Racial and ethnic disparities have existed in the United States and Rhode Island from its founding. Removal of Native Americans, several centuries of slavery, a century of Jim Crow laws, and residential segregation created large gaps in academic access and attainment for Students of Color. While policies that created segregated schools ended decades ago, America and Rhode Island have yet to see a truly integrated educational system that produces high-quality educational opportunities for all.
In the U.S., Black and Latino students have become increasingly segregated from white students over the last 30 years. Black and Latino students generally attend schools in which students are disproportionately Students of Color and high-poverty, while white students attend schools in which students are disproportionately white and low-poverty.
Students in schools with high concentrations of low-income students and Students of Color have unequal educational opportunities when compared with the educational opportunities available to students who attend schools that are more diverse or that have mostly higher-income or predominantly white students because the schools they attend have more absences, lower graduation rates, teachers who have less classroom experience, and more teachers who are teaching outside their subject area of expertise.
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