Speaking of Bill O’Reilly’s fear of a brown America, here’s some data from the New York Times (snark) in and article called U.S. Data Show Rapid Minority Growth in School Rolls:

Driven mainly by an extraordinary influx of Hispanics, the nation’s population of minority students has surged to 42 percent of public school enrollment, up from 22 percent three decades ago, according to an annual report issued yesterday by the government.

The report, a statistical survey of the nation’s educational system, portrays sweeping ethnic shifts that have transformed the schools. The changes, with important implications for educators and policy makers, have been most striking in the West, where, the survey says, Hispanic, black and Asian students together have outnumbered whites since 2003. But all regions have seen growth in minority student enrollment, particularly by Hispanics, who accounted for one of five public school students in 2005, the last year for which data were available.

O’Reilly’s right — played well, this could be a long term boon for Democrats if they adhere to (and preferably strengthen) a platform that black and brown people can actually support. Encouraging news:

At a news conference in Washington, Mr. Schneider focused much of his presentation of the report on statistics showing that more high school students, across racial and ethnic lines, had been taking advanced courses in recent years. The number of minority students taking Advanced Placement courses, for example, more than doubled from 1997 to 2005.

No one ever factors in the impact that pervasive racism in our society might have on test scores and children’s ability to thrive and learn. Where’s that study, I ask ya.

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