For the first time in American history, white students will not be the majority when the nation’s schools open for the 2014-2015 year. Of particular note for schools is the rapid growth of the Latino student population, which is over one-quarter of all students in America’s schools. School demographic figures preview overall population trends that show that, by 2042, people of color will become the majority of the U.S. population.
Why does this matter? These figures have significant implications for the demographics of the educational workforce, the curriculum being taught, the practices, policies, and traditions, and the overall school climate. And, as test data shows, there are huge gaps in terms of educational outcomes for students of diverse racial backgrounds. Additionally, disparities exist in terms of placement in gifted programs and special education programs, along with suspension and expulsion rates.
Schools are often on the “front lines” of changes in American society, and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities is actively working with a number of schools and school divisions to ensure equitable educational opportunities for all.