Study: Discipline harsher on African-American students in Chicago
Blacks suspended at a much higher rate than white and Latino classmates, study finds
By Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune reporter
12:11 a.m. CST, March 6, 2012
African-American students, who make up slightly less than half of those enrolled in Chicago Public Schools, face harsher discipline than their white and Latino classmates but have better access to quality education than minority students in other large, urban districts, according to a study to be released Tuesday by theU.S. Department of Education.
African-American students comprised three-quarters of school suspensions in 2009-10, the year data was collected for the national civil rights survey. Latino students made up 42 percent of CPS’ enrollment but 20 percent of the suspensions. White students, who represented less than 10 percent of district enrollment, made up 3 percent of suspensions.
These discrepancies mirrored trends seen in other large districts, including those in New York, California and Florida. The survey of 72,000 schools is part of a sweeping collection of civil rights data to examine inequities in public schooling in the areas of discipline, school funding, teacher quality and college preparedness.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former head of CPS, on Monday called the report a “historic release of data.”
“There are many places that haven’t had access to this information and so maybe had never thought about what was going on and the implications of it,” Duncan said. “Big picture, this is really about self-analysis and having folks look in the mirror … and figure out what’s working and what’s not.”
Community action groups and educators in Chicago have long called attention to inequities in the school system’s discipline policies that have disproportionately affected minority students.
On Monday, students with Voice of Youth in Chicago Education held a news conference outside the Cook County Juvenile Center, calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to end “extreme” discipline policies that, they say, are forcing African-American and Latino students out of school.
The students kicked off a national petition drive, collecting signatures calling for a “more common-sense approach” to discipline. The group has spoken out against fines levied to students not following the rules in the Noble Street Charter network and released their own report, indicating that black and Latino kids are suspended, expelled or arrested three times more often than white students.
Although student discipline remains a thorny issue for CPS officials, the federal study shows African-American and Latino students in Chicago have better access to rigorous study, such as Algebra II, than minorities in other large cities.
It also shows Chicago’s elementary school teachers at work in largely black and Latino schools are paid better than teachers in predominantly white schools in the city, while high school teachers earn significantly less than peers in largely white schools.
Read the entire report at http://ocrdata.ed.gov.
CaseClosed2: Could the problem be that black students suffer harsher treatment because there are white teachers who don’t understand the black psyche and deem every behavior irrationally? Is there a conspiracy to created a future prison population with primarily black men who were students and were targeted in schools as future criminals?