The Education Trust-West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college.

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

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

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Nearly 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, too many of California’s African-American students languish in a separate and unequal education system. If current trends continue, only 1 in 20 of today’s African-American kindergartners will go on to graduate from high school and complete a degree at a four-year California university. Indeed, on nearly every measure of educational opportunity, the dream of equal access to a high-quality education is not a reality for African-American students and their families in California.

During the past two years, policymakers have focused attention on this crisis. At the state level, Assemblymember Sandré Swanson convened the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color in 2011. The committee’s final report found that African-American youth face unique challenges and tend to have worse outcomes on critical indicators of quality of life, including health, education, and employment. These findings have created a greater sense of urgency at the state level for the policy changes necessary to improve these outcomes.

In this report, we present a comprehensive portrait of African-American student outcomes in Los Angeles (L.A.) County using multiple data sources. We begin with a demographic analysis of the African-American student population in L.A. County. In the next two sections, we focus on the academic and nonacademic outcomes of this group of students, as well as the health and wellness factors that can affect some of these outcomes. In both sections, we highlight top-performing and bottom-performing districts in L.A. County. We then present a brief case study of a school district where African-American students are faring relatively well on a range of indicators. We conclude with a set of recommendations designed to both focus attention on and address this crisis.

At the end of this report, you will find a table of African-American student outcomes for all L.A. County districts.


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

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Publication date: 
February 25 2013
ETW At A Crossroads Report.pdf1.46 MB