Minority report

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.

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  1. Twill00 says:

    I always wonder whether these kinds of results are in the same schools or different schools – do the white members of a school body have different expectations of results from the same schools, or are schools with highly-minority makeups different in character? I’d tend to expect that the latter is more true.

  2. Wayne Martin says:

    > For example, large majorities of all
    > teachers everywhere say schools need
    > more money to do a good job.

    The US is already spending almost $1T a year on public education (aboout 7.5% of the GDP). I wonder how many teachers even know this? It’s interesting that the education industry is always bleating for “more money”, but never promises to achive any specific goals for these additional funds.

  3. SuperSub says:

    Of course teachers are asking for more money… they’re at the bottom of the totem pole and never see a significant portion of it.

  4. Wayne Martin says:

    According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    Preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and secondary school teachers, except special education, held about 3.8 million jobs in 2004

    Median annual earnings of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $41,400 to $45,920 in May 2004; the lowest 10 percent earned $26,730 to $31,180; the top 10 percent earned $66,240 to $71,370.

    Additionally, there are health care benefits, and pensions for life, which seem to be conveniently forgotten when people talk about teacher salaries.

  5. Andy Freeman says:

    > Of course teachers are asking for more money… they’re at the bottom of the totem pole and never see a significant portion of it.

    How is that working out for them?