choices? what choices?

two stories led cnn's education section yesterday:

1. Florida high school students may pick majors
in brief - the Fla legislature is trying to pass a bill to allow high schoolers to choose a major and take courses accordingly.

2. 2,000 Katrina refugees fail Texas exam
in brief - Texas school officials assert that it is because of unpreparedness and improper grade placement that led to 2K kids who were forced to relocate b/c of hurricane katrina's devastating effect on the southeastern US. note: these are the do-or-die tests; the ones that determine whether the kids go on to the next grade.
from the article:
Between the two grades, about 2,000 refugees failed. Students who failed will have two more opportunities to pass the test this spring, but some worry the learning gap is too wide to close.
ok, first, why are we calling people refugees? isn't this a misuse of the word?
second, perhaps the author of this article and the TX school officials who this AP writer spoke with need to spend some time rethinking the phrase "learning gap" and delve deeply into Echoes of Brown, whose participants intentionally name education inequity as "The Opportunity Gap."