Ed Trust—West Releases Third Annual Report Cards Grading the 148 Largest Unified Districts on Outcomes for Latino, African-American, and Low-income Students

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Baldwin Park, San Marcos, West Covina, and Lake Elsinore Unified at the top of 2012 rankings

OAKLAND, CA (April 3, 2013) – Today, The Education Trust–—West (ETW) releases its third annual District Report Cards (http://reportcards.edtrustwest.org/), grading and ranking California’’s largest unified districts on outcomes for Latino, African-American, and low-income students. Once again, this year’’s report cards reveal higher poverty districts that are consistently achieving strong academic results, and graduating high numbers of college-eligible Latino, African-American, and low-income students.

“”Just as students receive report cards that measure their performance and progress in school, ETW develops annual report cards that grade California school districts on how well they are educating their Latino, African-American, and low-income students,”” said Lindsey Stuart, Data and Policy Analyst at The Education Trust–—West.  To create the report cards, ETW uses publicly available data from the California Department of Education to assign “”A-F”” letter grades and numerical rankings on four key indicators: performance, academic improvement over five years, the size of achievement gaps, and college readiness. Grades on these four indicators are combined into a single overall grade.

In addition, this year’’s District Report Cards website contains some exciting new features. The college readiness indicator now includes graduation rates and cohort a-g rates (the percentage of Latino and African-American  ninth-graders who graduate from high school having completed the course sequence necessary to apply to the UC/CSU systems). In addition, we have developed interactive regional maps of district grades and added a section to the website on promising practices in higher poverty, higher performing districts.

““We hope that parents, educators, and community members will use these report cards as a resource to identify districts that are closing achievement gaps and providing greater opportunities for all students to be successful,”” said Jeannette LaFors, Director of Equity Initiatives at The Education Trust–—West.

This year, the highest overall grade of a B is earned by Baldwin Park Unified (Los Angeles County). In Baldwin Park, low-income students posted five-year gains of 102 API points, far exceeding the average gains of 64 points in other large unified districts across the state. In addition, San Marcos Unified (San Diego County), West Covina Unified (Los Angeles County), and Lake Elsinore Unified (Riverside County) also rank at the top of our rankings. These districts all serve student populations that are over 40 percent low-income, and over 50 percent African-American and/or Latino.

““Districts with the best outcomes for California’’s Latino, African-American, and low-income students don’’t always get the recognition they deserve,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—–West. “”We applaud their leaders, teachers, and staff for their hard work and their unwavering commitment to equity and improving student outcomes.””

The report cards are available online at: http://reportcards.edtrustwest.org. 

On April 11, The Education Trust-West hosted a webinar where district and school leaders from top-performing districts shared the strategies that have contributed to student success. Click here to download a recording of this event. Click here to download the related PowerPoint presentation. 

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About The Education Trust–West
The Education Trust–—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. 

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.