The Report that Latino Parents in California Must Read

We know that everyone is now in a holiday rush, but we want to highlight an important report for Latino parents. If you care about education and the children in your community, you are definitely going to want to check this out.

The Education Trust-West advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, particularly those of color and living in poverty. Last month, the organization released a new report, “The Majority Report: Supporting the Educational Success of Latino Students in California.”

The new report shows California’s Latino students continue to endure savage inequalities from preschool through college. Latino children remain the majority in California’s K-12 public school students, and there are nearly one million Spanish surnamed students in California’s public colleges and universities. Still, these students continue to meet head-on efforts by public educators to repress their scholastic advancement from kindergarten through college.

Ryan Smith, the executive director of The Education Trust-West stated, “Students can never succeed in an educational system that believes they are destined to fail.” He continued, “What does that say about California’s progressive priorities when our public education systems don’t support a student group that constitutes the majority of the youth in our schools?”

The data reveals that adult educators from teachers to administrators interacting with Latino students in K-12 public schools are violating their civil right to an equal education.

  • Latino children attend the nation’s most segregated schools;
  • Latino children often are tracked away from college-preparatory coursework;
  • Public school educators perceive Latino children as less academically capable than their white or Asian peers;
  • Latino children have insufficient access to early childhood education;
  • Because of social stereotyping Latino students less likely to feel connected to their school environment;
  • And Latino children and young adults are more likely to be required to take remedial courses at colleges and universities to stall their academic progression.

A new Ed Trust-West online data tool accompanying the report shows there is not a single county in the state where the majority of Latino students are proficient in math or English language arts.

The top four counties in California with the largest achievement gaps between Latino and white students on the most recent math assessments are in the Bay Area: San Francisco (46 percentage points), Marin (44 percentage points), San Mateo (43 percentage points), and Santa Clara (43 percentage points). The gaps in English language arts are comparable.

Other counties with particularly large Latino populations showed similarly troubling achievement gaps in math between Latino and white students: Orange (35 percentage points), Los Angeles (29 percentage points), Fresno (28 percentage points) and San Diego (27 percentage points). The Education Trust-West’s website features a county-by-county breakdown.

Showing What Works

This study isn’t the usual negative reporting. It also highlights bright spots throughout the Golden State where promising practices are helping Latino students advance academically, dispelling the myth that these gaps cannot be closed, and reiterating the need for more action and urgency from state leaders.

The report concludes with a series of recommendations, recognizing that failing to offer a high-quality education to our Latino students means failing to prepare the future leaders who will fuel our state’s economy, strengthen our communities and maintain our state’s cultures, traditions and values.

We encourage you to check this report out because having the right data is important when you advocate for your student. You probably already know the strengths and weaknesses of your neighborhood schools, but this report provides the big picture and offers recommendations for what advocates and school leaders can do to improve the educational outcomes for our students.

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We are Moms, Tias, Ninas and Play-Tias who love children in our lives and we want to help every child succeed in school. Navigating schools and education—from preschool to college—is hard. We want to help each other with this.

We are all in this together with you. We want to be a resource for you and for all of the children you love. Whether you need some info or you have info to share, you know where to go…LA Comadre.

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