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African-American and Hispanic Achievement Gap Persists in Alameda Schools

Data released this month by the California Department of Education shows that the “achievement gap” – the difference in test scores results – persists in Alameda schools between African-American, Hispanic, and White students.

The 2009 Base API for African-American students was 679; for Hispanic or Latino students, the figure was 753. For White and Asian students, the figures were 868 and 864, respectively. That’s an achievement gap of 185 points between African-American and Asian students.

In the school district’s draft master plan for 2010-2015, the District notes that “a growing achievement gap, uneven enrollment, and a need for more choice in the Alameda Unified School District – led Superintendent Kirsten Vital to propose creating a Master Plan for the next five years in the spring of 2009.”

And the Master Plan notes that 2008-09 API scores show that there was a 178 point gap between African-American and Asian students:

However, the 2008-09 API scores by subgroup show that while there was only a one point difference between white and Asian students, there was a one hundred seventy-eight point (178) gap between African American students and Asian students, one hundred twenty-five point (125) gap between Hispanic and Asian students and one hundred fifty-two point (152) gap between Pacific Islanders and Asian students in the area of English language arts.

The gap between these same groups is one point larger when compared to white students. The 2008 AUSD high school graduation data, disaggregated by ethnicity, shows that African American and Hispanic seniors completed all University of California/California State University A-G course requirement at approximately half the rate (36%), when compared to (72%) of their Asian peers. In 2007, the UC/CSU course completion rates for African American (25%) and Hispanic (23.3%) students were about one third the completion rate of Asian (77.4%) students. While the rates for UC/CSU
completion went up by about 10% from 2007 to 2008, we must continue to accelerate their achievement and eliminate this achievement gap.

The plan concludes its section on the achievement gap with the phrase “The district’s constant goal will always be to secure the necessary funds to support overall higher student achievement and the elimination of the achievement gap.”

However, an analysis of the District’s March 15th Board of Trustees resolution to approve the Measure E ballot language, and of the ballot language itself, finds no instances of the phrase “achievement gap.”

May Release of AUSD 2010 Test Score Data

1 comment to African-American and Hispanic Achievement Gap Persists in Alameda Schools

  • Teachers and their unions blame the achievement gap on cultural differences, citing especially how highly education is valued in the Asian community, compared to African American families who tend to “leave the task of education to the schools,” rather than re-enforcing educational achievements during the school year by their children over the summer, being active in the PTA, etc.

    But rather than dedicating new funds to re-educating those families, adding seminars for African American and Hispanic parents, assuming they are to blame, all new funding in Measure E would to to the status quo, 93% of it to AUSD salaries and benefits.

    The reason there is no language in the Measure E initiative to guarantee the closing of the achievement gap, given a token gesture in Superintendent Vital’s Master Plan, is because all the funds are tied up by the teachers and their unions, who say they are NOT to blame for that achievement gap in any way. “No flies on us!”

    And they wonder why we voters are so disgusted…