Public Agenda’s Reality Check 2006 surveyed black and Hispanic students and parents and teachers in high-minority schools.
Asked to rate their schools on a range of key academic and social dimensions, black and Hispanic students are more likely to report “very serious” problems in nearly every category. Twenty-three percent of Hispanic students and 39% of black students say that kids dropping out is a very serious problem at their school, compared to 12% of whites. Likewise, 29% of Hispanics and 37% of blacks say truancy is a very serious problem, compared to 14% of whites. Just half of black students (49%) believe that they will have the skills to succeed in college by the time they get there. . . . About 3 in 10 black students report very serious levels of unrest and distraction in their schools.
Minority parents are more likely than white parents to be dissatisfied with their children’s schools, citing low standards and safety issues. Black parents are especially likely “to give local superintendents poor marks for helping low-income, minority children achieve as much as white youngsters. They are also more skeptical about whether a high school diploma guarantees that a student has mastered basic skills.” Hispanic parents are very concerned about high dropout rates, lack of attention to basic skills and drug and alcohol problems at school.