Many groups organize in order to address the persistent and profoundly disturbing statistical differences in academic outcomes for students by race/ethnicity. Some of the root causes of these disparities are well known. The educational system in the United States is itself profoundly inequitable. A system of funding derived from unequal local tax bases coupled with neighborhoods that remain intensely segregated ensures differences by race/ethnicity. Compared to white children, children of color are more likely to attend schools that are overcrowded, under-funded, with fewer up to date materials and less current technology, and a lower percentage of highly qualified teachers in the subjects being taught. This is not to deny that many students in these circumstances succeed to high levels, or that many highly trained, dedicated and effective teachers and other educational staff are doing excellent work every day. However, the truth remains that students of color experience potent current and accumulated disadvantages. It is thus not surprising that differences in educational opportunities are mirrored in differences in academic achievement by race/ethnicity at every level – in access to high quality pre-school, credit accumulation and rates of high school graduation, college admissions, retention and graduation, etc. Resources in this section provide conceptual information, examples and potential entry points for change.

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