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When Public Schools Were a ‘Private Club’

PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE BACK ON THE MARKET.

As the internet has made it easier for young people to learn about careers and other social life, public schools are starting to get the spotlight again.

The US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights says it plans to “expand our efforts to address issues of discrimination in education.” 

In a new report, the agency says it will continue to track discrimination in the education system and provide education data for policymakers. 

It will also continue to use the data to address “critical gaps” in educational outcomes for low-income and minority students. 

“This report is a call for action on the part of the education community to make progress in education, particularly in public schools,” says Elizabeth Giesbrecht, a senior associate at the Center for Education Reform.

“We need to find ways to address disparities in access to higher education, as well as access to quality early childhood care, and to address systemic discrimination in our public education system.” 

The Education Department report also calls on states to “ensure that schools and districts are providing the resources, information, and training that are needed to meet the educational needs of all students, including students with disabilities, students with health and developmental disabilities, and students with learning disabilities.” 

To date, it has not released any data to show how many states are complying with the report. 

The report is part of a larger effort by the department to address racial disparities in educational achievement, specifically in the public schools.

In 2015, the department found that white students were less likely to be admitted to a four-year public school than students of color. 

While many states and districts have implemented some form of “affirmative action” programs, the US Department is currently working to ensure that they do not perpetuate systemic discrimination. 

In an attempt to combat racism in education at the state and local level, the Education Department has issued recommendations to increase the availability of resources, increase transparency and accountability, and improve school climate and practices, among other things. 

More:  The Education Report: A Year in the Making is available now, and will be published in the spring. 

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