AACE Sends Letter to the U.S. Department of Education in Support of the Civil Rights Complaint Against Montgomery County Public Schools

By | December 12, 2019

For Immediate Release

December 12, 2019

Livingston, New Jersey: On December 10, 2019, Mr. Yukong Zhao, the President of Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) sent a letter to Mr. Kenneth Marcus, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, to support a recently submitted civil rights case regarding racist educational policies undertaken by the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). AACE urges the Education Department Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to fully incorporate the new evidence disclosed by this individual complaint which sheds light on the magnitude and grave consequences of systematic discrimination within MCPS.

Filed by a brave parent, this complaint (Case No. 03-20-1019) serves as an extension to the class action case (Case No. 03-18-2015). Alleging MCPS’s use of illegal racial balancing, the previous case is currently under OCR’s investigation. Since MCPS embarked on the magnet selection reform in 2016, Asian-American students’ admission rate at Takoma Park Middle School and Eastern Middle School has consistently dropped by 20% annually. Disregarding huge inter-school achievement gaps, the district now awards automatic admissions to students in the top 5-10% of sending schools in some instances. The petitioner’s son was denied entry into Takoma Park in spite of being in the elementary magnet program and having excellent academics.

Moreover, the 2016 reform has far-reaching repercussions on the overall quality of public education as additional practices of anti-Asian discrimination are emboldened in MCPS. High-performing Asian-American students often receive insufficient schooling and ill academic advices. For instance, at Robert Frost Middle School, over 20 Asian-American children are restricted access to full periods of instruction (20%-60% reduction) and denied placement tests for advanced classes. To add insult to injury, many Asian-American students are forced to assist in administrative tasks such as shredding papers to inflate their time at school. As a result, a counterproductive culture of placating underperformance and penalizing excellence is fostered. Sadly, such a toxic environment is currently being broadened to implement school redistricting plans in both Montgomery and its neighboring Howard County. The AACE vehemently opposes all racially motivated practices in public school districts that manipulate student demographics.

Mr. Yukong Zhao, the president of AACE says: “What is happening in MCPS is another example of liberal politicians unwillingness to address the root causes behind poor education quality in too many black and Hispanic communities. Instead, they resort to illegal racial balancing to limit educational opportunities of hardworking Asia-American children, hampering their pursuit of the American Dream. The OCR must consider the full context and magnitude of such issues when enforcing the Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

Asian American Coalition for Education

Dr. Wenyuan Wu
, telephone: (786) 393-8028, email: admin@asianamericanforeducation.org.

Ms. Swann Lee, telephone: (617) 906-6380, email: swanleeca@gmail.com.

About the AACE:  www.asianamericanforeducation.org

Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights. On May 15, 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. As the largest joint action taken by Asian-American communities over the last few decades, this complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community.