Leading Civil Rights Groups Call for Robust Engagement of Communities of Color in ESEA Waiver Implementation

Sep 23, 2011, 21:19 ET from Campaign for High School Equity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Only with strong accountability, high quality academic standards and meaningful engagement of communities of color can we protect our nation's children by providing access to a high quality education. Students of color will make up more than 50 percent of our adult workforce by 2050, but without strong accountability and supports in education, they will be unprepared for the jobs of the future.

As leading civil rights and education advocacy organizations, we at the Campaign for High School Equity are united in the belief that communities of color and Native communities are uniquely positioned to assist in crafting the accountability systems necessary to support high-quality education in their states and utilize waivers as outlined by President Obama. Once the waivers have been granted, these communities are critical to their effective implementation.

Communities of color must play a key role in supporting strong accountability for all schools by insisting, among other things, that schools:

  • Align high school standards, assessments, curriculum, and instruction with college- and career-readiness standards;
  • Publicly report on access to college preparatory classes and course-taking patterns by income, gender, race, and ethnicity, both among and within schools;
  • Disseminate high school data and other information through media and distribution channels specifically serving these communities; and
  • Develop state longitudinal data systems with individual student identifiers that align student data with teacher, school performance, and resource data.

We support the Obama administration's focus not only on the bottom 5 percent of all low-performing schools, but also on those with achievement gaps. We look forward to learning more about the administration's plans for addressing the needs of students who attend schools with graduation rates of less than 60 percent.

CHSE is a coalition of leading civil rights organizations representing communities of color that is focused on high school education reform. Members include the National Urban League, National Council of La Raza, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, Alliance for Excellent Education, National Indian Education Association, and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.

CHSE is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

SOURCE Campaign for High School Equity