August 27, 2015

A long strange trip

The latest Front Porch podcast tells the story of Jennifer Hill's amazing journey (by way of Hurricane Katrina) from the Superdome in New Orleans to West Virginia.

August 26, 2015

Racial disparities in schools

According to a new study, African American students in WV schools are disproportionately punished with suspensions and expulsions. In 2011-2012, black students made up 5 percent of K-12 students but were 11 percent of those suspended and 8 percent of those expelled.

Some county data was interesting:

*in Kanawha, black students were 12.7 percent of the total, but 23.3 percent of those suspended, at a rate of 1.8 times their percent of the population.

*in Putnam County, the percentages were 2, 6.7 and 3.3, respectively.

*Hampshire County: 1.6, 12.2, and 7.7.

*Randolph County: .8, 6.2 and 7.4

*Wayne County: 1.2, 7.5, and 6.2.

Unfortunately, these kinds of disparities are found in many areas, including incarceration rates, poverty rates, unemployment rates, etc. All of which goes to show that racism isn't just a matter of personal prejudice among a few unenlightened people but rather a matter of systems and structures that affect the life chances of millions of people.