Wide Variety of Community Stakeholders to Unveil Plans to Address Achievement Gap Among African-American Students
RIVERSIDE – Individuals from nine school districts, multiple education foundations, higher education representatives, data analysts, community members, students, current and former administrators, teachers, counselors, and staff from the Riverside County Office of Education have collaborated on a “Blueprint For Action” to address the findings from the work of the Riverside County African-American Achievement Initiative (RCAAAI). The action plan is based on a framework for understanding and improving academic achievement for African-American students that will be released on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at 9 a.m. at the Riverside County Office of Education (3939 13th Street, Riverside).
Data points include:
- In 2013-2014, African-American students totaled 6.5% of the enrolled population in Riverside County, but accounted for 18.2% of suspensions and 9.14% of expulsions (2013-2014)
- Graduations rates for African-American students in Riverside County are 80.2% with Hispanics graduating at 82.6% and white students at 89.2%
- Similar to national trends, African-American students are disproportionally overrepresented in special education programs—specifically in more “subjective” disability categories (e.g. emotional disturbance and intellectual disability) compared to students of all other ethnicities.
RCAAAI was founded in 2013 by Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young to ensure that all African-American students in Riverside County achieve the levels of academic achievement necessary to graduate from high school well prepared for college and the workforce. RCAAAI consists of 56 individuals who are focused on addressing the achievement gap among African-American students in Riverside County. The “Blueprint For Action” was authored by 38 members of the RCAAAI with the intent to provide school districts with research-based actions that should be implemented to improve the educational outcomes of African-American students. A full listing of the RCAAAI membership and “Blueprint For Action” team will be available at the event.
“To truly increase college and career readiness rates, we must address the performance of all students and must effectively engage in actions to support their success. For many years, education research has illuminated the fact that there is a pervasive achievement gap—and that African-American students have traditionally been at the lower end of that gap,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young. “The rigor of the California Common Core Standards will result in a widening of the achievement gap if issues of equity are not addressed. This will have an impact not only on the students, but on their families and the entire region and community.”