Some of America’s worst racial disparities between white and black students are in Wisconsin’s schools.
On a recent report, Wisconsin students in the eighth grade were ranked the lowest, with the widest gap in performance between white and black students. The gap continues to grow due to economic factors and social isolation that comes with discrimination against black students, explained Laura Dresser, Associate Director of Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS).
Compared to a successful graduation rate of 92 percent for white students, the graduation rate for black students was only 64 percent.
Dresser explained that the school’s system needs to reevaluate its model that works “so well for white students and not for black students.” This might include reevaluation of discipline policies and the juvenile justice system in Wisconsin, which has a reputation of exerting greater punishments on black youth, compared to white counterparts.
Overall, Dresser explained, the goal is to create a more inclusive climate that motivates success and achievement for everyone.
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