Minority Students Held Back in Math: Report

Original broadcast can be seen here.

by cheryl hurd

Minority students in some San Mateo and Santa Clara County school districts were asked to repeat Algebra 1 when they entered high school even though the students passed the class in 8th grade, according to a report.

A report funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation says that math misplacement was done with minority students in a disproportionate number over white students.

“It happens because some teachers have a bias toward kids of color, particularly Latino and African American kids,” said Emmett Carson, Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO.

Congressional Black Caucus members believe the study shows some school districts are holding a significant number of minority students back from achieving higher education.

“We want to take a step back, look at policies that are working and begin to figure out do we actually introduce legislation to impact the state as a whole,” said Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles.

Mitchell attended a town hall meeting Tuesday night in East Palo Alto.

Sang Hoon Lee also attended the meeting and shared his story of how he was a victim of math misplacement to a panel of California legislators.

“I really think I got lumped into the low income, low economic status boat,” she said.

Lee, a son of immigrants from Korea, was forced to take Algebra 1 in high school back in Philadelphia even though he passed the course in the 8th grade.

“The fact that it happened to me really shows how pervasive it is through communities,” Lee said.

Caucus members said they will hold more town hall meetings throughout California to discuss math misplacement.