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American Race and Education Disparities Begin in Preschool

Posted on Mar 21, 2014

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Black students are more likely to be suspended from American public schools than their white classmates, even as preschoolers, a new report has found.

The report, released Friday by the Department of Education’s civil rights arm, highlighted racial disparities in American education, “from access to high-level classes and experienced teachers to discipline,” The Guardian noted. The disparities begin at the earliest grades.

According to The Guardian:

Black children represent about 18% of children in pre-school programs in schools, but they make up almost half of the preschoolers who are suspended more than once, the report said. Six percent of the nation’s districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.

Advocates long have said get-tough suspension and arrest policies in schools have contributed to a “school-to-prison” pipeline that snags minority students, but much of the emphasis has been on middle school and high school policies. This was the first time the department reported data on pre-school discipline.

… Overall, the data show that black students of all ages are suspended and expelled at a rate that’s three times higher than that of white children. Even as boys receive more than two-thirds of suspensions, black girls are suspended at higher rates than girls of any other race or most boys.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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