The U.S. Department of Education has unveiled a new database that lets you look at racial disparities in advanced classes and in punishments like detention at America’s public schools.
The data — which includes information about students’ race, sex, English language skills, and disabilities for the year 2011-2012 — is available in a public, searchable database for the very first time.
This means you can look up data for your kids’ schools or your old high school, as the Southern Poverty Law Center points out.
A search of West Hempstead High School on Long Island reveals the school’s Hispanic students have a disproportionately low enrollment in calculus, chemistry, and physics courses, while Asian students have a disproportionately high enrollment in those courses.
Suspensions at this high school disproportionately affected black and Hispanic students, who accounted for a majority of the school’s suspensions, although they are a minority in terms of enrollment.
The database can also shed light on a punishment outlawed in many U.S. states — corporal punishment, otherwise known as spanking or paddling. People who live in the Springtown Independent School District in Texas, for example, can see the ethnicities of 117 students without disabilities who received corporal punishment, as well as the ethnicities of 19 students with disabilities who received corporal punishment.
The disparate use of punishment on black and Hispanic students is a nationwide phenomenon, the Education Department has noted.
To search your school in this database, visit the website and click “Find school- or district-level summaries.” Then fill in the relevant search criteria for your school. You can also look up data on teacher salaries, advanced placement enrollment, and other information.
Click here to search for your school or school district.
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