What are the Racial Equity Report Cards (RERCs)?
The RERCs use publically available data to provide a snapshot of a community’s school-to-prison pipeline, including any racial disproportionalities that exist in the pipeline. There is a Report Card for each of the state’s 115 school districts and one for the state as a whole.
What is the school-to-prison pipeline (STPP)?
The STPP is the system of policies and practices that push students out of school and into the juvenile and adult criminal systems. The STPP has many entry points. Once students are caught in the STPP, it can be very difficult for them to reengage and be successful at school. In almost every NC community, students of color are overrepresented at each entry point to the pipeline.
What is the purpose of the RERCs?
The RERCs are intended to be a starting point for community education and discussion. There are many causes of racial disproportionality including, but not limited to, implicit racial bias of decision-makers, institutional and structural racism, and explicit discrimination against people of color. Together, these forces perpetuate racial disproportionality in a community’s STPP. The RERCs are not meant as an attack on the critically important public institutions that serve our youth, but rather, as a call-to-action for students, parents, advocates, policy makers, and institutional stakeholders to collectively examine the causes of racial inequity in their community and develop solutions that will help young people, especially youth of color, avoid and escape the school-to-prison pipeline.
Why aren’t there RERCs for charter schools?
As of July 2017, there were 173 active charter schools operating in North Carolina, including two virtual charter schools. Although charter schools differ from traditional public schools in many ways, charters receive public funding and, as such, must follow the same state and federal anti-discrimination laws as traditional schools. They also have the same responsibility as traditional schools to address racial equity issues within their school and community. Unfortunately, however, because most charters have small student populations, it is difficult to access the underlying data needed to create accurate and reliable Racial Equity Report Cards for all charter schools in North Carolina. The lack of RERCs for charter schools does not mean that there is no need to analyze racial inequity among charters. In fact, there is likely a greater need for this type of analysis since charter schools in North Carolina are more segregated than traditional public schools. Further, charter schools are not as accountable to local communities since charters are governed by unelected boards of directors rather than elected boards of education.
Last year’s Racial Equity Report Cards can be found here.
FIND YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT’S REPORT CARD