Although equal opportunity in education was made the law in 1954 through Brown vs. Board of Education, there are still many educational inequalities continuing to plague our nation today. Seven decades later, there is no doubt that we’ve made significant progress, but we continue to face an abundance of educational inequity in our school systems.
Research from the U.S. Department of Education and countless organizations prove that the white-black achievement gap is still prevalent. For years, organizations have been collecting data from all races in the public-school system to see which groups are outperforming one another over time. Through this data collection, it is clear that African American students continue to fall behind white students in academic achievement. This is indicative in test scores, reading performance, suspension rates, expulsions, and graduation rates, to name a few measures.
Last year, Stanford University launched the Educational Opportunity Project to further pinpoint these disparities. They set out to find exactly what is causing the white-black achievement gap by compiling a national database of academic performance. After years of researching, their results were conclusive: gaps in average test scores represent gaps in educational opportunity.
They also found that zero large school districts in the United States show African American students performing moderately well and on par with white students. Opportunity gaps are larger in some districts than others, and some have progressively lowered the achievement gap. But for others, the disparities are so large, it’s unbelievable that these numbers haven’t improved over time.
The most shocking part of it all is that through all of this research on achievement gaps, it is apparent that segregation is still pervasive in our modern school systems. Students of color continue to be concentrated in high-poverty schools, and these segregated schools (those that contain less than 10% of white students) are proven to have more inexperienced teachers, less funding and higher achievement gaps. According to Stanford, “Racial segregation, which has limited the opportunities of Black children and families for generations, continues to limit them today.”
Over time, the white-black achievement scores have narrowed, but they have not been eliminated. That is why we founded Texas Tutors, to give opportunities to every student and be a proponent for educational equality. By intervening early on in a child’s academic career, they are more likely to succeed and graduate high school, as well as pursue higher education. No scholar is left behind with our K-12 services, and we will continue to advocate for them and work for educational equality in our schools. Every student matters, and our systems should reflect that.