Press Release

Calls for a coordinated countywide effort to improve African-American student outcomes

OAKLAND, CA (February 26, 2013) – Today, The Education Trust–West releases At a Crossroads: A Comprehensive Picture of How African-American Youth Fare in Los Angeles County Schools and accompanying Prezi. Using data from multiple sources, the report finds that academic and socioemotional outcomes for African-American students in L.A. County are poor overall. However, it also identifies school districts where African-American students are doing better on a range of outcomes including academic performance, graduation rates, A-G completion rates, suspension rates, special education identification rates, and health and wellness indicators.

“One in three African-American students in California attend an L.A. County public school. This report reveals that the vast majority of these students are not receiving the opportunities they need to succeed and to ultimately achieve their college and career dreams,” said Lindsey Stuart, author of the report and a research analyst at The Education Trust–West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and low-income students.

The report finds that the overall African-American student population has declined in the county and in many school districts over the past decade. Using student achievement data, the report finds persistent gaps in math and English language arts at both the elementary and secondary levels. The report also finds that high school graduation rates and A-G rates are far too low across the board, particularly for African-American males. In addition, the report analyzes suspension rates, special education identification rates, and health and wellness data collected in the California Healthy Kids Survey. On all of these indicators, the report identifies top and bottom performing school districts.

In spite of poor results overall, the report reveals areas of promise, including ABC Unified, where 91% of African-American ninth-graders complete high school in four years. Additionally, the report profiles Culver City Unified, where African-American students outperform their peers on a number of academic and socioemotional outcomes. In 2012, 71% of African-American students in Culver City Unified were proficient or advanced in English language arts and 65% were proficient in math. Less than 7% of African-American students were suspended, compared with rates of over 20% in other L.A. County school districts.

“Recently, policymakers have focused increasing attention on improving educational results for African-American students, particularly boys and men of color,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West. “The report should be a wake-up call for county and district leaders and spur a coordinated effort to improve results for African-American youth in Los Angeles County.”

Presentation: At a Crossroads: A Comprehensive Picture of How African-American Youth Fare in L.A. County Schools 


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To view the Prezi presentation, click here.