Education Policy
Expose Racism & Advance School Excellence (ERASE)
Applied Research Center


Key Findings

� Several issues of CERD non-compliance were identified including unequal access to education and in the case of discipline policy, extreme discrimination with regard to equal treatment under the law.

� Schools are incredibly segregated with whites the least likely to attend school with other racial groups. White privilege is institutionalized in education in a myriad of ways including unequal funding and support and bias in curriculum and testing.

� Increasing policing of students of color has meant greater law enforcement involvement, which has resulted in racially disproportionate suspensions, expulsions and referrals to the criminal justice system.

� Public policy toward predominantly minority primary and secondary schools discourage integration and facilitate isolation and inequity. Policies toward predominantly minority post secondary institutions are characterized by aggressive mandates guaranteeing expanded access for whites. Predominantly white institutions of higher learning are under no such mandates for assuring access to racial minorities.Key Recommendation

s� Design Racial Equity Plans at the school, district, state, and national levels that include annually quantifiable goals.

� Schools must act immediately to correct the uneven application of the most severe disciplinary actions, including suspension and expulsion.

� End academic tracking and open the way for all students to participate in a challenging curriculum, including advanced classes.

� Develop policies that guarantee the equitable distribution of resources that take into account the critical role of quality public education as one remedy for past discrimination.

� Institute more accurate and sensitive standards for measuring student progress and college aptitude and discontinue the use of biased and ineffective standardized tests.

� At the post secondary level, affirmative action programs and other special measures should be established to increase the number of minorities completing college and graduate school.IV. Education Policy Summary of CERD and Other Human Rights Violations

118. We assert that until the recommendations below are fully enacted and the institutional practices which deny children of color their education are addressed, the government of the United States is in violation of the Convention on the Rights of Children (1989), the Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960), and Articles 2 and 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1966). Overview

119. An examination of any dimension of public education in the United States today -- funding, curriculum, school discipline, or graduation and college enrollment rate -- reveals vast inequities between people of color and those of their white counterparts. Together these differences make up a system of institutional racism throughout public education in this country.

120. These gross and obvious inequalities are not confined to any single city or region of the country. The research discussed in Applied Research Center's report, Facing the Consequences: An Examination of Racial Discrimination in US Public Schools, (See Appendix E) reveals similar results for small towns and big cities, for the North and the South, for schools where students of color are the minority and where they predominate.

121. If US public schools regularly failed to serve students of color in a single aspect of their education that would be bad enough. What the research reveals, however, is far more pernicious. It is the cumulative effect upon students of color of an education system that channels them away from academically challenging courses, punishes them more frequently and more harshly, and ultimately pushes them out of school without a diploma--all in much higher proportions than their white counterparts. We must face the consequences of racial discrimination in US public education in order to ensure educational equity, opportunity, and excellence for all students.Outcomes versus Intentions

122. What concerns the nation's almost 17 million students of color and their communities is that, regardless of anyone's intent, they receive an inferior education. Public policy must address these systematic inequalities in the application of discipline, in dropout, graduation, and college acceptance rates, in access to advanced classes, and to contemporary textbooks and other educational materials.

123. Inadequate data collection. Of the 12 school districts covered in the Facing the Consequences report, three-quarters failed on at least one indicator simply because they failed to collect or refused to supply the necessary data. A quarter of the districts did not report the demographics of their most recent graduates. Another quarter had no racial breakdown for advanced placement classes or programs for "gifted" students. And more than half did not know the racial composition of the graduates who went on to college.Equity Counts

124. " is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education."--Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)

125. Almost 50 years have passed since the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were "inherently unequal" and therefore unconstitutional. The data collected demonstrate that half a century later, whether segregated or not, whether by conscious design or through unconscious acceptance, public schools still offer young people of color an unequal, inferior education.

