The Nation’s Report Card is in; We Failed Black Students, Especially in California

Nationally the average Black student scores “below basic” in reading, same with Hispanics.  The worse news is that in California the achievement gap between Whites and Hispanics is shrinking, while it’s actually growing for Black students.

We are going backwards.

EdSource did a solid job of covering the latest news from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), what is termed the Nation’s report Card, and it was a good news bad news story.  Though titled, California makes significant gain in reading on much anticipated national test,”the results, when you dig in, may be progress for some, they are deeply concerning for others,

Here is a look at the national disparities,

In 4th-grade math in 2017, 51 percent of white students, 26 percent of Hispanics and 19 percent of black students nationwide scored proficient, the level that indicates a solid mastery of the work. In California, each of those groups scored between 4 and 7 percentage points lower than their counterparts in other states.

Nationwide, 14 percent of English learners scored proficient and 47 percent scored below basic — a dismal proportion but better than in California, where 9 percent were proficient and 53 percent were below basic…

The nationwide average score of white students in 4th-grade reading in 2017 was 232. The average score for black students was 206 and for Hispanics, 209, which is categorized as below basic level

At the same time, however, the nationwide gap between low-income students and their wealthier peers has remained wide and unchanged in 4th-grade reading since 2002-03.

And the “appalling” California numbers,

In California, the 27-point gap in average 4th-grade reading scores between whites and Hispanics in 2017 is among the biggest in the nation. However, the gap in California has narrowed by a third since 1992.

But the white-black gap in 4th-grade reading has widened 5 points since 2007. And the 38-point gap between those two groups in 8th-grade math, the same as it was in 1990, is the 4th-largest among states.

“Appalling” was the reaction of Ryan Smith, executive director of the Education-Trust West, which advocates for minority and low-income students. “At a time when California is claiming to lead on issues of what’s right in our country, we should see black students improve at far greater rates, not sliding back decades,” he said.

The State of Black Education

Our children have always faced death at an early age.  A system designed to grind them to dust.  Roughly 14% of Black public elementary student can read at grade level, district or charter.   And we are losing ground.  This is where we are, we won’t hear a lot about these numbers from all the “equity advocates” out there, much less any action.  Equity talk is plentiful and cheap in Oakland.

In the end it will be us, and some true allies, that make the change.  And nothing but more backsliding will happen until we come together and demand changes.  We are supporting a set of engagements to grease the wheels on action, the State of Black Education Oakland, starting with a conversation with the NAACP on the history and future of activism, and discussion of segregation and opportunity in West Oakland, and much more.  Please join us in being part of the solution.

Our children need us, and it doesn’t seem anyone else is coming.


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