Here's some of what I'm thinking about:
In fact, according to data from the US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, African American students comprise 17% of all public school students in the U.S., but are 36% of those who are victims of corporal punishment; this is more than twice the rate of white students. Looking at data from only the 13 states that paddle more than 1,000 per year, African-American students make up 24.8 percent of the student population but 35.9 percent of those paddled.
Minority students do not do as well as their white counterparts on the military entrance exams, which excludes many of them from higher level educational, training and advancement opportunities offered by the U.S. Armed Forces.
I would like to see the issues of race, socioeconomic status, and the deleterious effects of measuring school and teacher performance against tests get as much attention from the media and politicians as charter schools and merit pay. Charter schools and merit pay make attractive talking points because they provide the illusion that there is a simple solution to improving education. But until we have a complete, candid conversation that recognizes that the issues within our educational system mirror the issues in our society at large - starting with the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us - we will never touch the root causes that need fixing within our educational system.