Obama looks at race in school punishment | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 8, 2010

Obama looks at race in school punishment

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 3:16 PM

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration plans to go after civil rights inequities in schools and colleges, notably including racial disparity in discipline.

The campaign will essentially put an enforcement stick behind the carrot of the administration's $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, which holds out the promise of extra federal funding if states revamp their education policies. While Race to the Top will reward school reforms, the civil-rights push will emphasize the potential to punish offending schools.

Recent testimony in Little Rock has highlighted breathtaking racial differences in suspension rates in the North Little Rock and Pulaski County school districts. Arkansas, a holdout state for corporal punishment, also has tended to show a propensity to mete out physical violence as punishment disproportionately to black students.

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