Ogo Okoye-Johnson | Our Children and Education Equity

My data based analysis Op-Ed entitled Ogo Okoye-Johnson |Our Children and Education Equity discussing education equity in the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley school districts published in the Santa Clarita Valley Signal on January 24, 2020 provides an in-depth analysis and a clear picture of the glaring education inequity in our community. My research on the recently released 2018-19 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) reveal that about 42-73% in English Language Arts and 51-91% in Mathematics of the economically disadvantaged students in the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley school districts are performing at below standards.

The tables and charts that visually illustrate the huge achievement gaps identified in my research will be published in my next blog. Stay Tuned!

Lawmakers Demand Accountability for Funds Earmarked for Disadvantaged Students

CA Capitol

On January 6, 2020, Assemblywomen Shirley Weber of San Diego and Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton introduced Assembly Bills 1834 and 1835 as a result of the California State Audit that revealed that the funds earmarked for disadvantaged students for the purpose of closing the achievement gap under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) are not being used for these students as intended. Both bills will correct two deficiencies of the LCFF recommended by the audit.

Assembly Bill 1834 “would require the State Department of Education to develop, on or before January 1, 2021, a tracking mechanism for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to use to report the types of services on which they spend their supplemental and concentration grant funds. The bill would require each local educational agency, commencing July 1, 2021, to annually report to the department the types of services on which it spends its supplemental and concentration grant funds using the tracking mechanism developed by the department.”

Assembly Bill 1835 “would require each school district, county office of education, and charter school to identify unspent supplemental and concentration grant funds by annually reconciling and reporting to the department its estimated and actual spending of those moneys. The bill would require unspent funds identified pursuant to these provisions to continue to be required to be expended to increase and improve services for unduplicated pupils, and would require each local educational agency to report the amounts of unspent funds identified in its local control and accountability plan.”

Read more here.

CA Republic Flag

 

2020 is the Year to Get Education Right for Black Students and Families

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Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

Tanesha Peeples, the Deputy Director of Outreach for Education Post pronounces that “We Have to Get Education Right for Black Students and families in 2020” in her article published on January 10, 2020. She believes that hiring more educators of color, providing equitable resources that will enable low income Black students to be as successful as their White peers and ensuring that parents and students voices are heard will make a remarkable difference in the lives of students and families because “our kids deserve a “new year, new me” opportunity, too.

Read the full article at“We Have to Get Education Right for Black Students and families in 2020”.

 

Only 1% Latino and 4% Black Children Participate in High-Quality State Preschool Programs

According to the Young Learners, Missed Opportunities: Ensuring That Black and Latino Children Have Access to High-Quality State-Funded Preschool report released on Wednesday November 6, 2019 by The Education Trust, only one percent of Latino children and four percent of black children are enrolled in high-quality state preschool programs.

None of the 25 states and Washington, D.C. included in the study, provided three and four year-old black and Latino children in state-funded preschool programs with sufficient access to high-quality programs.

“Our data is devastating. No state provides the two essential elements for a strong early start for our nation’s Black and Latino children — quality and access. Despite overwhelming research on the value of high-quality preschool, states continue to willfully neglect our youngest students of color” stated Dr. Carrie Gillispie, The  Education Trust’s senior analyst for P-12 policy.

Heather Rieman, The  Education Trust’s director of P-12 policy also stated that                “Over and over again, we see children who deserve these important learning opportunities the most are being shut out due to systemic barriers, which can have a cascading effect throughout their K-12 education and beyond. State leaders must work to ensure that, among other key learning opportunities, their states’ 3- and 4-year-old Black and Latino children have access to high-quality ECE as it provides a solid foundation for prolonged academic and personal achievement.”