Civil Rights Enforcement and the Student-Teacher Diversity Gap | Last Week’s Best Articles


Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nations students.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…because we believe you should stay up-to-date, too!

How do you enforce civil rights? Under Betsy DeVos, a stark shift in approach. via Washington Post

A few months into the Trump administration, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights circulated a memo to agency investigators. They were no longer required to consider “systemic” bias when presented with a single claim of discrimination. Instead, the agency’s goal was to swiftly rule on individual complaints.

On its own, it was a small move. But a year and a half later, it is clear that the 2017 memo marked the start of a steady march toward narrowing the agency’s approach to racial discrimination and civil rights enforcement.

The Secret Network of Black Teachers Behind the Fight for Desegregation via The Atlantic

For 25 years, the Emory University professor Vanessa Siddle Walker has studied and written about the segregated schooling of black children. In her latest book, The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools, Walker tells the little-known story of how black educators in the South—courageously and covertly—laid the groundwork for 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education and weathered its aftermath.

One Elite High School Was Diverse. Then It Got Discovered. via The New York Times

At some of New York City’s elite high schools, racial diversity is an issue. At the Brooklyn Latin School, it was considered a core part of the school’s identity.

But in recent years, racial diversity at the Bushwick, Brooklyn, high school has been in steady decline. This school year, the incoming class of students at Brooklyn Latin is 13 percent black and 10 percent Latino, and the school has become increasingly white and Asian.

The loss of black and Latino students, who make up 67 percent of public school students citywide, is troubling to the school’s administration and faculty. “We want our school to look like New York City,” said the school’s headmaster, Gina Mautschke-Mitchell. “And we want to give opportunity and access and equity to all students.”

One thing to read this week…

The State of America’s Student-Teacher Racial Gap: Our Public School System Has Been Majority-Minority for Years, but 80 Percent of Teachers Are Still White via The 74 Million

Although America is becoming more diverse each year, and is expected to have a majority-minority population by 2044, the teaching force is not keeping up with the changing racial makeup of America’s children. Elementary and secondary school teachers form a group far whiter and more female than the students in their classrooms, despite a strong body of research that indicates that a diverse teaching staff benefits students of all races.

Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below:

August 17, 2018
The Expectations Project

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  1. I understand the inequality/inequity in public education. My 10th grader has been a target of teachers and administrators since first grade. The apathy amongst educators is appalling and political. Black schools are top heavy with infractions, but very low in best behavioral therapy/modifications.