Monday, February 16, 2009

Are advanced classes a sophisticated form of segregation?

This story about the racial disparity in advanced classes takes place in Florida, but the questions it raises could just as easily be asked in Louisiana or just about any place else.

As Orlando Sentinel reporter Denise Marie Balona writes, honors courses are predominantly filled by white students. That's true even in schools that are mainly populated by African-American or Hispanic children.

The racial disparities, Balona writes, might raise red flags:

Though officials at the federal Office of Civil Rights wouldn't speculate
about whether local schools have broken any rules, some of the country's leading
scholars say it could be just a matter of time before such disparities trigger
an investigation

As one activist tells the reporter, "You're setting one group up to win potentially, and you're setting one group up to fail."

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