Congressman Fattah Says Algebra is a Justice Issue

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA), the leading Congressional advocate for educational equity said, "When President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan said they wanted each child to have an equitable and excellent educational opportunity, they were serious and today's Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection Report shows how much work there is to do.  Our economic future rests on the extent to which all students, especially those who represent America's growing majority, have access to rigorous, college-preparatory classes and excellent teachers. To see, once again, that African American students are more likely to have a limited math curriculum, and an underpaid, novice teacher, is disheartening and should be a call to action for policymakers and educators.

"This report also includes extensive information about disparities in the application of discipline practices. African American students have less access to Algebra and more access to seclusion and restraint than do their White peers. The significant disparity in educational resources has caused this problem of disparate discipline and disparate academic outcomes. These problems are symptoms of the same pernicious history of underestimating the intellectual potential of African American children and must be remedied in the same way – college and career readiness for all students. We must address long standing inequities in opportunity if we are to resolve these alarming disparities.  This has been the focus of my work for the last 30 years, and I am thankful for the partnership of this Administration.

"I remain optimistic that this new information, the Equity and Excellence Commission Report (due out this Spring), the Fiscal Fairness Act and Student Bill of Rights Act will lead the way for a real remedy to these injustices and a stronger American future."

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah