Report Roundup: Facing the Consequences: An Examination of Racial Discrimination in U.S. Public Schools

Amy Bracken
April 1, 2000

Expose Racism and Advance School Excellence

A project of the Applied Research Center

Using 10 key indicators of racial justice to examine 12 U.S. cities, this report gives the U.S. public school system a failing grade on racial equity. The Racial Report Card, applied to schools in 11 states, measured proportionality of ethnic identity to six quantitative measures (dropout rate, suspension/expulsion rate, graduation rate, access to advanced/gifted classes, college acceptance and teaching corps demographics), and four qualitative measures (equality of learning resources, linguistic access, culturally appropriate curriculum, and staff and teacher training in multicultural education).Only one school district received a passing grade: Boston, which got a “D.”

One of the worst examples of disproportionate suspension/expulsion rates was in San Francisco, where African Americans comprised 18 percent of the public school students but 56 percent of the dropouts. In every school system studied, suspension/expulsion rates for African Americans were disproportionately high. Also in every system studied, placement in advanced/gifted classes was disproportionately low for African Americans. And the percent of African-American teachers was low relative to the percent of students (except in Salem, Ore., where it was one percent for both teachers and students). In all of the cities except Providence, R.I., disproportionately more Latinos and African Americans dropped out of school. The report’s authors say that “regardless of anyone’s intent, they [Hispanic and African-American students] receive an inferior education.” 36 pages. Free on the Internet, $5 for hard copy. Applied Research Center, 3781 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611. (510) 653-3415.

Bracken, Amy. "Facing the Consequences: An Examination of Racial Discrimination in U.S. Public Schools." Report Roundup. Youth Today, April 2000, p. 12.

©2000 Youth Today. Reprinted with permission from Youth Today. All rights reserved.