ACSA Affiliate Content

Black Minds Matter

The Association of California School Administrators is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States, serving more than 17,000 California educators.

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2 THE EDUCATION TRUST–WEST | BLACK MINDS MATTER | OCTOBER 2015 BLACK MINDS MATTER: SUPPORTING THE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS OF BLACK CHILDREN IN CALIFORNIA TOUSSAINT STONE JUGGLES A LOT. The 17-year-old attends MetWest High School in Oakland. Every day, Toussaint balances his academic, personal, and leadership responsibilities — driving himself and his little sister to school, taking English and math courses at the local community college, co-chairing his school's Student Leadership Council, and playing on the local football team. Like many of his classmates, Toussaint dreams of college and a rewarding career. He speaks of attending Stanford University and pursuing a profession where he can speak to and uplift other African Americans across the country. Toussaint is better positioned than most other Black students in California to achieve this dream. He has access to high-quality programs like the Manhood Development Program offered through Oakland Unified School District, and his small high school offers every student the college-preparatory coursework and the personalized supports and academic schedule necessary to achieve both college and career readiness. We'd bet on Toussaint. He's maintained strong grades and test scores, and he has taken the courses he needs to attend a four- year university, positioning him well for success in college. And Toussaint is not alone: In 2015, about 2,800 Black 11th-graders hit the "college ready" mark on the state's English language arts exam, positioning them to directly enroll in college-level courses if they attend a California State University. Yet, though it is abundantly clear that Black children can achieve at the highest levels, most of the data paint a dire portrait of an education system — preschool through college — that systematically squanders Black talent. LEAST LIKELY TO: • Become proficient readers by third grade; • Be placed in Gifted and Talented Education programs; • Master the mid-level mathematics skills that position students for success in college- preparatory math courses; • Be placed in a full sequence of college-preparatory courses; • Complete an Advancement Placement (AP) course; • Graduate from high school in four years; and • Complete a college degree. MOST LIKELY TO: • Be suspended or expelled; • Be taught by ineffective teachers; • Be identified for special education; and • Take remedial, non-credit bearing coursework as college students. At the same time, they are the Among California's many racial and ethnic groups, Black children, whether from upper or lower income families, are the

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