126. At the heart of the landmark Brown decision cited above was indisputable evidence that segregation in education has resulted in a system where whites have reserved the best in education -- be it facilities, teachers, equipment, instructional materials and the like -- for their primary use. This system of privilege or racial spoils is predicated upon the same assumptions that animate and maintain white supremacy in other areas of American life: a philosophy based on a belief in the natural entitlement of whites and the inferiority of other peoples. Unfortunately, more than a half century after Brown, these assumptions undergird discriminatory policies that, among other things, allocate a disproportionate share of funding to predominantly white schools, concentrate spending on policing and security devices for the control of students of color at the expense of the classroom needs.

127. As Gary Orfield and John T. Yun, find in Resegregation in American Schools (The Civil Rights Project, Harvard, University, June 1999), schools are deeply segregated and the courts, as reconfigured by appointees under the Reagan and Bush Administration, are providing no relief. In fact, court decisions of the last decade have hastened both segregation and inequity. As Orfield and Yun write, "based on the national average, the average white student is in a school with 8.6% black students, 6.6% Latinos, 2.8% Asians, and 1% American Indians. Whites are the only racial group that attends schools where the overwhelming majority of students are from their own race. Blacks and Latinos attend schools where a little more than half the children are from their own group, on average, while American Indians attend schools that are one-third Indian [excluding Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools]. Asians tend to be in schools that are only about a fifth Asian." This intense segregation of whites enables the unequal allocation of educational resources along racial lines.

128. Unequal education is clearly a form of racial discrimination. It jeopardizes the futures of millions of young people of color in the US. It is easy to ignore race as a dynamic, even when disparities fall significantly along racial lines. It is also easy to point the finger at inequities in society overall, thereby relieving the school system of any responsibility. However, if this embedded pattern of institutional racism is to be remedied, each institution, including our school systems, must take responsibility for doing its part to change things. Case Study: Zero Tolerance Policies

129. "White students leave high school with diplomas. Our [African American] kids leave in police cars." -- African American activist working to address racism in South Carolina schools

130. The proliferation of zero-tolerance policies in US public schools is one example of how public policy can have a devastating race-based affect. The collection of data on a variety of key indicators of performance and equity for a dozen school districts geographically distributed throughout the country, unearth the following findings regarding school discipline and zero tolerance:

131. In every school district studied, there are significant racial disparities in student suspensions and expulsions. In every city studied, African American students are suspended or expelled in numbers proportionately greater than those of any other group. For example, in Los Angeles, California and Austin, Texas, African Americans are suspended or expelled at least twice their proportion of the school population.

132. By increasing school expulsions, zero tolerance policies have a disproportionately adverse impact on students of color. The zero tolerance policy of the Chicago, Illinois School District went into effect in the middle of the 1995-96 school year. In the 1994-95 school year, 23 students were expelled from the Chicago schools. Two years later, the number of expulsions jumped to 571. The number continues to skyrocket--it is estimated that the district expelled 1,000 students in the 1998-99 school year. The district projects that it will expel 1,500 students in the 1999-2000 school year. If so, expulsions will have jumped 65 times since the advent of zero tolerance. (See Table 2 for actual and projected expulsions in the Chicago Public Schools from 1993 to 2000.)

133. Since Chicago suspends and expels African American students at disproportionate rates, African Americans are hurt most by the zero tolerance policies. In the 1997-98 school year, African Americans composed 54% of the student population, but represented 63% of the students suspended and 71% of the students expelled. If that same racial proportion holds for the current school year, with 1,500 projected expulsions, the district will expel 1,065 African American students. Amplified to the national level, the number of expelled African American students is staggering.

134. Numerous studies demonstrate that students who are suspended or expelled are more likely than their peers to drop out of school altogether. Thus, zero tolerance compounds the racial inequities in school discipline by escalating the sheer numbers of students of color who are excluded from public education in the US

135. Zero tolerance policies are being implemented in unfair and unreasonable ways. Martin, an African American high school student in Providence, Rhode Island, offered to help his teacher dislodge a stuck diskette from his classroom's computer. But when he pulled out his key chain knife to help release the disk, he ran afoul of Providence's "zero tolerance" rules, which mandate automatic exclusion for any student who brings a "weapon" to school. Would Martin have been suspended if he were white? Maybe. On the other hand, a white student in Danville, Vermont was neither suspended nor expelled when he explained that he'd brought a loaded shotgun to school because it was hunting season.

