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Racial disparity between students bigger than originally thought

By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas -- New data by the United States Department of Education shows minority students in the U.S. still don't get the same level of primary education as white students.
Its the first time in 14 years the survey included data from every public school in the nation.
Some parents tell KFOX14 they're surprised by the findings, but say it could also be a cultural issue.
"I think it's based more on culture and how Latino's are raised, said west El Paso mother Paulina Dominguez.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 82 percent of people who live in El Paso are Hispanic or Latino.
Dominguez said she's gets involved with her son's education and talks to his teachers as much as she can.
"It could be they are pushing them talking to their kids, what's going on at school, and you know if they are treating him right, said Dominguez
The survey shows one in three Latino high schools students aren't offered a single chemistry course, and one in four high schools don't offer a math course higher than algebra I. However,Dominguez, believes El Paso schools are doing a good job.
"You can go to the poorest school in town and still come up. I mean it's been proven that it's based on who pushed you and it also depends on your parents and the culture that you are in," Dominguez says.
Some 49 million students around the country, including the Borderland, were involved in the study.
The study shows students of color were also found to have been disciplined more for their actions than white students.
UTEP graduate student Marlette Garcia said she grew up in a small town south of Texas, and says shes noticed a big difference in the education level in El Paso.
"My mom being a teacher always instilled that education was very important, however going back into the courses that we were receiving to other schools in our region we were not as advanced as other schools like from our town, said Marlette Garcia.
Experts said the study should be an eye opener for parents and teachers in the country.
Some El Paso residents tell KFOX14 they dont believe many of the problems related with the study apply to El Paso, however some said they believe the change needs to start with the parents.

"My mother, she is Latina obviously, and she didn't go to school but I had my sister, my older sister who went to college and she was the one who pushed me to keep going to school, said Dominguez.

To read more on the study, go to www.ed.gov.