Race and schools

Chris Fitzsimon at NC Policy Watch reports on a new study on race and schools in North Carolina, and the findings are eye-opening:

A new report from the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute finds that 6 of every 10 African-American male students in public schools are suspended at some point during the school year. The state's suspension rate is almost twice the national average and the number of suspensions has doubled between 5th and 6th grade in each of the last four years.

The statistics are so startling that you have to read them more than once to believe them. Half of black male students drop out of high school and more than half of black males are suspended during the school year.

The state fails the children, then locks them up. Black males make up 12 percent of the state's population, but more than 60 percent of population behind bars. Eighty-five percent of juveniles in the court system are dropouts, 75 percent of prison inmates do not have a high school diploma.

Fitzsimon's conclusion seems right, too: "There are no easy answers, but that is no excuse for not trying to solve a problem that is devastating a generation. It is true that parents and the students themselves bear some of the responsibility for their plight, but no can argue that the state is responsible too and is failing the kids and their families."