136. Similarly, a 1999 study by the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan found that when two white students in Olivet, Michigan were caught with a gun in their car trunk, they got off with a 10-day suspension and 40 hours of community service. By comparison, in another Michigan county, a Black student was expelled for cleaning his nails with a pocket knife-which he immediately handed to his teacher when asked to do so. The police were called and the student was expelled.

137. While zero tolerance penalties appear to be racially neutral, they can be applied in very subjective ways, influenced by racial prejudice. For example, parents involved in Indian People's Action in Missoula, Montana reported that their children were being disciplined for "defiance of authority" if they didn't look their teachers in the eye when being reprimanded, even though it is disrespectful in some Native American cultures for a young person to look directly at an elder in such an interaction.

138. Since no two incidents are exactly alike, it can be difficult to legally prove that similarly situated students of different races were treated unequally. But the weight of mounting anecdotal evidence, which is well aligned with statistical evidence of racial disparities in discipline, cannot be ignored.

139. Zero tolerance policies curtail the expression of reasonable professional judgment by school educators and administrators, and limit students' and parents' right to equality before tribunals (Article 5). In the case of Martin in Providence, the African American high school student caught with a small utility knife, the police, rather than the school district, notified the parent. Though a hearing was allowed, neither Martin, nor his mother, was permitted to be present while witnesses testified against him. There are countless cases of students, especially students of color, being suspended or expelled for non-violent and non-threatening offenses. Many states and school districts have implemented zero tolerance policies that exceed the scope and intent of the 1994 Gun-Free Schools Act. (Table 3 shows how the Providence schools exceed federal and state zero tolerance policies.)

140. Now, in addition to weapons possession, schools are expelling students for fighting, violating school dress codes, possessing drugs and alcohol, or carrying anything that resembles a weapon or could be used as a weapon. Students have even been punished for possessing cough medicine, mouthwash, art tools or toy guns. Even after they are confronted and it becomes clear that there is no safety threat or intent to harm anyone, school administrators proceed to substitute their professional judgment for rigidly-prescribed zero tolerance penalties. Often, due process is bypassed. Evidence suggests that schools are more willing to recognize mitigating circumstances when they perceive the student involved in an incident as having "a real future" that would be destroyed by expulsion. Overwhelmingly, it is African American and Latino students whose futures are wrecked by zero tolerance policies. Too often, we receive reports of cases where white students are given the benefit of the doubt, while students of color (due to prevailing stereotypes and negative imagery) are presumed guilty until they can prove themselves innocent -- if they are even afforded the privilege of a defense.

141. There is a huge reporting deficiency in disciplinary actions in US public schools. Some school districts collect comprehensive data, while others collect minimal data. For example, some districts collect discipline data that is fully broken down by race, gender and age, while others simply collect total disciplinary actions. Some districts do not have data that distinguishes the suspensions from expulsions. Some do not distinguish which suspensions are in-school from those that are off-campus. Most have no way of tracking which offenses and penalties fall within the zero tolerance policies. This makes accurate assessment difficult.

142. Even when the data is collected, there can be inconsistencies. For example, if you ask for discipline data in San Diego, California, the racial categories are different than the categories used in San Francisco, California. What's more, the racial categories for discipline used in both of these school districts differs from the racial categories for student enrollment used by the state of California. This makes cross-district comparisons difficult. Some school districts use different terminology to describe their disciplinary actions. For example, one community organization recently tried to get data on "in-school suspensions" from its local school district. Unlike previous years, the school district reported having zero "in-school suspensions" during the last school year. The community organization inquired further and discovered that the school district could claim to have no "in-school suspensions" only because they had changed the name to "in-school supervisions."

