Groups to seek info on equity in schoolsBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
August 22. 2017 12:48AM
MANCHESTER — Civil rights groups and city educators are seeking information from the Manchester School District on its efforts to “achieve equity” in Queen City schools.
Representatives of the Granite State Organizing Project, the National Education Association–New Hampshire, the Manchester Education Association, Young Organizers United and the Manchester Chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People will hold a news conference this Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at Manchester City Hall.
They plan to announce they have asked the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire to file a formal Right-to-Know request with the school district seeking information related to progress on the implementation of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Resolution Agreement Work Plan, related to a resolution agreement city school officials signed with the federal Office of Civil Rights in 2014.
The 2014 agreement followed the release of a report by the OCR that found black, Latino and English-learning students were disproportionately under-enrolled in the district’s Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
“I’ve been concerned about equity in Manchester Schools since I was a young high school student and youth advocate,” said Adol Mashut, youth and education organizer for the GSOP. “I am afraid that not much progress has been made and I am eager to know what we can discover about the district’s implementation of the OCR agreement they adopted in 2014.”
The 2014 report found that during the 2010-2011 school year, 26 of the 434 seats in AP courses were held by black or Latino students. Their enrollment in city high schools was 381 and 596, respectively.
A comprehensive audit of the district in 2013 also highlighted racial disparities, in particular the lack of nonwhite teachers and administrators.
In September 2016, members of the Young Organizers United group addressed members of the Manchester school board, asking officials to consider adopting a resolution to fully implement the OCR Resolution Agreement Work Plan. The school board took the comments under advisement.