By Alyson Klein
Sixty years after the passage of Brown v. Board, there’s still a wide gulf in educational opportunities for low-income and minority students and their more advantaged peers, including when it comes to access to rigorous coursework aimed at preparing students for college and the workforce, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the audience at the Education Writers Association annual seminar here today.
For instance, a new analysis by the Department of Education’s office for civil rights, showed that just 68 percent of African-American students attend high schools that offer calculus. That’s compared to 81 percent of white high school students, and 87 percent of Asian American students. What’s more, American Indian and Native American students are much less likely than any other ethnic group to attend high schools that offer Advanced Placement classes, calculus, or physics.
“This dummying down of expectations is devastating to families, communities, and ultimately to our nation,” Duncan said. “We can’t continue to relegate talent and potential to the sidelines.”