New York City’s Zip Code Education policies affect opportunities for poor and minority kids in the…

Dropout Nation Contributing Editor Michael Holzman, whose report for the Schott Foundation on how New York City’s Zip Code Education policies affect opportunities for poor and minority kids in the Big Apple, offers some new thoughts on data.

New York City’s Department of Education is the largest district in the country, responsible for educating one million students. How it meets that responsibility is of great concern to those children, their parents, the city’s residents and because of the sheer scale, the nation at large. It is, therefore, vital to have accurate, dependable data about the district’s performance.

Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released its long-awaited Civil Rights Data Collection for 2009-2010 from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts.  It is literally a collection:  each of those 7,000 districts submitted data on everything from school enrollment counts to statistics about bullying. This data collection is an important resource for all those interested in the condition of education in this country.  OCR has done an exemplary job of making the data accessible and easy to compare and analyze. (Editor’s Note: Whether or not the data accurately reflects what is going on, especially when it comes to young men of all races, or whether all kids are getting college-preparatory curricula, is a different matter entirely.)


But the data collection as a whole is only as accurate as the data sent in by the individual districts. And the data submitted by New York City is most curious.

For example, New York City reported that none of its 1,530 schools were either charter schools or alternative schools. This despite the fact that New York City is one of the leading players in expanding charters, and has an entire division — District 72 — devoted to educating students in alternative settings such as the Rykers Island jail. It also reported that none of its student received Free and Reduced-Price Lunch, a key measure of levels of poverty. Meanwhile New York City reported that eight-tenths of one percent of the children it serves were students disabilities. Even more odd, the district also reported that less than one percent of its students were classified as having Limited English Proficiency — even though a majority of its students are Latino and Asian.

The data points on suspension and expulsion reported by New York City to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights are even more curious. In 2009-2010, it reported that no students had been expelled. It also reported that none had been referred to law enforcement agencies. And that none of its students had been the subjects of school-related arrests. (Based on news reports and data from the city’s police department itself, this isn’t even close to reality.)

In other words, according to the New York City Department of Education, the district is one of unparalleled wealth among large districts, with no students living in poverty or near it.  The district, according to the data it submitted to the U. S. Department of Education, has completely resisted the charter school movement and has not experimented with alternative schools.  And its very large percentage of children living in homes where English is not spoken have nearly all acquired proficiency in English.

One of the strengths of the Civil Rights Data Collection is that it includes school-by-school data. New York City reports, for example, that:

  • Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, with an enrollment of 2,275, had no students eligible for Free and Reduced-Price Lunch.
  • Canarsie High School, also in Brooklyn, with an enrollment of 825, also had no students eligible for Free and Reduced-Price Lunch.  It reported an average teacher salary of $411,796.
  • DeWitt Clinton High School, in the Bronx, with 63 percent of its 4,435 students listed as Latino reported 3.3 percent as having Limited English Proficiency and none eligible for Free and Reduced-price Lunch.
  • Edward R. Murrow High School’s teachers are said to have an average salary of $252,843.

This is quite remarkable information. Perhaps someone in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office should look into it.

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Is “Gifted and Talented” Segregation by Another Name?

As Dropout Nation noted in these week’s Podcast, the nation’s special education ghettos are way-stations for kids many adults in schools and districts consider unreachable. At the same time, special…

As Dropout Nation noted in these week’s Podcast, the nation’s special education ghettos are way-stations for kids many adults in schools and districts consider unreachable. At the same time, special ed programs serve as one of the ways American public education rations what traditionalists consider to be quality education. Another form of rationing comes in the form of gifted-and-talented classes which serve those students gatekeepers into those programs (using faulty I.Q. tests such as the Stanford-Ninety, along with their own judgement) consider worthy of what is presumed to be high-quality teaching and comprehensive, college-preparatory instruction. The fact that recent data suggest that those programs rarely do well by these students makes their value seem questionable. More importantly, gifted-and-talented programs are ineffective in reaching and serving those poor and minority kids who may be quite capable of doing the work.

Dropout Nation Contributing Editor Michael Holzman takes a look at federal data and wonders why so few black and Latino children are in gifted-and-talented programs. Read, consider, and offer your own thoughts.

Who is gifted and talented in the Atlanta metro area? This is a more-important question than you may think.

The school systems of Atlanta and the five-county core of the Atlanta metro area (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett) enroll nearly 400,000 students. Half of the area’s students are black; 21,000 are Asian; just over 90,000 are white, non-Hispanic and just under 90,000 are Hispanic.

A total of 50,000 students in the Atlanta area are enrolled in programs for the gifted and talented according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.  The distribution of those students, by race and ethnicity looks like this:

Between a quarter and a third of Asian and white students are placed in gifted and talented programs.  Atlanta area school systems identify just seven percent of black students and just five percent of Hispanic students as gifted and talented.

Students in gifted and talented programs presumably have access to specialized educational resources.  Presumably that is helpful to them.

What can one say?  That the Atlanta metro school systems actually believe that white, non-Hispanic and Asian students are four times as likely to be gifted and talented as black and Hispanic students?  If not, perhaps they should look again.  There might be some more gifted black and Hispanic students around there somewhere.

Unless, of course, gifted education programs in the Atlanta area are a means for school segregation by another name.

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