NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Urban League released the second edition of this report based on data for the 2018-2019 school year.
This recent analysis builds on the 2017 report and captures changes since the 2016-2017 school year in the areas of academic outcomes, school climate and access. The findings show disparities across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status begin early and last throughout a student’s academic career:
- In 3rd grade, economically disadvantaged and African American students are less likely to read at grade level;
- Economically disadvantaged and African American students continue to be underrepresented in high-quality schools and in college-level courses;
- Performance of economically disadvantaged students and African American students continues to lag behind their peers in high school End-of-Course exams and ACT; and
- While graduation rates for economically disadvantaged students and African American students have increased since 2017, gaps continue to exist – economically disadvantaged students and African American students are more likely to attend a high school where fewer students graduate on time, earn additional academic or career credentials, and enroll in college after graduation.
While the findings of this report are surprising to many, they are a renewed call to action. Although how we educate is different due to the pandemic, we must still center equity so that our response to COVID-19 does not further the inequities that already existed.*
The Urban League looks forward to working in partnership with a wide range of multi-sector stakeholders especially parents, families, teachers, school board members, and school district leadership, to put the data to use, examine policies and structures, and increase transparency and accountability for changing them.
Our community cannot afford to ignore the disparities our children are experiencing and we must all play a part in advocating for transformation that truly serves all students.
*NOTE: In case you missed it, read our Education Priorities and Strategic Approach.