Black Kids Are Often in a Hostile Learning Environment

One of the major obstacles facing black students as they prepare for college in middle and high schools is that they are far more likely than white students to be in a school where the learning environment is not conducive to productive education. A new poll by the opinion research organization Public Agenda found that 30 percent of all black students said that their teachers spend more time maintaining order than on instruction. Only 14 percent of white students agreed. More than one half of all black students said that their classmates used bad language and did not respect their teachers in the classroom. Less than one third of white students said that their teachers were not respected by their classmates.

Black parents were more than twice as likely as white parents to say that weapons and fighting were serious problems in the schools their children attended.