The Impact of School Composition on Black and White Achievement Gap

According to a recent study conducted by Bohrnstedt, G., Kitmitto, S., Ogut, B., Sherman, D., and Chan, D. published by the National Center for Education Statistics, there is a significant positive correlation between school composition and black-white achievement gap.

Using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2011 Mathematics Grade 8 Assessment and the Common Core for 2010–11, the study found that while the achievement gap between white and black students remains significant overall with white students performing higher, the “achievement for both Black and White students was lower in the highest Black student density schools than in the lowest density schools. For Black students overall, and Black males in particular, achievement was still lower in the highest density schools than in the lowest density schools.”

Policy makers and educational practitioners should use the results of this study to inform both allocation of resources, and instructional practices in this environment of increasing resegregation of public schools.

NAEP is the largest nationally representativ​e and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.

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Dyett High School Hunger Strike Comes To An End

After 34 days of a hunger strike protesting the closing of Dyett High School by some residents of the school’s community, the strikers claimed what they call a partial victory as they ended their strike due to the physical body’s limitations according to Juan Perez Jr. of Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Public Schools agreed to reopen the former Dyett High School on the city’s Southeast Side next Fall as a neighborhood arts focused school instead of a high school focused on green technology demanded by the strikers.

“Your body starts to deteriorate,”  Jeanette Taylor-Ramann, a member of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization and one of the leaders of the strike said who helped lead the 34-day hunger strike.

Racial Disparities in Access to Educational Opportunities To Be Rectified in One New Jersey School District

The School District of South Orange and Maplewood in New Jersey has been prompted to provide its African American students equal access to and equal opportunities to Advanced Placement (AP), Honors and other college and career preparatory courses following a review by the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights which revealed glaring disparities in the opportunities that African American and white students are exposed to. The review was done to make sure that the school district complies with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., as well as implements regulation 34 C.F.R. Part 100, which prohibit discrimination on the bases of race, color and national origin by organizations that receive funds from the Federal government. The review exposed that only 19 percent of African American students are enrolled in the district’s AP courses although they make up 38 percent of the student population. On the other hand, white students who make up 49 percent of the student population in the district hold most of the enrollment in the AP courses. The school district will take action steps to rectify the existing disparities.
The Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, stated that the US Department of Education will conduct investigations to ensure that school districts and states are providing “poor and minority students with access to strong teachers, demanding coursework and facilities that their white peers receive”.