143. With heightened public awareness and scrutiny of school safety issues, zero tolerance policies, and inequities in school disciplinary actions, it is critical that all school districts in the US have sufficient information to assess the effectiveness and fairness of its disciplinary policies and practices. Table 1 Applied Research Center USCCR Testimony, 2/18/00 (OMITTed

144. Zero tolerance policies have resulted in increased involvement in school discipline by law enforcement which in turn has contributed significantly to minority youth overrepresentation in both the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. As a number of US NGOs are submitting shadow reports on racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, this report will not go into great detail in this area. However, this brief case study from the state of Louisiana is included to help further illustrate the tragic consequences of discrimination and white privilege on the life chances of minority youth.

145. The racial discrimination that pervades the American juvenile justice system has a profound effect on the lives and families of all young people who come into contact with it. A look at a Louisiana-based group for parents of incarcerated children illustrates the extent of this impact and illuminates how the statistics and numbers are actually experienced by youth and their families.

146. Louisiana is located in the southeastern part of the United States bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the south, the state of Arkansas to the north, Texas to the west and Mississippi to the East. Louisiana's population of 4,219,973 is divided almost exclusively between African-Americans and Whites. While 38% of Louisiana's youth (under the age of 18) are African-American, African-Americans comprise 81.2% of the youth detained in Louisiana's four "secure care" correctional facilities for juveniles. The average African-American juvenile living in Louisiana is more than 7 times more likely to find himself committed to a secure care facility than a white juvenile.**

147. The Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana's newly formed Parents Group brings parents of incarcerated children together for support and advice. They have also begun to strategize around how families and communities can organize to affect the policies and practices of the juvenile justice system that so profoundly affect their children. The parents who attend are overwhelmingly African-American, an honest reflection of the overrepresentation of minority youth in the state's juvenile correctional facilities.

148. Invariably, among the first things listed when the parents conduct a brainstorm of problems they have encountered in the system, someone loudly and clearly says, "Racism." The first time the group met, it was raised by an elementary school teacher, a mother whose son had recently been released after a year of incarceration at the Tallulah Correctional Center for Youth. At the next meeting, it was a father whose son is still serving his sentence of three years for bicycle theft. For families in Louisiana, the racial disparities in the system are glaring. Statistics are not available, nor are they necessary, for families to see the plainly discriminatory ways their children are treated.

149. After the subject has been broached, other parents join in. Laverne, a nurse whose son is almost finished with his yearlong sentence in the Swanson Correctional Center for Youth, recalls her courtroom experience with pain. She remembers that in the waiting room there was only one white mother. All the other family members of arrested juveniles were African-American. In the courtroom, however, she and her son were the only African-Americans present. Judge, bailiff, prosecutor, probation officer, defense attorney - all of them were white. Laverne and other African-American parents indicate that this phenomenon - which is not uncommon in Louisiana - has at least two effects.

150. First, it alarms parents to the very real possibility that their child might be treated unfairly solely because of the color of his skin, and secondly, it furthers the intense alienation that minority parents feel when navigating the juvenile justice system. Many parents talk of feeling excluded from the process, or worse, treated as though they are part of the problem. These parents specifically attribute this to the stereotypes and prejudices that white judges and lawyers have about minority families.

151. Parents who have worked hard to find alternatives to incarceration that would allow their child to stay at home, and are better suited for their child find themselves ignored at hearings. They are never given a chance to speak. Often parents say that they feel that the judges and lawyers treat their children as if they were adults, and approach them with fear, regardless of what crime was committed or the demeanor of the child. This can be directly attributed to racist assumptions and stereotypes of young black men. Their children are not given the second chances that white children are given, and are sent away more frequently to secure care facilities.

