- A new report from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Women's Law Center finds that African-American girls are more likely to be held back, suspended, or expelled than any other female demographic.
- The report asserts that gender and racial stereotypes, disparities in resource distribution, and zero-tolerance punishment systems are to blame.
- Some suggestions the report gives to combat this problem: investing in early childhood education, eliminating zero-tolerance punishment, and increasing research disaggregated by race and gender.
African-American girls are doing worse than the "girl average" on almost every single measure of achievement, according to the report.
In order to flesh out and better understand the issues behind the report, NPR interviewed Janel George, education policy counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and one of the report's lead writers. According to George, while the research does not necessarily uncover new facts, it is not repetitive because it draws new conclusions for why these trends are happening.
George says the biggest issue starts with the schools that many African-American girls attend, which more often than not are underfunded and under-resourced.
"All of the issues have a serious impact on educational outcomes. But if we start the early stages with resource inequities — so, schools that African-American girls disproportionately attend also tend to be underresourced — that leads to a lack of rigorous course offerings that prepare students to be college- and career-ready. For instance, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM — course offering," George explains to NPR.