Magazine article District Administration

Helping Minority Students after Brown vs. Board of Ed

Magazine article District Administration

Helping Minority Students after Brown vs. Board of Ed

Article excerpt

It's 50 years after the Supreme Court's landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision and not enough has changed for minority students in this country, educators say.

There are still wide disparities in educational opportunities for African-Americans. Minorities often remain segregated in schools because of socio-economic issues, such as affordable housing and parental income levels. They still don't have the same access as white students to educational funding, college preparatory classes, and high-performing teachers, educators say.

By the time they reach eighth grade, minority students nationally are about three years behind other students. Senior high school African-American and Latino students demonstrate skills in reading and math similar to those of 13-year-old whites, according to Education Watch.

"Minority students are still separate and unequal on many dimensions," says Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.

Integration is at a lower level in schools than in the mid-1970s, according to the project. Schools must focus on bringing equal educational opportunities to minority students no matter what school they attend, many educators advocate.

"People who are able to shop for a good public education can assure themselves they will give their children access to quality," said Sharon Robinson, president of the ETS Policy Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. "Others have to make sure the system has to do for the students regardless."

That means states and the federal government have to start backing up their educational regulations that seek to eliminate achievement gaps, like the No Child Left Behind act or high school exit exams, with sufficient funding, she says. …

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