Educational policies have to address both in-school and out-of-school factors in order to overcome the barriers that black students face in the County of Los Angeles, a UCLA study found.
The report, Beyond the Schoolhouse: Overcoming Challenges & Expanding Opportunity for Black Youth in Los Angeles County, was published Oct. 10 by researchers from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.
The study found that black children in LA county face educational, health and social disadvantages. Disregarding the connections between education, health and poverty makes it difficult for policy to effectively counter these disadvantages, according to the study.
The study found that the majority of black students in LA attend racially isolated schools in impoverished communities. Despite this knowledge, there have not been any major efforts to increase integration in recent years.
Additionally, according to the study, schools that primarily serve black students receive limited resources. There are also a number of distinct educational differences between black students and students of other races and ethnicities.
For example, black students’ A-G readiness rate is 45%, which is lower than other race and ethnicity groups, according to the study. A-G courses are the required classes that students must take in order to apply to University of California and California State University schools.
The study also said black students who are eligible for admissions into UC or CSU schools only come from a select few high schools in LA county, which are typically integrated, both in terms of race and socioeconomic status.
Based on the report, the researchers recommended a number of changes that should be made to provide greater support for black youth at the city, state and federal level.
The recommendations included improving outcomes in A-G classes, working to coordinate access to resources that support black families and students, and developing a strategic plan to facilitate racial and socioeconomic integration in LA schools.