The Yale University Child Study Center has released findings that reveal a stark difference in the educational quality between White and Black students. A Center study revealed that from kindergarten all the way through college—regardless of socioeconomic background—Black children, especially boys, receive harsher punishment, lower grades and less attention in school.

Dismal statistics from the Maryland and D.C. area reveal that Black students are suspended two to five times more often than White ones; In Montgomery County, Maryland, some 71 percent of suspensions for insubordination are doled out to Black students.

Judith Brown Dianis, the co-director of the Advancement Project discussed the trend on the Roland Martin Show, referring to it as the “schoolhouse to jailhouse Track.”  She believes a part of the problem is the perception that Black students are unruly, causing harsher treatment. “Our schools are not using common sense when it comes to the behavior of our children,” she also explained the need for parent-teacher partnerships to avoid suspensions and increase school retention.

The statistics and reports make it clear year after year that Black students are at a disadvantage the moment they set foot in a school. Short of a complete overhaul of the nation’s educational system, how do we turn the tide for our children? How do we defy expectations and challenges in order to provide them the fair chance they deserve?