Disparities in Education

For those involved in the community effort to Save Project GRAD, Magnet Programs, and Gifted and Talented from the Knox County School (KCS) board’s proposed budget cuts last spring are well aware that KCS has disparities in education.  Our community effort to save those programs gave us a one year reprieve.  As far as I am concerned, the fight continues.

Please Read: Green, E.L. & Waldman, A. (2018, Oct. 17). ‘You Are Still Black:’ Charlottesville’s Racial Divide Hinders Students.  The New York Times.

This article followed two students who attended schools on opposite sides of the tracks.  One student received gifted education and enrolled in AP courses in high school.  The other student did not receive gifted services and was not allowed to take Algebra II.  Part of the discussion focused on the racial divide of who receives gifted and AP classes and who does not.  If this happens in Charlottesville, I would not be surprised if it was happening in our very own community.

Please look at ProPublica’s Miseducation interactive guide to read about disparities in education in your school system.  I will highlight some disparities in education in Knox County Schools:

  • The Segregation Index was considered High.
  • White Students are 2.9 times as likely to be enrolled in an AP course as Black students.
  • Black students are 3.4 times as likely to be suspended as White students.
  • Black students are on average academically 2.4 grades behind White students.
  • Less than 1% of our students are enrolled in a Gifted Program.
  • The article about Charlottesville highlights two areas, access to Gifted programs and AP classes.  Students who are exposed to these programs have been shown to have greater success in their academic lives.

As I said in the beginning of this post, KCS has some work to do to eliminate disparities in education.  Please don’t destroy great programs that are beneficial for deserving students.  Enhance them!

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