With a new school year just around the corner, lawmakers, educators and parents should make time to read the thought-provoking new report “E(race)ing Inequities: The State of Racial Equity in North Carolina Public Schools” by the Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED).
Policy Watch sat down last week to discuss the findings with James E. Ford, who is the executive director of CREED as well as a State Board of Education member and former NC Teacher of the Year.
In our extended interview, Ford explains why it’s time for another candid talk about race, and why North Carolina must adopt racial equity as a stated goal for our public school system.
- Student groups of color had a higher likelihood of being taught by a novice [teacher] as compared to their White counterparts when controlling for gender, free/reduced lunch status, language status, and special education status.
- Student groups of color were also far less likely to be in classes with a teacher of the same race/ethnicity.
- Students of color were strongly over-represented within the districts/LEAs with the highest teacher turnover and vacancy rates.
- Given the powerful influence that teachers have on virtually all measures of educational success, our results provide evidence that students of color in North Carolina have less access to the highly qualified, experienced, stable, and diverse teachers that are likely to provide them with the best chance of school success.
- Not only are American Indian, Black, and Multiracial students over-represented generally in the incidence of both in-school and out-of-school suspensions, they appear to be the disproportionate recipients of suspensions involving subjective offenses and receive harsher forms of discipline (OSS vs. ISS) at higher rates. Furthermore, Black students receive longer suspensions on average than any other student group.
- To give a sense of the magnitude of the racial discipline gap in the state, if Black students had been given out-of-school suspension (OSS) at the state average rate, almost 30,000 fewer Black students would have experienced OSS during the 2016-2017 school year.
- The under-exposure of student groups of color in gifted and talented programs has the potential to diminish their long-term educational attainment, postsecondary participation, and professional achievements.