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.

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