Overlooked and Underserved: Debunking the Asian “Model Minority” Myth


In advance of the upcoming California Standards Tests (CST) results, The Education Trust—West is releasing Overlooked and Underserved: Debunking the Asian ‘Model Minority’ Myth in California Schools, a new policy brief detailing alarming disparities in achievement that exist among subgroups of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students.  Issued jointly with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, the brief finds the state is under-serving students by not recognizing the full diversity of its AAPI communities.  Most disturbing, opportunity gaps are being exacerbated by the state’s failure to collect and report comprehensive, critical student achievement data.

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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.