On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Education and Labor Taskforce, joined Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Civil Rights, Russlyn Ali, to release new data from the Civil Rights Data Collection by the Department of Education. Mr. Davis issued the following statement:
"I applaud the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education for developing a national data tool for examining equity and educational opportunities. I have actively championed the Civil Rights Data Collection as a means to understand compliance with federal civil rights laws and to ensure that all students receive high-quality educational experiences. The research released clearly demonstrates that severe inequities in education remain. The dramatic numbers confirm that the opportunity gap and school-to-prison pipeline are very real for students of color, students who are low income, students with disabilities, and students learning English."
"The analyses indicate that Chicago has areas of strength as well as areas in need of significant improvement. Positively, Chicago elementary school teachers serving mostly African American and Hispanic students earn approximately $1800 more per year than their counterparts in schools serving fewer minorities. Of great concern are the racial disparities in discipline for African American students in Chicago. Although African Americans represent only 45% of student enrollment, they represent 76% of students suspended. Further, Chicago high schools serving the most African American and Hispanic students are paid an average of $5,619 dollars less than their colleagues in schools serving the fewest African American and Hispanic students."
"The dramatic disparities revealed unequivocally demonstrate the need for the Civil Right Data Collection and for active federal partnership with states to ensure equity in educational opportunity. I resolutely vow to continue advocating for meaningful reforms to improve the educational success of all students. Further, in my role as Chairman of the Education and Labor Taskforce of the Congressional Black Caucus, I will host a Congressional Summit on Discipline in the next few months to examine further these data and to discuss federal policy reforms."