Black and Latino Parents See Disparities in Education

Parents of underserved children prioritize good teachers, high expectations

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

The Leadership Conference Education Fund and Anzalone Liszt Grove Research recently released their second annual New Education Majority poll, which asks black and Latino families about how American public schools are educating their children. (The term “new majority’ refers to the fact that children of color now constitute the majority in school.)

(Image: iStock/digitalskillet)

 

The poll reveals that, not surprisingly, both black families and Latino families continue to see their children as underserved.

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said in a statement, “Black and Latino parents know that their children aren’t getting the best education we can provide them. These results should be a clarion call for policymakers who must come to terms with the fact that for any education policy to be successful, it must be responsive to the needs of the children who make up a majority of public school students in America.”

Key Findings

 

Key findings from the poll include the following (from the Leadership Conference Education Fund’s press release):

  • Perceptions of racial disparities remain strong among new education majority parents and families, and in some cases, are even more pronounced than last year.

  • The lack of funding for students of color is seen as the biggest cause of racial disparities in education, and racism has risen to become the second biggest driver among both African American and Latino parents and families.
    • Parents and family members of color whose child’s teachers are mostly white are more likely to believe schools are “not really trying” to educate students of color than those with mostly black or mostly Latino teachers.
    • New education majority parents and families continue to place a premium on high expectations and academic rigor for their children.

Recommendations

  • Remedying longstanding disparities in resources between schools and districts with more black and Latino children and those with more white children.
  • Opening decision-making processes to black and Latino families in ways that allow them to meaningfully participate so that their voices are heard, especially decisions regarding priorities and funding.
  • Removing barriers to participation and success in advanced courses for black and Latino children.
  • Inventorying resource distribution in schools and districts, including good teachers and rigorous courses, to ensure that black and Latino children have their fair share.
  • Implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, in a way that breaks down systemic barriers that have impeded black and Latino children’s success and increases educational opportunity for all underserved children in the state.