US Department of Education tells school district that they are harming Black children
Reported By Britt L
The U.S Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has declared that the state of Alabama will help all students, especially African Americans, with accessing advanced placement classes in their schools. Never done before in Alabama’s state history, the first-time agreement will increase the opportunities for students to do college level work and learn at a higher level in predominantly Black schools.
In an OCR investigation during the 2010-2011 school year, the department found the district’s predominantly white high schools had a large pool of advanced placement classes offered to their students- ranging from AP calculus to AP English and so forth.
Black schools however had a significantly fewer AP classes.
After investigating the alarming statistics, the OCR worked closely with Lee District to make sure minority children had equal opportunity to learn at an advanced level. The courses that will be introduced to the students will encourage the children to pursue higher-level courses and consider going to a four year college. Lee District says the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights will do everything in its power to help the program stay afloat.
Before putting the AP plans into action, Lee District must address the issue of minority children’s lack of participation in AP programs. Also the district will discuss why Black students face countless barriers in their academic careers.
Lee District schools will introduce dual-enrollment courses offered by junior colleges to the Black high schools and provide transportation to AP classes and back to regular school.
In a released statement from a OCR assistant secretary, Catherine E Lhamon says:
We look forward to working with the Lee County School District administrators to ensure that all students have equal access to a quality education and are pleased that the district has taken positive steps to increase college-ready access through raising the enrollment of Black students in AP and other higher level courses. The Lee County School District has been a partner throughout this process and I applaud the steps the District is taking to help ensure their compliance with our civil rights laws to serve all students.