42% OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS ATTEND POORLY-RESOURCED, LOW PERFORMING SCHOOLS COMPARED TO ONLY 15 PERCENT OF WHITE STUDENTS. (SCHOTT FOUNDATION, 2012)
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, white students scored 26 points higher than Black students in Math and Reading assessment tests in 2009. This pattern has been pretty consistent over the last 30 years. These educational disparities led to African-American students being at least four years behind their white counterparts by the time they finished high school.
The school-to-prison pipeline is a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse, or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services. Instead, they are isolated, punished, and pushed out.
“Zero-tolerance” policies criminalize minor infractions of school rules, while officers in schools lead to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school. Students of color are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline. (ACLU, 2012)
- According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, “The poverty rate for all African Americans in 2012 was 28.1% which is an increase from 25.5% in 2005. ”
- Actually, the poverty rate increased between 2005 and 2012 for every demographic of African-Americans except those ages 65 and over who experienced a decrease from 21.2% to 19%.
- Black families with children under 18 headed by a single mother have the highest rate of poverty at 47.5 compared to only 8.4% percent of married-couple Black families.