When White Students Fail, Action Is Taken

A study says that education reform happens when whites start falling behind.

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White and black students aren't given equal priority in education reform. (Visions of America/Getty Images)

A recent study determined that the performance of white students, not black students, moves the needle on education reform, according to the Huffington Post. The report, titled "The Political Foundation of the Black-White Education Gap," shows how low a priority it is for politicians to pass legislation that would close the achievement gap between white and black students.

"We looked at when policymakers decisions and whose needs they seem to be responding to and we found that when white students are doing poorly that's when you see reforms enacted," study co-author and Baylor University professor Patrick Flavin told The Huffington Post.

This holds true even in states with significant numbers of African American legislators and high amounts of African American students, the study suggests.

In his conversation with HuffPost, Flavin gave examples of states such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, where students have high achievement rates overall, although black students perform especially poorly. In those states, there seem to be scant efforts to fix the achievement gap, he said.

The study shows how little has changed in the decades since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of desegregating schools in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which found that the education black and white students received was separate and not equal.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM