Feds investigate Gwinnett school discrimination allegations - CBS46 News

Feds investigate discrimination allegations against Gwinnett schools

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SUWANEE, GA (CBS46) -

Monique Jones believes her second-grade daughter is getting a second-rate education.

"I don't think the education level is where it needs to be," Jones said. "When I see the homework come through now, there's no grade on it."

Jones complained that the academic standards are too lax at her daughter's school that sometimes she barely gets homework.

"The little bit of homework she does get - it's not enough to get a good idea of what my child needs help with," Jones said.

Jones believes her child is getting short-changed because of the color of her skin.

"My daughter is black and if she is not able to get the assistance she needs, she is going to be affected by it," she said.

Jones is part of a group of parents who accuse Gwinnett County Schools of discriminating against students of color.

Critics complain the district's "Investing in Educational Excellence" program, which is supposed to boost academic performance, is actually setting lower performance standards for African-American and Latino students than for white and Asian students.

When asked if the district was lowering the bar for some students, spokeswoman Sloan Roach responded, "No, we are not. We have the same academic knowledge and skills and the same curriculum for all of our students."

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating the district, the largest in the state.

When asked if Gwinnett Schools set different performance standards by ethnicity, Roach answered, "There are targets that are set by subgroups, and we work with the state on that."

Roach said in many cases students of color are exceeding standards.

"Our school district, even just this week, has been recognized for the work we've done in terms of closing achievement gaps for African-American and Hispanic students," Roach said.

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