Commentary on federal education practices

Hams Bader:

The Biden administration is expected to reinstate the Obama administration’s 2014 school-discipline guidelines, which prodded schools to suspend all racial groups at the same rate, even if there was more misbehavior among students of one race than another. In response to those guidelines, and worried about being investigated by the Education Department, some school officials adopted unconstitutional racial quotas for school suspensions, or mandated special review of any suspensions of black or Hispanic students, effectively creating special privileges based on race.

The Biden administration renewed this pressure for quotas on June 4, by issuing a notice that called for new federal policies about school discipline, in light of the fact that “students of color are disproportionately subjected to disciplinary actions in contrast to their White peers.” It further implied that there are no racial differences in misbehavior rates, even though studies and surveys show that black students do have higher rates of misbehavior in school. It cited a controversial report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that claimed that “Students of color as a whole, as well as by individual racial group, do not commit more disciplinable offenses than their white peers.”

But as the Washington Post noted in 2019, the Commission never showed that claim was true. The Commission’s chairwoman, who is now Biden’s nominee to head the Office for Civil Rights, “pointed to a few spots” in the Commission’s report to “claim that there are no underlying differences in student behavior. But those citations did not offer such evidence. One set of data referenced in the report showed the opposite,” noted The Post.