In her annual Message on Public Education, Jan Resseger, Minister for Public Education and Witness at the United Church of Christ Justice, denounces the privatization of public education as the abdication of our responsibilities as citizens of a democratic nation to provide all children with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.
This report analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights on school discipline and suspensions in the 2009-10 school year to reveal the unconscionable disparities regarding which students are pushed out of the classroom through out-of-school suspensions.The source data covers 7,000 school districts and represents 85 percent of all public school students, making this report the first and most comprehensive analysis of the impact of out nation's school discipline policies.
17 percent of all African-American students received out-of-school suspensions in the 2009-2010 school year compared to 7 percent of Latino students and just 5 percent of White students. Even more shocking, 25 percent of African-American students with disabilities were suspended the same year.
Much of the literature on education and prison -- and "the school to prison pipeline" -- assumes a negative correlation between educational achievement and incarceration: the more highly educated a person, the less chance that he (it is usually he) will be incarcerated.
This belief is supported by data for male White, non-Latinos:
Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair?
The Second Edition of the National Report Card on public school funding, Is School Funding Fair?, shows that far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to meet the needs of the nation's 53 million students and to boost academic achievement. The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. The Report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation. How does your state measure up?
In the Sunday Dialogue section in the New York Times, Dr. John H. Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, argues for a more just method for funding our nation's schools.
Providing every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn is nothing less than a moral imperative. But as parent and student organizers across the country know all too well, today's education policies, which push competition and privatization, are not sufficient for "addressing the structural inequities that make separate and unequal education a persistent fact of life in America today," writes Rev. Jesse Jackson in a must-read column for CNN.
The following column was originally posted on The Answer Sheet blog.