152. Once the state takes custody, parents say, the disparities are even more blatant. At one Parent's Group meeting, an African American mother told the one white mother present that she felt for her son's predicament. "It must be hard to be the only white boy in that entire dorm." Parents who travel four and five hours to visit their children observe that there are even fewer white children in the facilities than there were in court. Whites serve shorter sentences and are released much faster than the African-American children. The fact that African-American children often serve longer sentences than white children for the same crime is intensely painful for parents who anxiously await their children's return. A longer stay in one of Louisiana's juvenile correctional facilities - known for violence and neglect of children in their custody - can mean many things. At best, it is more time for the child to fall behind in school, jeopardizing his chance to successfully transition back into the "real world." At worst, it means a broken leg, a broken jaw or worse.

153. The racism that is felt and experienced first hand by these parents who have had to navigate the system is repeated by the statistics which show vast racial disparities of incarcerated juveniles based on race. Yet, the statistics cannot tell the stories of the families who pay the price for both the individual and institutionalized racism that unjustly contribute to the incarceration of their children.

154. *Case study was written by Sarah Xochitl Bervera (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Stories are composites of real people and their stories/retelling of their experiences.

**Statistics are based on 1990 Census Report and Louisiana's Department of Corrections data, updated in October, 2000.


Case Study: What Happens When a School Takes a Race-Conscious Approach to Discipline?

155. That is exactly what staff at James Lick Middle School in San Francisco, California decided to find out. Heidi Hess is Focused Effort Coordinator at James Lick. She says that teachers at her school were concerned that African American students, who make up less than a third of the student body, receive almost half the referrals for discipline.

156. "The first thing we had to do," to address this disparity, says Hess, "was to really become rigorous about collecting the data. We developed forms for teachers to use that documented when a student was sent out of class (for a disciplinary referral), who sent them out, and why." Collecting this data yielded some surprising results. "We found that over 75% of the referrals given out last school year were for defiance of authority or disruption of class." Furthermore, most cases involved conflicts between students and teachers, rather than between students. More serious offenses, such as possession of a weapon, were rare.

157. Collecting the data was just the first step. "We developed a system to feed the data collected directly back to the teaching staff," Hess says, "so they can better understand what is going on" and gauge their progress. "We looked at how teachers set the rules in their classrooms, and whether and how teachers involved students in defining classroom rules." They found that when students participate in forming the rules, they are less likely to perceive them as unfairly applied.

158. James Lick staff began holding monthly professional development meetings to work out alternative strategies for de-escalating conflict. They sought to emphasize teachers' roles in these interactions, rather than focusing solely on methods of changing students' behavior.

159. Although most of the power resides with the teachers, "it was a paradigm shift for the teaching staff to buy into the idea that it is their responsibility to minimize defiance situations," Hess continues. "We had to ask, 'What might be going on in the students minds? What's going on for the teacher? And what would be alternative practices?'"

160. "One of the best exercises we did was to role-play the beginning of a defiance scene. For example, a student walks into class and puts a soda on the table, even though no drinks are allowed in the classroom. The teacher asks the student to remove the drink. Just acting out different possible responses to this scene, with the staff taking not only the teacher's role, but also trying on the student's role. It was profound."

161. James Lick's revamped approach to discipline is still too new to determine whether these interventions will reduce the racial disparities in suspension referrals. But already teachers are experiencing some success. Hess offers an example: "One teacher reported that she was just about to yell, from across the room, at two African American girls who appeared to be talking and carrying on excessively. But she gave herself a few seconds to think of an alternative strategy for dealing with them. Instead, she walked over to them, and much to her surprise, found that they were talking about their work assignment. Far from yelling at them, she realized she didn't need to say anything at all."

White Privilege and Access to Higher Education*

162. Access to higher education is critical to moving out of poverty. According to the US Census Bureau, earnings for college graduates average more than 50% higher than earnings for high school graduates. The disparity is more marked between those who stop at high school and those who complete some graduate school. Indeed, earning a graduate degree is an important factor in earning power. Post-secondary education is especially important for racial minorities who are about twice more likely than whites to be stuck in poverty if they can not earn a college degree.

