Wall Street Journal | No Racial Quotas in Special Education

 In Education Reform, In the News

The Wall Street Journal references our report, Collateral Damage, as they look at racial quotas in Special Education:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said that her team is “looking closely” at the Obama school-suspension guidance, which was issued in 2014 via a “Dear Colleague” letter and could be rescinded with another one. Let’s hope she gets on with it. Cities from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York provide evidence that reducing school suspensions has increased classroom disorder, which works to the detriment of those minority students who are in school to get an education, not make mischief. A study of Wisconsin schools published last month by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty noted that “softer discipline policies, pushed by the Obama Administration, are having a negative impact on student test scores.” Is it any shock that when undisciplined students aren’t removed from the classroom, less learning takes place? 

Obama administration officials and their progressive supporters used disparate-impact analysis to dodge a discussion about differences in student behavior, which might have brought to the surface other uncomfortable facts. Boys are suspended at higher rates than girls, and whites are suspended at higher rates than Asians. Moreover, a significant share of teachers and other staff in many majority-minority schools are of the same race and ethnicity as the students, which somewhat undermines “hidden bias” claims.

The previous administration took sides with bad actors out of political expediency. Mrs. DeVos’s focus should be on students who just want a safe learning environment and a decent education.

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