New York State and City published the latest graduation rates for the 2016-17 school year and both inched higher. More about the bogus graduation rates is in a later post. This post will concentrate on the racial/income achievement gap which is unacceptably wide.
The latest data from the New York State Education Department found that the academic achievement gap between White and Asian students and Black and Hispanic students was 20%, Moreover, graduation rates for English Language Learners, who are mostly Black or Hispanic and low income, actually declined. The schools with the lowest graduation rates in the State were in low income urban districts who tend to have a high percentage of "high needs" students, primarily low income Black and Hispanic students.
In another report the older a student gets, the wider the racial achievement gap. A study reported by Chalkbeat found that while Black and Hispanic student started out slightly behind their White and Asian peers, the achievement gap became larger as the students went into higher grades. In particular Black boys fell furthest behind and girls did better than boys.
The report came up with the following conclusions:
- Black and Hispanics started out behuind.
- Black students lost ground as they got older.
- Hispanic students did slightly better.
- By eigth grade Asian students did the best.
- Black boys came out on the bottom.
- Girls did better than boys.
Looking at the data is disturbing and for Black boys it seems the school to prison pipeline is not just a saying but a reality as Black boys struggle through high school and never acquire the necessary skills to be successful in higher education or the working world. Is it any wonder that the minority communities have trouble becoming financially independent and keeping the family intact. The bottom line, after two decades of trying to eliminate the racial\income achievement gap, little progress has been made in doing so and that means poverty in the low income, minority communities will continue..