163. Therefore, bias and discrimination in higher education form a critical barrier to living wage and high wage jobs, which in turn affects virtually every facet of quality of life. This bias takes many forms. It begins in secondary education where minorities are denied access to courses that are required for college admission or that will better prepare them for success in post secondary education. For example, a study by the UCLA Graduate School of Education has found that minority students are systematically excluded from Advanced Placement classes. A study on race and education by the Applied Research Center, No Exit? Testing, Tracking, and Students of Color in US Public Schools, (Appendix E) found that tracking is most common in schools with "significant numbers of African American and/or Latino students." Further, white students regardless of test scores, grades or behavior were much more likely to be placed in "higher tracks" or academic programs. Students of color - especially African Americans and Latinos - were more likely to be placed in "lower" tracks.

164. The result of these programs, besides creating inequality within a local district or even within a single school, is that racial minorities are less likely to receive adequate preparation for college regardless of academic ability. The segregation of housing, resources and wealth by race has led to a system where young people's life options can be severely limited or greatly enhanced by a single factor: where they reside.

165. Those people of color who are able to access college preparatory classes find yet another barrier to college: standardized testing designed to privilege whites. The studies showing racial bias in standardized admission tests are numerous. However, one study by the Princeton Review (Rosner, 1999) found particularly damning evidence. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the test most often used by colleges to determine undergraduate college admission for students entering from high school, disallowed any questions on which African Americans consistently scored better than whites on the test as part of its criteria for test validity. Questions on which whites scored better than African Americans were kept on the test (see Appendix F).

166. Competition for college admission is quite high. As a result, there have been a number of lawsuits and policies at both the state and federal level designed to limit minority access to college (especially graduate school) and expand access for whites. Special outreach measures like affirmative action have been under attack in several lawsuits. In the state of California, a statewide ballot measure was passed that greatly curtailed the ability of institutions to consider racial diversity as part of their hiring and admissions criteria. In the first year of implementation of a ban on affirmative action in the University of California (UC) system, no new African Americans were admitted to Boalt Law School or UC Davis and UC San Diego medical schools. In fact, everywhere affirmative action has been eliminated, minority enrollment in schools has decreased dramatically.

167. By contrast, whites are gaining unprecedented access to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) so that they have expanded options for college education -- especially at the graduate level. The policies that have created this access provide insight into the legal apparatus that maintains and advances white privilege.

Case Study: Historically White Colleges and Historically Black Colleges Receive Different Treatment Under Law

168. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were institutions created as one of the few government sponsored remedies in the aftermath of slavery. The colleges were segregated because the government did not want to encourage black attendance at white institutions. In a number of southern states, legislatures explicitly chartered institutions to serve either whites or blacks but not both. Blacks were barred from attending or even teaching at Historically White Colleges and Universities (HWCUs) though whites could, in many cases, attend black institutions. Whites did not attend these institutions, however, because they were consistently less funded than their white counterparts, and with few exceptions were not allocated resources for graduate studies, adequate facilities or even completely accredited. However, many black colleges and universities had white faculty, staff and were sometimes headed by white presidents.

169. Still, HBCUs play a critical role in the ability of African Americans to access education and income. Facing discrimination by HWCUs, HBCUs were the main venue for African Americans to receive a college education -- especially professional and graduate degrees. Before the advent of civil rights legislation prohibiting discrimination in 1964, virtually every graduate and professional degree earned by blacks was conferred by one of the elite HBCUs with graduate and professional degree programs. Even as late as 1976, HBCUs conferred more than three-quarters of all professional degrees earned by blacks.

170. As college education became increasingly linked to livelihood, and more people of color were able to attend HWCUs (either as immigrants from outside of the US or minority residents), competition for college slots increased. By the 1980s, HBCUs were placed under strict integration mandates that required that they either merge their resources and facilities with nearby white institutions or attract white student enrollment in large numbers by strict deadlines. HWCUs are not under such mandates although, unlike black institutions, they implemented policies that banned blacks from attending their institutions for more than a century.

