Harsher Discipline Starts Early for Black Students

An Education Department report finds African-American preschoolers are more likely to get suspended.

Attorney General Eric Holder (L) and Education Secretary Arne Duncan talk to preschoolers Dylan Hunt (2ndR) and Khalil Robinson (R) while they pretend to play doctors in their class at J.O. Wilson Elementry School. On March 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. Attorney General Holder and Secretary Duncan participated in discussion on the importance of universal access to preschool and the need to reduce unnecessary and unfair school discipline practices. (National Journal)

Here's a roundup of the education articles that caught Next America's eye from Mar. 17 to Mar. 24. All address trends that particularly affect minority students.

Racial Inequality Starts Early. Minority students in U.S. public schools face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous math and science classes, and are educated by less experienced teachers, according to a comprehensive report from the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights. One of the most eye-popping data points: African-American preschoolers make up 18 percent of preschoolers, but 42 percent of students who get suspended from preschool. New York Times, Politico

Is the New York DREAM Act Dead? The New York state senate rejected by just two votes legislation that would have granted state tuition aid to undocumented immigrants. The more liberal state assembly now wants to include the measure in state budget negotiations, but state senate leaders aren't exactly embracing the idea. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), a supporter of the DREAM Act, doesn't seem to want to put effort into pushing the bill through the legislature. New York Times , New York Daily News

Does Parental Involvement Impact Test Scores? The largest-ever study of how parental involvement affects academic achievement found that it mostly doesn't--at least, not in ways we can measure. Researchers found that forms of parental involvement like meeting with teachers, helping a student choose classes, or even disciplining students for getting bad grades, do little to boost kids' standardized test scores. The results were seen regardless of a parent's race, class, or level of education. The Atlantic

An HCBU With 35 Students. Atlanta's Morris Brown College is a historically black institution that has shrunk almost to a single classroom. Even though the institution lost its accreditation in 2003, and is $30 million in debt, it's still struggling on — in part to make sure that nearby Clark Atlanta University doesn't take its land. American Public Media

Low-income Students Don't Care About Rankings. 2013 survey data show that most low-income students prioritize location and affordability in choosing a college, according to a report from the American Council on Education. The report, which criticized the Obama administration's proposed college rankings system, also cited a 2009 study that found only half of high-achieving low-income students find rankings useful in making college decisions. American Council on Education Center for Policy Research and Strategy