Are Our Children Getting the Education They Deserve?

The Office for Civil Rights, under the Department of Education, conducted a survey of almost every public school and school district in America, as a part of its ongoing data collection efforts.  The report, which was released in 2016, is entitled, the 2013 - 2014 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).  It collected data from:

  • 16,758 school districts (which is 99.2% of ALL school districts)
  • 95,505 schools (which represents 99.5% of ALL public schools)
  • encompassing 50,035,744 students

The report found that, "More than half of high schools, in America, do not offer calculus, four in ten do not offer physics, more than one in four do not offer chemistry, and more than one in five do not offer Algebra II, which is considered a gateway class for success in college."

When it comes to Latino and African-American schools the information is even more alarming:

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  • “33% of high schools with high black and Latino student enrollment* offer calculus, compared to 56% of high schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.”
  • “48% of high schools with high black and Latino student enrollment* offer physics, compared to 67% of high schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.”

*"High Black and Latino enrollment" was defined as schools with > 75% Black and Latino student enrollment.  "Low Black and Latino enrollment" was defined as schools with < 25% Black and Latino student enrollment.

This means that 67% of high schools with greater than 75% Black and Latino student populations don't even offer calculus!

Wow!  What are those students supposed to do when it comes to college readiness?  Many colleges require calculus as a standard part of their degree programs--including computer science, math majors, business administration, and obviously engineering.  What are these children going to do in a 21st-century economy where college education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills are in demand?

If you think that folks are dissatisfied during the political election season, wait until 20 years from now when more and more of our students are grown and don't have college degrees or even basic skills that they will need to compete in a 21st-century economy.

What about in schools where calculus is offered?

"Black and Latino students are 36% of students in schools that offer calculus and 21% of students enrolled in calculus."

And when it comes to gifted and talented programs, "Black and Latino students represent 42% of student enrollment in schools offering gifted and talented education (GATE) programs, yet only 28% of the students enrolled in GATE programs."

"English learners are 11% of students in schools offering GATE programs, however fewer than 3% of GATE students nationwide are English learners."


Black children are more likely to be expelled without educational services.

Black children (K-12) are more likley to be suspended (3.8 times more likely).

Black children are more likely to be referred to law enforcement in school or subjected to school-related arrests as compared to white students. 

Even in preschool...

The report found that, "Black children represent 19% of preschool enrollment, but 47% of preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions, while white children represent 41% of preschool enrollment and only 28% of those children who receive one or more out-of-school suspensions."

We can't tolerate schools that don't offer calculus, but do offer law enforcement officers.

Or schools that don't offer physics, but do offer expulsions or schools that don't prepare our children for the 21st century.

CRDC Report Data 2013-2014.

Does your child attend a high school where calculus is offered?  Or will he or she attend one?  Does your child's school system require three of four years of math to graduate?  

What does your local schoolboard say about this report?  More information will be coming out soon.

Do you have everything you need to ensure that your child experiences success in school?  

Figure out a plan to make sure your child gets what he or she needs when it comes to their education!


Red and Black Ink, LLC, 2016.


"Persistent Disparities Found Through Comprehensive Civil Rights Survey Underscore Need for Continued Focus on Equity, King Says."  U.S. Department of Education.  Press release, June 7, 2016.

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.  2013 - 2014 Civil Rights Data Collection:  A First Look. 

Danita Smith