Civil Rights Report Points to Opportunity Gaps

By Sarah D. Sparks — July 05, 2011 1 min read
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There have been a lot of recent studies on the stubbornness of America’s achievement gaps. In spite of millions of dollars and a federal law dedicated to closing these gaps between poor and middle class students, white and minority students, and so on, they’ve hardly budged in 20 years or more. As my colleague Nirvi Shah reports, new federal civil rights data points to one potential reason why: serious opportunity gaps in the classes offered, teachers hired and resources provided to some students over others.

The information, which the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights culled from about 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts, found wide discrepancies in the experience of instructors and the college-preparatory and high-level math courses offered from school to school.

This fall, the ED will release additional school-level data on school funding, student retention, teacher absenteeism, harassment, restraint and seclusion procedures, and other discipline-related information.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.