Closing the achievement gap for Black students
Instructional, contextual and operational framework
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Los Angeles schools Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines announced that he has convened a working committee to help Black students finally close a deep and stubborn achievement gap.
"Even though the achievement gap has persisted for decades, we cannot give up our sense of urgency and attempts to raise student performance for all our children,'' Cortines said in a released statement.
"In particular, we are looking for models of success from within and outside of the (school) District in helping teachers and communities support the academic achievements of our African American students.''
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, 71 percent of White students tested proficient in English, according to the 2010 California Standards Tests, but only 36 percent of Black students reached the same level.
In math, 65 percent of White students tested proficient compared to 30 percent of Black pupils, according to CST results.
The committee's primary role is to provide an instructional, contextual and operational framework for the district to spread resources, information and educational activities, and to develop policies, practices and programs that support high achievement for blacks and other minority students, according to an LAUSD statement.
Members of the committee include parents, teachers and principals whose schools have demonstrated effective practices affecting black students.
Education experts and community agencies that have supported educational issues will also be part of the panel.
"We are looking for ways to implement these best practices and policies for the short and long term success of our African American and other students,'' Cortines said.
As an assistant principal with 29 years of experience in South L.A. schools, John Alvarez knows the drill.
Black students in Los Angeles are struggling to improve their academic achievement, and there are a number of efforts under way to provide the resources needed to help them succeed.
One such effort is being pushed by Los Angeles Unified School Director Board of Education member Marguerite LaMotte and the others comes from the Coalition for Black Student Equity and the African American Education Alliance.
The Los Angeles Unified School District board voted Tuesday 5-2 to adopt the School Climate Bill of Rights, which consists of a resolution that bans “willful defiance” suspensions and directs LAUSD to enact common-sense approaches to school discipline and expand programs that support all students in becoming healthy, thriving adults.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The high school graduation rate in Los Angeles County for the 2011-12 school year was 74.7 percent, with a dropout rate of 14.9 percent, according to figures released today by the state Department of Education.
The graduation rate was up from 73.7 percent from the previous year, while the dropout rate dipped from 16.7 percent, according to the state.
Sitting in the sparsely filled auditorium of Gardena High School in Los Angeles at the beginning of an annual senior awards ceremony, I looked around, and wondered; where the hell are the Black parents? I was attending the ceremony to see students from my Women’s Leadership Project program—the majority of whom are African American and en route to four-year colleges—receive much-deserved awards for service and academic achievement.