Nationally, public school enrollment is
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
High school graduation is the most basic level of educational achievement without which young people have little chance of economic or professional success.
Graduation rates are too low for all children, but for African American, Hispanic, Native American and disabled students, graduation rates are catastrophically low and appear to be getting worse.
Even for children who stay in school, the educational opportunity they are getting is no where near equal. Participation rates in the kinds of advanced programs that prepare children for college are grossly unequal.
Local statistics show that there are far more advanced academic opportunities available to students in affluent districts than in poorer districts, especially poor, racially isolated ones. Within districts, whether affluent or low-income, it is almost always true that white students are significantly more likely to be given access to advanced programs than minority children and children with disabilities.
The combined effects of race and poverty are having an overwhelming effect on preparing children to get into and succeed in college. The charts above show that the combined effects of poverty and race give White students:
All students have the capacity to learn and improve their academic performance. High expectations and challenging curriculum work to improve the performance of all children.
Having quality teachers may be the most important aspect of a child's education. Research shows that all children can learn and achieve when given good instruction. Three consecutive years of good teaching has a powerful effect on student achievement; unfortunately, three years of bad teaching also has a powerful effect.
Students who need effective teachers the most - low income and minority students - are far less likely to have qualified and experienced teachers than white students and students in more affluent districts.