‘Inequity and injustice’

Published 12:48 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I recently had the opportunity to review Prince Edward County Public Schools’ (PECPS) enrollment data for school years 2009-15.

This data was shared with our local NAACP chapter and, as a member of the education committee, I was invited to analyze its content. The results were statistically as expected in most areas except one, and I hope that our new superintendent will pay particular attention to this discrepancy. Let me explain:

From 2009-15, the average student enrollment by ethnic group was approximately 37 percent Caucasian, 57 percent African-American and 6 percent others.

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Statistically, one would expect a similar distribution in every aspect of school life.

Only in the area of student enrollment in the gifted program was there a glaring discrepancy. During this period, on average, 65 percent of all gifted students were Caucasian rather than 37 percent, as expected, and only 26 percent of gifted students were African-American, rather than the statistically expected 57 percent. This is an appalling statistic.

It means that one of five (22.2 percent) of all Caucasian students are placed in PECPS gifted programs, but only one of 17 (5.9 percent) of all African Americans are similarly placed.

This subtle downgrading of the academic potential of a segment of our community severely influences the lives of these students.

I pray that our new superintendent aggressively addresses this apparent inequity and injustice.

Dr. Qadir Abdus-Sabur lives in Green Bay. His email address is cehh13617@yahoo.com.