Parents Declare “State of Emergency” Over West Contra Costa Achievement Gap

A group of parents from the West Contra Costa Unified School District has declared an “educational state of emergency” over the student achievement gap. The group is calling on the district to improve educational services for African-American students.

The African-American Site Advisory Team presented a set of demands Wednesday evening before the district’s school board. A list of those demands can be found here. They include the establishment of an Office of African-American Student Achievement, targeted intervention and mentorship programs, mental health support and counselors, anti-bias and inclusion training for staff, and changes to library material that reflect black history.

“Data shows the achievement gap between African-American students and others is growing in the district, where only about 20 percent of African-American students met or exceeded English standards on statewide tests last year and a mere 10 percent met math standards,” EdSource reports. “In contrast, about 61 percent of white students met the English standards and half met the math standards."

EdSource continues: “In both subject areas, African-American student achievement has dropped over the past five years, while white student achievement has improved. In 2015, 21 percent of African-American students met or exceeded English standards compared to 57 percent of white students, and 11 percent of African-American students met or exceeded the math standards compared to 48 percent of white students.”

In addition to the widening achievement gap, the district is dealing with an enormous deficit. It swelled from $10 million to more than $40 million in a matter of months

Read more at EdSource