Friday, October 24, 2008
Advocates for African American students in the Pittsburgh Public School system hope to bring the community up to date this weekend on a more than decade old settlement with the district aimed at closing the achievement gap between blacks and whites. A complaint was field in 1992 that African American children were being underserved and were falling behind other students in the system. In 2006 a conciliation agreement was finally signed and the terms of that agreement are to be discussed Saturday at the “Crisis Education Forum” at the East Liberty Branch of the Carnegie Library from 1-3pm. Original complainant Wanda Henderson is still involved in the effort and will be part of the event. She says a major part of the agreement is the creation of an “equity advisory panel” directions for the panel will be discussed Saturday. She says the data shows the longer a black child is in the Pittsburgh Public school system the farther they fall behind. She says the gap between black and white students in the 3rd grade is 20%, by the 5th grade it increases to 30% and by 11th grade there is a 40% gap.