171. Alabama State University, an HBCU chartered in the 19th century by the Alabama state legislature, is currently operating under an integration order that requires that they set aside nearly 40% of their academic grants budget for scholarships to whites. The state augments the university's $229,000 contribution with public funds bringing the "whites only" scholarship fund to a million dollars a year. There are few eligibility requirements. A student must be white and have earned at least a C average. African Americans vying for admission to the university must earn almost a full point higher to even merit consideration. In fact, as a C average is just slightly above the minimum required to pass a class, white scholarships are the only academic scholarships for entry at the university level with such low requirements. (see Appendix G)

172. Aside from the irony of such a policy that cuts off African Americans from institutions established to help address the deep inequalities of slavery and its aftermath, there are no accompanying requirements for Historically White Colleges and Universities. On the contrary, such efforts to integrate white institutions from Harvard to the University of Texas have been under attack. Despite the fact that many colleges across this country are overwhelmingly white with little diversity, there are no mandates, no timelines, not even laws or policies requiring integration at any level. By contrast, HBCUs (which are often relatively small and underfunded) are forced to integrate although they have historically offered African Americans -- and anyone who would apply -- a supportive, relatively bias free environment. Given the fact that the Government has not acted aggressively to force the integration of predominantly black schools at the K-12 level, these mandates appear to have a singular purpose -- to expand post secondary education opportunities and resources for whites.


� In testimony to the US Commission on Civil Rights, the Applied Research Center made several recommendations (See case study on race conscious discipline, above) regarding monitoring, implementation and alternatives to zero tolerance policies. In addition, we believe that the CERD has a pivotal role to play in ensuring the rights of children and communities of color in the United States and elsewhere. In this report, we include the following broader recommendations stemming from findings in the Facing the Consequences report. They are as follows:

� Design Racial Equity Plans at the school, district, state, and national levels that include annually quantifiable goals. Where data reveal racial divides, the responsible agencies should create, implement, and evaluate annually a comprehensive plan to solve the problem, including numerical goals and timetables. Such Racial Equity Plans must address the entire school environment, including such issues as teacher recruitment and training, learning facilities and classroom resources, class size, availability of inclusive and challenging curriculum, and clear and even-handed discipline policies.

� Schools must act immediately to correct the uneven application of the most severe disciplinary actions, including suspension and expulsion. Discipline policies that result in racially disparate impacts should be modified or eliminated to ensure fair treatment of all students.

� End academic tracking and open the way for all students to participate in a challenging curriculum, including advanced classes. Studies show that African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are underrepresented in advanced placement classes and other programs for "gifted" students. In fact, the practice of tracking students by perceived "ability" creates racial ghettos within nominally desegregated schools, as students of color are tracked away from college preparatory classes. Because the effects of tracking are cumulative, any successful intervention must begin at the earliest grade levels to ensure that every student has equal access to these "gatekeeper" classes.

� Develop policies that guarantee the equitable distribution of resources that take into account the critical role of quality public education as one remedy for past discrimination. Public education is potentially an important tool for addressing racial inequity. Unfortunately, due to inequitable funding practices, segregation of resources and facilities, and other forms of institutional white privilege schools have been more often used to institutionalize discrimination and inequity. The Government should develop a more effective regulatory and monitoring infrastructure that facilitates greater equity in public education with a central focus on the dismantling of white privilege.

� Institute more accurate and sensitive standards for measuring student progress and college aptitude and discontinue the use of biased and ineffective standardized tests. Current forms of standardized tests, be they "high stakes" tests which determine matriculation at the primary and secondary school level or college or graduate school admission tests, are found to be racially biased as well as poor indicators of a student's prospects for academic success. Groups like FairTest have identified more effective means of student assessment. These measures should be adopted and implemented as policy.

� At the post secondary level, affirmative action programs and other special measures should be established to increase the number of minorities completing college and graduate school. Given the importance of a college education to quality of life, Government must develop clear policies in this arena with specific timelines and outcomes -- particularly for minority admission, retention and graduation at Historically White Colleges and Universities.