I know I’m a slacker on the blog post front (sorry WRSM-er’s [wait, is that what our readers are called?]) anyway… I had to break my silence on the recent SCOTUS ruling re- affirmative action.
If you cool kids haven’t heard, the Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action ruling came down, 6-2 banning state universities from considering race as apart of it’s admissions process.
I would honestly be okay with this ruling if things were truly equal in America and each child received an equal chance at a quality and fair education. But what my legal education, time at my law school’s education clinic, and just overall life has taught me… that there’s nothing fair or equal about public school education in America.
For example (and this is by no means an exhaustive list but just a quick overview):
-Less than half of American Indian and Native-Alaskan high school students had access to the full range of math and science courses, which consists of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry and physics.
-Black and Latino students accounted for 40 percent of enrollment at schools with gifted programs, but only represented 26 percent of students in such programs.
-Black, Latino and Native American students attended schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers (3 to 4 percent) than white students (1 percent).
-Black students were more than three times as likely to attend schools where fewer than 60 percent of teachers meet all state certification and licensure requirements.
-Children that live below the poverty line are 1.3 times more likely to have developmental delays or learning disabilities than those who don’t live in poverty.
-By the end of the 4th grade, African-American, Hispanic and low-income students are already 2 years behind grade level. By the time they reach the 12th grade they are 4 years behind.
-The nation’s lowest-performing high schools produce 58% of all African-American dropouts and 50% of all Hispanic dropouts, compared to 22% of all white dropouts.
-Less than 30% of students in the bottom quarter of incomes enroll in a 4 year school. Among that group – less than 50% graduate.
But everyone has the same chance at attaining the same levels of education (read success in life) right?
I realize that I haven’t provided much commentary, but I just wanted to let those stats sink in.
And… I’m going to close with my favorite portion of the dissent from Justice Sotomayor, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race,” she wrote, “is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.”