School Zone Segregation and Thousands Excluded from Special Education in Texas | Last Week’s Best Articles

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nations students.

Here are the best stories we came across last week…because we believe you should stay up-to-date, too!

Study: Students in New York City’s Pre-K for All program show learning gains

Stop Talking About Teacher Diversity. Start Tackling the Problem. via Education Week

Many students of color will rarely—if ever—be taught by someone who looks like them.

Students of color make up about half the 50.7 million public school population, yet only about 20 percent of the country’s 3.8 million public school teachers are nonwhite. About 7 percent of teachers are black, 9 percent are Hispanic, and 2 percent are Asian. The teacher-diversity gap is wide—and a growing body of research shows that it is a problem.

Low-income black students are more likely to graduate from high school and consider attending college if they have just one black teacher in elementary school, a 2017 Johns Hopkins University study found.

School integration lawsuit heads to Minnesota Supreme Court via The Star Tribune

One of the state’s most closely watched education lawsuits in years is heading to the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday, accusing state officials of shirking their responsibilities to educate poor and minority students.

The case could prompt dramatic demographic changes in schools, including the first metro-wide school desegregation plan in two decades. But before that, the Supreme Court has to weigh in on judicial authority: Can the courts decide whether the state failed in its responsibility to adequately educate students?

Texas Illegally Excluded Thousands From Special Education, Federal Officials Say via The New York Times

For years, Texas education officials illegally led schools across the state to deny therapy, tutoring, and counseling to tens of thousands of children with disabilities, the federal government said Thursday.

In a letter to the Texas Education Agency, which oversees education in the state, regulators from the federal Department of Education said the state agency’s decision to set a “target” for the maximum percentage of students who should receive special education services had violated federal laws requiring schools to serve all students with disabilities.

One thing to read this week…

We can draw school zones to make classrooms less segregated. This is how well your district does. via Vox

If you attended an American public school, chances are you went to that school because your family lived in that school’s attendance zone. You probably didn’t think twice about it.

We tend to assume these are neutrally drawn, immutable borders. Often the attendance zones are gerrymandered to put white students in classrooms that are even whiter than the communities they live in.

The result is that schools today are re-segregating. In fact, schools in the South are as segregated now as they were about 50 years ago, not long after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below:

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