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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THE EDUCATION TRUST–WEST | BLACK MINDS MATTER | OCTOBER 2015 3 These data make clear that even now, 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education and 50 years after the March on Washington, racial injustice is still a troubling hallmark of young, Black lives. As Toussaint and his family know, getting to and through college is the best way to achieve a better life. Yet, from the early childhood years through college, our systems are rigged to provide less quality to the very children who need the most, shortchanging their education and obstructing the social mobility of Black Californians. While the Golden State boasts wealth and jobs, educational and economic opportunity are far out of reach for many of the state's Black residents. The deaths of unarmed youth by law enforcement across the country tell young Black Americans that their lives matter less than other lives. And the experiences of Black students in school tell them that their minds may matter less, as well. This report looks at the educational experiences and outcomes of California's Black children, preschool through college. It also highlights numerous examples of community, school, and policy efforts to improve those outcomes. We conclude with recommendations for state and local education leaders. While many California policymakers, educators, community members, parents, and students are keenly aware of opportunity and achievement gaps, the reality facing Black students calls for much more than just awareness. It calls for a movement and political will. To improve outcomes for all California students, we must look at education through the lens of race, including the lens of what it means to be a Black child in California's schools today. We must do so not only in one report, but through an ongoing, collaborative discussion rooted in what we know works, with accountability for our institutions and leaders to reverse these dangerous trends. Our goal is for Black Minds Matter to serve as a rallying point for engagement, discussion, and action. We hope that educators, policymakers, students, parents, and community members will come together to resoundingly say that Black minds really do matter. Our goal is for Black Minds Matter to serve as a rallying point for engagement, discussion, and action.

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