New Report Cites Role Of Race In Achievement Gap

Dec 19, 2011

A new report calls for a closer look at the role of race in Connecticut’s persistent achievement gap. The study finds that male students of color do not have the same educational opportunities as their white counterparts. 

Many male students of color are struggling in school for reasons that have nothing to do with their socio-economic status, family background or perceived level of ability or motivation, says Jeremy Bond, spokesperson for the State Education Resource Center or SERC, which released the new report.  

"There are policies and practices, even unintentional, that benefit white kids over kids of color.  So we have black kids and Hispanic kids, mostly boys, sent to the office for subjective behavioral infractions such as disrespect at a higher rate than white students."

But when you look at the number of kids disciplined for clear, objective behavioral problems like fighting, "...they’re not sent to the office at a higher rate.  So here they’re not getting in trouble anymore often, yet they’re in trouble more often."

The SERC report finds that educational policies and practices across the state benefit white kids at the expense of black and Hispanic kids – especially male students of color. 

The report cites several avenues to address the problem, including changes in school culture, and educators willing to reflect on their own cultural and racial identities and how they affect teaching and learning.